Bernstein files bill to try to stop the next Dylann Roof

This just in from the House Democrats:

Rep. Beth Bernstein to Introduce Background Check Completion Act in SC House
Legislation will mirror Congressman Jim Clyburn’s bill in US House
Columbia, SC – Richland County State Representative Beth Bernstein announced Thursday that she will prefile the “Background Check Completion Act” in December. The same bill was filed earlier this week in the U.S. House of Representatives by South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn.
The bill will require licensed gun dealers in South Carolina to wait until a background check is completed before selling a firearm. Under current law, if the FBI does not approve or deny the background check within three days, the licensed dealer has the discretion to proceed with the sale of the firearm. The alleged shooter in the Charleston massacre used this loophole to purchase the weapon that was used to kill nine people last month. Bernstein’s bill will close that loophole and make sure all background checks are completed before a transaction can be made.
“This is one of the most dangerous loopholes we currently have in our gun laws,” said Representative Beth Bernstein, a mother of two young daughters. “Most law-abiding citizens who purchase firearms have their background checks approved within minutes. But when someone has a criminal record, or pending charge, it may take longer for the FBI to gather all the information to determine if that person is legally authorized to buy a gun. We shouldn’t put an arbitrary three day deadline on something that could result in a deranged individual or criminal purchasing a gun. If we’re going to require a background check, we should require the background check be completed.”
Representative Bernstein stressed that this bill is not a form of gun control.
“As a CWP holder, I’m a strong supporter of gun rights and the second amendment. And I can assure you this bill is not gun control. It simply makes sure that the background checks that are already taking place are completed. If this bill would have been in place earlier this year, the Charleston shooter would not have legally been sold a gun from a licensed dealer. If closing this loophole saves just one life, it is worth it.”

Rep. Bernstein commended Congressman Clyburn for proposing this legislation on a federal level and maintained that she will pre-file the same bill in the South Carolina House of Representatives in December.”


31 thoughts on “Bernstein files bill to try to stop the next Dylann Roof

  1. Doug Ross

    If someone wants a gun, how hard would it really be to get one through non-legal means? It would be interesting to see some data on gun crimes committed by people with legally obtained handguns.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      It depends on who you are, where you live and how resourceful you are. A lot of people–me, say, really don’t know how they’d get an illegal gun–though I am resourceful. I also would have to do some real digging to figure out where to get illegal drugs.
      If someone lives in an upper-middle class area in the Northeast–or Canada or Europe, one might find it exceedingly hard to buy a gun. One might have to be diligent and persistent.
      ….and studies show that making guns harder to come by dramatically reduces suicides by gun, as well as a lot of homicides.

      1. Doug Ross

        I bet I could get a gun within a week. We all know people who know people.. the degrees of separation probably only has to go about three levels.

        As for acquiring illegal substances, I would bet a large sum of money that you could get whatever you want within a half mile radius of the USC campus. That would probably take a day at most. Find a local frat boy, hand him a bottle of Fireball Whiskey, and place your order.

        1. Kathryn Fenner

          Well, I would not have thought of a frat boy, and frankly, they frighten me a bit. I’m sure I could *get* anything–it’s knowing whom to ask and having the nerve to do so. If I felt I needed a gun, I would go to a reputable dealer–but that’s me.
          Actually, if I felt I needed a gun, I would re-evaluate my life.

      2. Doug Ross

        Ironically, if you really need an untraceable gun, I suspect that it would be helpful to have a close friend or relative in law enforcement.

      1. Doug Ross

        Didn’t he have parts of an AK47 in his car when picked up by the police earlier this year?

        Someone who wants a gun will get a gun.

  2. Norm Ivey

    In shootings like Charleston, Sandy Hook, Ft. Hood, Aurora, Tucson, Virginia Tech, Columbine, San Ysidro or Greenwood, SC, the common theme is mental health. That’s where our energies should go if we want to stop those types of mass killings. We’ve got to teach these people alter their thought patterns. If the shooter in Charleston hadn’t gotten the gun in West Cola, he would have gotten one somewhere.

    1. Kathryn Fenner

      Maybe. We’ll never know. There is no evidence of a mental health diagnosis, other than “he shot 9 strangers apparently because they were black.” It is wrong to lump people with real illness in with people who just have “issues.”

