Daily Court Reporter - News Proposed bill calls for 30-day waiting period to do a gun purchase background check
Proposed bill calls for 30-day waiting period to do a gun purchase background check
KEITH ARNOLD, Daily Reporter Staff Writer
A Democrat lawmaker's proposition of a 30-day waiting period on all legal gun sales in which a background check is pending after three days was presented to lawmakers for a first time recently.
Members of the Federalism and Interstate Relations Committee in the Ohio House of Representatives heard sponsor testimony from their peer, Rep. Thomas West of Canton.
Thomas told fellow House members that House Bill 563 is a direct response to the shooting deaths of nine parishioners gathered for Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., in 2015.
"This bill came to light when I became aware of one of the many issues with the execution of our national background check system - the normal process says that if gun dealers do not hear back from the FBI with a flat denial in three business days, they are free to sell the weapon to the person who filled out the paperwork to buy the gun," West said.
The lawmaker noted that it was this circumstance in which the 21-year-old man, who subsequently was sentenced to death and an additional life sentence on federal and state charges, was able to acquire the gun he used in the slaughter of the victims.
The bill would prohibit a federally licensed firearms dealer from transferring a firearm while a background check is pending, unless 30 days have elapsed from the date the background check was requested.
A federally licensed firearms dealer must comply with federal law regarding the transfer of firearms, analysis by the Ohio Legislative Service Commission began.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits a federally licensed firearms dealer from transferring a firearm to a person who is not licensed unless all of the following have occurred:
(1) The federally licensed firearms dealer contacts the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.
(2) The federally licensed firearms dealer confirms the person's identity by examining a valid identification document containing a photograph of the person.
(3) The status of NICS is either of the following:
(a) NICS provides the federally licensed firearms dealer with a unique identification number, indicating that the receipt of a firearm by the person would not violate state or federal law.
(b) NICS has not notified the federally licensed firearms dealer that the receipt of a firearm by the person would violate state or federal law, and three business days have elapsed since the federally licensed firearms dealer contacted NICS.
West characterized the bill as a common-sense measure that would protect all Ohioans.
"We want safe streets and neighborhoods, we want our children to go to school without fearing that one day they may have to hide in a storage closet because there is an active shooter on their campus," he said. "Ohioans just want to be able to live their lives with a sense of safety and security.
"This bill would help with that."
The lawmaker said the proposal does not limit gun rights. Rather, it calls for a 30-day waiting period to do a background check with NICS before someone can purchase a gun.
"The more we can do to keep guns out of the hands of people that shouldn't have them, the more we are able to protect our communities from tragedies such as the one that occurred in Charleston."
Six fellow House members have signed on as cosponsors of HB 563, which had not been scheduled a second hearing at the time of publication.
Date Published: December 17, 2018