"The gunmen who committed the callous attacks in Charleston, Chattanooga and Lafayette should not have been able to acquire firearms," said Jim Johnson, chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition of police organizations that includes the Major Cities Chiefs Association. "Yet, reports indicate that the three alleged perpetrators were able to buy guns either through federally licensed gun dealers or through an online website listing firearms for sale, demonstrating the need to both strengthen and expand background checks."
It makes three recommendations.
- Background checks should be expanded to cover both purchases from federally licensed firearms dealers and private sellers. Currently, only sales from licensed dealers are included in the background check requirement.
- As proposed by the Shooting Sports Foundation, states and federal agencies should share all disqualifying information to the background check system.
- Gun sellers shouldn't sell a gun until the transaction is cleared by the background system, even if it takes more than the currently permitted three days.
"Last year, the FBI reported more than 2,500 guns were sold to people who should have been barred, but sales proceeded nevertheless," said Johnson, the Baltimore County (Md.) Police chief. "As the Charleston shooting rampage painfully shows, there are some cases where more time to investigate before a firearm is transferred would mean more lives saved."