    2. Doug Ross

      Start by cutting back on drugs for ADHD. A recent article about ADHD rates in France versus U.S. explained why the rates are so low – they use non-prescription methods.

  3. Bryan Caskey

    This is one of the most dangerous loopholes we currently have in our gun laws,” – Rep. Beth Bernstein

    I see that Ms. Bernstein is now referring to this incident as a “loophole” for strategic political purposes. You know, if the government doesn’t have its act together, then it’s a “loophole” that can only be cured by a blanket restriction.

    Yes, Ms. Bernstein: In a way, it is a “loophole” in the law that criminals get away with crimes when law enforcement officials make deadly errors.

    This “loophole” has existed since the first night’s watchmen in the Middle Ages. Are you just becoming aware that if you sleep on the job, criminals will ply their trade without detection?

    BTW, I’ve also discovered that there’s a “loophole” in the international system that allows ISIS to butcher Christians and Iran to build nuclear bombs, with which to nuke Tel Aviv.

    That “loophole” is called Barack Hussein Obama. I guess it’s a “loophole” if you define “loophole” as “a mistake”.

    1. HAL 9000

      This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to human error.

    2. Phillip

      Bryan, I’m fascinated by how you elide “ISIS butchering Christians” (an event that has actually happened in reality, though of course they’ve killed even more Muslims) with Iran being allowed “to build nuclear bombs, with which to nuke Tel Aviv” (which is something that has not happened). This sounds suspiciously to me like an example of one of those “bad fact patterns” that you mentioned at the top of this thread.

      1. Kathryn Fenner

        Also, the international system, whatever that is, does not “allow” ISIS to butcher anyone. ISIS does it and so far no one has been able to stop them, but “allow” implies a measure of complicity. Being unable to stop something does not precisely align with “allowing” it.
        When ISIS is apprehended, the international system will punish them. Ask Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden–oh yeah, right, you’re not allowed to.

        1. Bryan Caskey

          You’re confusing being unable to do something with being unwilling to do something. So yes, there’s a degree of complicity. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

              1. Kathryn Fenner

                First we have to figure out who *they* are, then where they are and get there, and hope we got ’em all, without creating more animosity that breeds more ISISes

                1. Bryan Caskey

                  They seem to be pretty well-stocked up on animosity now, don’t they? I’m not really worried about them getting more upset at us.

                  Defeat their armies, accept their unconditional surrender, lay waste to their cities, and sow salt in their fields. No building libraries, no job fairs, no bake sales. We leave them with a note: “Play nice. Don’t make us come back here.”

                  But then, I’m just an incorrigible warmonger who takes it real personal when four Marines are murdered in Chattanooga.

              2. Brad Warthen Post author

                The Atticus mention reminds me…

                I’ve got a story to tell related to that. I remember something just like that happening in Bennettsville when I was a kid — mad dog being shot right outside my grandparents’ house.

                Weirdly, no one remembers it but me.

                I think I’ll write about that in a separate post sometime…

              3. Kathryn Fenner

                There are many “thems”—the ones who are already radical may be hopeless, but what about the ones who aren’t…yet?

        2. Bryan Caskey

          It’s clear that you and I approach this issue on a fundamentally different level because you speak of “apprehending” ISIS. To me, that’s the wrong mindset. We should not seek to “apprehend” ISIS.

  4. Mark Stewart

    Can we not stipulate that a three day automatic approval period is as bad an idea as the granting of an unlimited time for governmental approval of a firearms purchase? How about giving the government a reasonable 30 days to reject before automatic approval?

    Yes, the legislative process, lobbyists included, bears not a little responsibility for these horrendous shooter events. The intersection of mental health and accessible firearms is something that can be more tightly constricted. Legislation should keep that in mind.

  5. Jeff Mobley

    The NRA gave Beth a better score than they gave me in the last election. I asked for an explanation and didn’t get one.

  6. Jeff Mobley

    That’s fair enough. I certainly think it’s impressive. At the time, I kind of chalked it up to her being an incumbent. All they knew about me was what I sent them on a questionnaire.

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