CLOSE THE BACKGROUND CHECK LOOPHOLE
The Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence (DeCAGV) supports Rep. Valerie Longhurst’s campaign close a serious loophole that allows some gun purchases to proceed without a completed background check. Firearm sales by federally licensed dealers require every purchaser to be vetted by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). But current law suspends this requirement and allows gun sales to proceed when the NICS check is not completed within three business days.
Rep. Longhurst’s letter to Delaware’s congressional delegation describes this loophole, which can result in “potentially dangerous individuals ‘legally’ purchasing guns on a technicality.’” Longhurst plans introduce legislation to address the issue at the state level.
George Higgins, executive director of DeCAGV, agrees with Longhurst’s analysis of the problem. “Unfortunately,” Higgins says, “we can’t count on Congress to protect our communities from individuals who can still buy guns without a proper background check. If we’re going to vet all gun sales, that has to mean every sale—without exception.”
Longhurst’s letter states: “If we truly believe, as most Americans do, that any person who seeks to lawfully acquire a firearm must pass a background check before doing so, then this is a common-sense solution – no background check, no gun.”
“That’s our position,” Higgins says. “No background check, no gun. We’d like to see Delaware take the lead on this issue. Delaware passed universal background checks—including sales at gun shows—in 2013, but the ‘delayed transaction’ loophole is an unacceptable gap in that system.”
“We have no argument with the Second Amendment,” says Higgins. “But most Americans, including gun owners, also favor strict regulation of gun purchases. A leak-proof system of background checks—that’s just common sense.”