Durbin, Duckworth, Colleagues Introduce "No Check, No Sale" Bill To Close Loophole Allowing Gun Sales Without A Completed Background Check

More than ten prohibited people a day are sold guns by dealers who do not wait for completed background check

CHICAGO – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), along with Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and 18 additional Senate colleagues introduced legislation to close a current loophole that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours, even if the gun buyer is not legally allowed to purchase a gun.  The gap in existing law has allowed thousands of gun sales to prohibited buyers, including the sale of the firearm used by Dylann Roof in his deadly attack at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina last year. 

“Most Americans assume that this is already the law, but it’s not,” said Durbin. “This loophole allows gun sales to proceed if the background check is still pending or inconclusive after three days. A completed background check would have stopped Dylann Roof from buying the gun he used to take those nine lives in Charleston.  Completed background checks would save lives every day in our cities and across every state in our country.  More than 90 percent of Americans agree that we must keep guns out of the hands of dangerous and unstable people.  Closing the loopholes in our background check system is one of the most important ways we can do that.” 

“In the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s modern history, Congress must do more than hold another moment of silence – we must do everything we can to keep the American people safe,” said Duckworth. “One way to do that is by eliminating the loophole that allows people who have not passed an FBI background check to be able to purchase firearms. In the wake of so many tragedies, it’s past time Congress acted on this common-sense solution to help keep weapons out of the hands of terrorists, criminals and the dangerously mentally ill.”

When a criminal background check indicates that a firearm purchaser may have a criminal record, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tries to determine whether the purchaser can legally buy a gun.  If this process takes longer than 72 hours, gun dealers can complete the sale even though there is a heightened risk that the purchaser is legally disqualified from purchasing a gun.

The Background Check Completion Act would require a completed background check for every gun buyer who purchases a gun from a federally-licensed gun dealer.

The Background Check Completion Act is co-sponsored by: U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Patty Murray (D-WA).