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Connecticut Senator: Fix Gun Loophole

Senator Chris Murphy is scheduled to talk with federal officials today (Monday) about the breakdown in the background check system that allowed mass murder suspect Dylan Roof to purchase a handgun. Courtesy: Senator Murphy
Senator Chris Murphy is scheduled to talk with federal officials today (Monday) about the breakdown in the background check system that allowed mass murder suspect Dylan Roof to purchase a handgun. Courtesy: Senator Murphy
July 13, 2015

HARTFORD, Conn. – It's an admitted breakdown in the federal background check system that may have cost nine lives, and today U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy will meet with the FBI and the Department of Justice to discuss that failure.

Dylan Roof, the 21-year-old suspect in the South Carolina church shooting, was able to purchase a handgun despite an arrest on a drug charge and an admission of drug use.

Murphy says the system failed when a decision didn't come during the three-day waiting period.

"This was a pending case and the retailer sold Dylan Roof a gun simply because they ran out of time,” Murphy points out. “They couldn't get the case resolved in three days – that's something we should be able to fix."

Under current law, the FBI has three days to determine whether there is enough evidence to deny a purchase.

The New York Times reports that the Justice Department's Inspector General was already investigating other cases where convicted felons and other prohibited buyers made purchases after the waiting period. FBI director James Comey said, we are all sick this happened.

Murphy says it is a given that with Republicans controlling both houses, that many gun control provisions have no chance of passage. But, he says Congress does need to make sure that proper funding is available to enforce the measures that are already on the books.

"So, we need to make sure that the background check center has every dime necessary to make sure that criminals don't buy guns,” he stresses. “If they had the resources, it's possible nine people would still be alive today in South Carolina. That's something that should cause every single member of Congress to lose sleep."

Murphy and Sen. Richard Blumenthal issued a joint statement on Friday, urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to review the failures in the background check system and to explore potential remedies.


Mike Clifford, Public News Service - CT