March 31, 2023

Whitehouse, Colleagues Introduce “No Check, No Sale” Bill to Close the Charleston Loophole

In 2019, more than eight prohibited people a day were sold guns by dealers who do not wait for completed background check

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) this week joined Democratic colleagues to introduce legislation to close a current loophole that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed within a certain time period, even if the gun buyer is not legally allowed to purchase a gun.  The gap in existing law has allowed thousands of gun sales to prohibited buyers, including the sale of the firearm used by the shooter in the deadly attack at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church. 

“The mass shooting of little children and school staff in Nashville this week is yet another horrific reminder of how weak gun laws are in this country.  No one should be able to purchase a firearm without first passing a background check—period,” said Whitehouse, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee.  “Our bill is a commonsense measure that will finally close a loophole that has cost lives.”

When a criminal background check indicates that a firearm purchaser may have a criminal record, the FBI tries to determine whether the purchaser can legally buy a gun.  If this process takes longer than 72 hours for those 21 years of age or older, or ten days for those under 21, gun dealers can complete the sale even though there is a heightened risk that the purchaser is legally disqualified from purchasing a gun.

The Background Check Completion Act would require a completed background check for every gun buyer who purchases a gun from a federally-licensed gun dealer.

The Background Check Completion Act is led by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and cosponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Mazie K. Hirono (D-

Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921

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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921