The school shooting in Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas has renewed calls to expand gun control in the United States. The partisan topic has been in the US Congress for a long time but has not seen much progress.

Multiple legislations have been passed in the United States House of Representatives in the last two years but have faced a difficult time in the Senate. The “Charleston loophole” is one such topic of disagreement.

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What is the Charleston loophole?

The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits certain individuals from obtaining firearms in the United States without approval and verification. These include convicts sentenced to more than one year in prison and people who have been caught with “controlled substances.”

It is standard practice for people purchasing firearms to go through the National Instant Criminal Background Checks System. However, the system sometimes fails to complete the background check.

Under such circumstances, the verification is handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. If the agency is unable to complete the investigation in three days, the firearm seller has the discretion to complete the sale.

Where did the loophole get its name from?

In 2015, a white supremacist killed nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina’s Charleston. He was later given a life sentence. It is reported that the killer, identified as Dylann Roof, acquired weapons after the FBI failed to complete his background check.

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What’s happening now?

After the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which resulted in the death of more than 20 people, the gun debate sprung back to life. But senior lawmakers in the Senate said that any bipartisan agreement was unlikely.

Chuck Schumer, a Democrat and majority leader of the Senate, said in a statement on Wednesday, “My Republican colleagues can work with us now. I know this is a slim prospect, very slim, all too slim.”