In recent days Hillary Clinton has been hitting rival Bernie Sanders hard on his past stances on gun control. With a multitude of gun control advocates backing Clinton, including former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Sybrina Martin, mother of Trayvon Martin, the Sanders campaign has been hitting back equally as hard.
As the campaign trail heats up in Iowa and New Hampshire, Sanders has taken serious heat for his vote against the Brady Bill – five times – and his vote not to hold the gun manufacturing lobby accountable for episodes of gun violence.
The loophole Clinton is referring to is an NRA-backed amendment that allows anyone, even with a criminal record, at the end of three days to obtain their gun whether the background check has been completed or not. The original Brady Bill mandated a 10-day waiting period. Then it was bumped down to seven. Then the NRA backed amendment of three days passed. But the three day waiting period was also watered down then-some: it cut the processing time to just 24 hours for law-enforcement officials.
Democrats in the House vehemently fought against it, although 99 of the 255 Democrats voted in favor. Thirty-six out of the 174 Republicans in the House voted against it. Sanders, of course, was the only Independent in the House.
The amendment is being called the “Charleston loophole” because Dylann Roof, the disturbed racist who shot and killed nine African-American churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, was able to legally buy his gun even though he had been charged with possessing Suboxonem, which is a Schedule III narcotic, without a prescription. Roof admitted he was an addict, and such an offense would not have allowed him to purchase the gun. The examiners in charge of weeding out individuals not eligible for gun purchases did not receive the criminal report before the three-day waiting period ended, thus allowing Roof to have the gun.
The Washington Post notes:
While Sanders did not specifically vote for a three-day period, he did vote for an even shorter one-day window. As a result of the amendment he supported in the House, the seven-day window was erased by the instant background system and the time allowed for extensive background checks that emerged from House-Senate negotiations was just three days. Then Sanders ended up voting against requiring any background checks at all.
Sanders now claims to support the universal background checks.
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