In an April 10 article on the 2016 legislative session, I was astounded to read that, of more than 50 bills pending in the General Assembly to reform gun laws, only three have any chance of getting to the floor.
And those three all expand gun owners’ rights.
This session is the last opportunity to pass meaningful legislation before the one-year anniversary of the slayings at Mother Emanuel AME Church, which exposed gaps in our current laws that make us all vulnerable to such attacks. You would think there would be some urgency to close them. Why have our legislators not acted?
Recent polls have shown that 89 percent of South Carolina voters support background checks on all gun sales. It only makes sense that a person should not be issued a lethal weapon until the best effort is made to determine he will use it responsibly.
The current three-day waiting period was not enough to keep a gun out of the hands of the man charged with the Emanuel AME shooting. If that time period was more reasonable, chances are the drug arrest on his record would have been uncovered and the sale would not have gone through. It is my understanding that there are currently bills in the S.C. House and Senate that would expand the waiting period to allow for a more complete background check.
We obviously have a problem. These bills address that problem. Why aren’t our legislators moving them forward? If they aren’t listening to 89 percent of their voters, to whom are they listening?