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Congressman Joe Courtney

Representing the 2nd District of Connecticut

Courtney Remarks on House Passage of Second Gun Violence Prevention Bill, which Closes “Charleston Loophole”

February 28, 2019
Press Release

 WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), voted to pass the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 1112), which passed the House with a bipartisan majority by a vote of 228-198. This bipartisan bill would close the “Charleston Loophole,” which currently allows the sale of a firearm to a potentially dangerous individual to proceed if an initial background check is not completed within three business days. The bill would give the FBI more time to conduct more thorough background checks by changing that initial three business day window to ten business days, ensuring that potentially dangerous individuals are not sold firearms solely because the background check process took more than three days to complete.  

“Passage of this bill is another commonsense measure to strengthen our nation’s background check system – a measure supported by an overwhelming majority of Americans in order to reduce the risk of firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Courtney. “Our efforts this week echo the resounding cry of advocates, victims, and families in Connecticut and across the country that Congress can, and must, do more to prevent gun violence.”

H.R. 1112 would extend the initial background check review from three to ten business days. If the initial review is not completed at that point, a prospective purchaser would be able to request an escalated review by the FBI that would run for another ten business days—giving the FBI more time to complete a thorough background check before a gun sale can go forward.

Yesterday, Congressman Courtney voted in favor of House passage of the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 (H.R. 8), which would expand background checks to cover nearly all sales and transfers of firearms. Following the vote, Courtney joined his colleagues from the Connecticut Congressional delegation in remarking on the passage of the landmark legislation from the steps of the U.S. Capitol. Click here to watch the full video. Passage of both bills represent two of the first major House votes on gun violence prevention in the last 25 years.

In June of 2016, Congressman Courtney joined Members of Congress for the nearly 24 hour-long sit-in on the House Floor in support of universal background checks. Click here to read more.