Lawmakers seek to extend background checks on gun purchases

Lawmakers seek to extend background checks on gun purchases

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - As gun laws currently sit, if a background check is not approved after three business days, the sale of that gun can still be processed by the retailer.

However, state lawmakers are working to increase the length of time gun shop owners must wait for background checks to be returned.

Over the past decade, proposals for stricter gun laws have drawn controversy and now several pre-filed bills could change that waiting period to purchase a gun in the state of South Carolina.

“If you can’t find a criminal record within three business days, then there is something wrong with the system,” said Robert Battista, owner of 707 Gun Shop.

The way the law is written, it is still up to gun shop owners whether they release the firearm if the background check is delayed past three days or not.

Multiple bills seek to extend the time the FBI has to conduct these checks.

Some would extend the waiting period to five days, while others could increase the period to 28 days.

“If the state enacted a law that said you have to wait 28 days, we’d wait 28 days,” said Joel Goldman.

Multiple gun shops said most of their sales are to people with Concealed Weapon Permits (CWP) who are exempt from the federal background check requirements in South Carolina.

“When South Carolina enacted the CWP, they had an agreement with SLED that says if you conduct your background checked in this manner before issuing a CWP, they can forgo the next background check,” said Goldman.

A large majority of the time, the FBI has approved or denied the purchase request in the three day time frame for both gun shops.

“Blaming the gun for violence is like blaming a hammer for bad carpentry work or blaming the fork for obesity, it’s not what the gun does it’s what the person does with the gun,” said Battista.

The current laws were put together with help from the NRA and that without a concealed weapon permit, a person purchasing a gun still must undergo a background check before each firearms purchase.

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