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Everytown, Moms Demand Action Laud Rep. Clyburn’s Legislation to Close Loophole that Allowed Charleston Shooter to Obtain Gun with an Incomplete Background Check

July 16, 2015

Nearly 100,000 People Have Signed Petition Calling on Retailer Cabela’s to Adopt Same #NoCheckNoSale Policy as Walmart, Big 5 Sporting Goods and Other Responsible Retailers that Refuse to Sell Guns Without Completed Background Check

NEW YORK – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, today lauded legislative efforts by U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn that would stop retailers from selling guns before a criminal background check on the buyer is completed.

Since the revelation last week that an incomplete background check allowed the Charleston shooter to buy the gun he used to kill nine worshipers attending a Bible study, Everytown and Moms have stepped up the pressure on both Congress and gun retailers to close the NRA-backed loophole that allows gun sales to proceed even if a background check is incomplete.

“It is past time for Congress to close this NRA-backed loophole that makes it all too easy for dangerous criminals to get guns due to incomplete background checks,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Representative Clyburn’s proposed legislation would make it clear: If you don’t pass a background check, you should not be able to collect a gun. Congress can – and should – do whatever it can to guarantee our background check system puts American public safety ahead of the interests of the gun lobby”

Everytown has been targeting Congress with a campaign, which will include paid advertising, to demand that lawmakers close the loophole created by an NRA-backed amendment to the 1993 Brady Bill. Over the last five years, the Charleston loophole has allowed more than 15,000 gun sales to dangerous people who would have failed a criminal background check because the check could not be completed within three business days. After the three-day period has expired, federal law allows gun stores to sell a gun to a prospective buyer, even though the background check is not complete (Fact sheet on the Charleston shooting, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) and default proceeds is available here.)

While retailers are legally allowed to sell guns after the three-day clock has expired, responsible retailers including Walmart and Big 5 Sporting Goods have exercised their legal right and a corporate responsibility to not proceed with a gun sale until a background check is completed. In 2008, Walmart worked with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, now part of Everytown, to develop and agree to the Responsible Firearms Retailer Partnership, a ten-point code to help ensure dangerous people do not obtain guns, including no sales without a completed background check.

To target retailers, Moms Demand Action has launched the #NoCheckNoSale petition asking Cabela’s, a major gun seller with 64 retail outlets in North America, to adopt the same policy as Walmart and other industry leaders. To date, more than 90,000 people have signed this petition.

“Background checks should be pass or fail,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “It’s unconscionable that thousands of dangerous criminals each year are able to get guns based on an incomplete background check. Until Congress acts to close the Charleston loophole, Moms will demand that gun sellers such as Cabela’s exercise their legal right, and corporate responsibility, to wait for a complete background check before selling a gun.”

Background checks that have been completed have blocked more than two million sales to dangerous people and have saved countless lives. More information on background checks is available here:

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