Poll: South Carolinians support closing 'Charleston loophole’

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A new poll from Winthrop University shows that South Carolinians are in favor of closing the so-called Charleston loophole.

Respondents were asked the following question:

Currently, when a person purchases a firearm, if the background check takes longer than three days to come back, the buyer may receive the firearm without a completed background check if the seller agrees. Would you support or oppose legislation that would require a completed background check before a buyer can take possession of a firearm, even if the background check takes longer than three days to come back?

While the question doesn’t explicitly use the words “Charleston loophole," it describes exactly what the bill to close the loophole would do to extend the time of gun background checks.

80 percent of all respondents said they would support the legislation while 17 percent said they would oppose it. 80 percent of Republican respondents said they would support it while 83 percent of Democrats said they would support it as well. Two percent of respondents responded “not sure."

The House of Representatives passed a bill in late February which would extend the background check from three to 10 days.

Rep. Joe Cunningham and Rep. Jim Clyburn had been pushing the bill hardboth here in the Lowcountry and in Washington. The bill calls for the extension of a federal background check in order to buy a gun from three days to 10 days.

The bill received its name because the lack of time to properly run a background check is why Emanuel AME shooter Dylann Roof was able to buy his gun despite a February 2015 arrest which would have prevented him from doing so.

The poll surveyed 1,007 adult residents in South Carolina, used random digit dialing, and was conducted from Feb. 17 to March 12. All Respondents have a margin of error of approximately +/- 3.1% at the 95% confidence level. 49. 6 percent of respondents were men, 49.8 percent were women and 0.6 said they weren’t sure of their gender.

The highest percentage of people surveyed was 50-59 year olds at 18 percents of respondents. 40-49 year olds were 17.8 percent of respondents while 30-39 year olds were 16.6 percent of respondents.

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