Testimony Heard on Bill Set to Close "Charleston Loophole"

It's called the Charleston loophole.... and at the State House today. Testimony was heard on a Senate bill that would increase the time needed for background checks on gun purchases

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Senators heard testimony on Tuesday on what's being called the "Charleston Loophole."

It's a bill that would increase the time needed for background checks of gun purchases.

Senators say the bill has been stalled this session, but they are hoping to get it passed next year.

"The database is only as good as the information being fed into it," says Senator Chauncey Gregory, (R) Lancaster County

Sen. Gregory is hoping that one day the bill will become law.

It would require court clerks and magistrates to report issuances of restraining orders, domestic violence and other crimes to the State Law Enforcement Division, within 48-hours.  

"There's a significant delay, as many as 30 days or longer of this information getting sent into the database," says Sen. Gregory. "So this tightens that up considerably."

The bill would also make the wait time for gun background checks five days, instead of three. That's something Sen. Marlon Kimpson says will impact a small group
  
"90 percent of the people are cleared within the first two minutes," says Sen. Kimpson, (D) Charleston County. "What's two additional days to wait to make sure that someone who purchases a gun, doesn't have a criminal history."

The bill stems from the shooting of nine church goers in Charleston back in 2015. As, convicted killer Dylann Roof's background check information didn't get back to the FBI within the current three day waiting period.

"My family was recently affected by gun violence," says Jillian Hollingsworth, an advocate for the bill. She also testified more than six months after her sister was shot in the Townville school shooting.

"It should not be easier to access a firearm than it is to vote," says Hollingsworth.

She wants to see the wait time increased to 28 days, but is hopeful for any change to the current law.
  
"Hope is what continues to drive me to speak out in favor of safer gun laws."

Time constraints limited testimony on this bill. Sen. Gregory and Hollingsworth were the only ones allowed to testify.

While this bill will not get out of the senate during this session, Senator Kimpson says they will be working through the summer to make sure that it is passed next year.

 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment