WASHINGTON, DC– Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) voted in support of two bills today which will close loopholes in the background check system for gun purchases. The new legislation would close the “gun show loophole” and the “Charleston loophole,” each of which have allowed dangerous people to circumvent the regular background check system to obtain firearms.
“Dangerous people shouldn’t be allowed to get their hands on a gun – that’s not a controversial statement,” said Rep. Maloney. “Most guns that are used for criminal purposes are obtained by people who are able to go around the normal background check system – these bills would help address that problem and make our communities safer.”
The first bill, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, would close the “gun show loophole,” which allows people to purchase firearms through private sales to sidestep rules requiring a normal background check. The bill would require nearly all gun exchanges to go through a licensed firearms dealer to ensure that purchases are vetted through the background check system. Rep. Maloney was a cosponsor of the legislation.
The second bill will close the “Charleston loophole” which allowed Dylann Roof to obtain a firearm he used to kill nine people at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church in 2016. Current background check regulations require gun sellers to wait three days while the FBI completes checks on potential purchasers. If the review is not complete within three days, the seller may go ahead with the gun sale. The new bill would extend the review period to ten days. Roof had a previous drug conviction which should have prevented him from obtaining the weapon, but the FBI did not return a completed check within three days, allowing the purchase to go forward.
Rep. Maloney supports strong federal efforts to combat the gun violence epidemic in addition to instituting universal background checks, including: banning assault weapons, raising the purchasing age, improving the National Instant Background Check System (NICS), and repealing the Dickey Amendment, which has prevented research on gun violence at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Last year, Rep. Maloney held four forums on gun violence in our schools across the Hudson Valley. He also hand-delivered letters from Hudson Valley students directly to former House Speaker Paul Ryan.