On Thursday (March 11), the US House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation that seeks to strengthen gun control across the nation. One of the bills would implement a background check requirement for all sales and transfers of guns.
The other bill would effectively close the dubbed “Charleston loophole,” which allowed Dylann Roof to purchase a handgun and shoot nine people at the historically Black Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015. The new measure would increase the waiting period for background checks from three days to 20 days.
“The Charleston loophole was exploited more than ever before in 2020, putting thousands of guns into the hands of people who are legally prohibited from possessing them,” Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Actions told the outlet. Watts acknowledged the House’s passage of the bills, which she said was not possible before with a Republican majority in the Senate. “Fortunately, there’s a new majority in the Senate,” Watts said, “and we look forward to working with that majority to pass this bill into law.”
Though the measures passed in the House, there’s reportedly not enough support in the Senate to get the bill passed in that chamber, but lawmakers are hopeful that more will show support of the bills.
Lucy McBath, a US Representative from Georgia, and mother of Jordan Davis who was fatally shot in 2012 by a white man following a gas station dispute, posted what the legislation meant to her.
“When I lost my son –– I never could have imagined I would vote to pass gun safety legislation on the floor of the US House, but today I did,” McBath tweeted.
Some have expressed their opposition to the legislation, claiming that it would hinder Second Amendment rights. However, Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut, who is sponsoring a similar measure in the Senate, said "Outside of Washington, Republicans, Democrats, gun owners, non-gun owners, NRA members, non-NRA members agree. We should tighten our gun laws to make sure that criminals and people with histories of serious mental illness cannot buy guns." He added, "This is an unifying issue."
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