Gun violence is a public health crisis that a large majority of Americans, including gun owners, want addressed. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program (UCR), between 2010 and 2020, about 29 Americans lost their lives to gun-related homicides every day; that is more than 10,500 Americans every year. Enacting common-sense gun control measures is a priority for President Biden and this Democratic Congress. The Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 is a solution that will change the background check system and save lives.
There is a flaw in the federal background check system commonly known as the “Charleston Loophole.” That same loophole enabled a gunman to obtain the weapon used to murder nine people and wound three others as they participated in a Bible study meeting at the historic Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015. Had the FBI background check been completed, the perpetrator of the Emanuel massacre would have been barred from purchasing a firearm. In 2019, almost 3,000 guns were sold to people with criminal records, mental illnesses and other circumstances which disqualify them from purchasing a firearm due to the inability to complete background checks within three days. Since 1998, the “Charleston Loophole” has put over 75,000 guns into the hands of prohibited gun owners.
The Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 will close the “Charleston Loophole” by ensuring that background checks are performed on all firearm sales and providing the background check system with additional time to make a decision if the purchaser can legally own a firearm. This legislation provides an outlet for lawful firearms purchasers to obtain a firearm in a timely manner. Its provisions create deterrents against unlawful purchasers and better involve the FBI and other agencies in the purchasing process.
Click here for the full bill text of H.R.1446 Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021.