Dems roll out bill to close gun sale 'loophole'

Senate Democrats rolled out legislation Wednesday aimed at blocking guns from being sold without a background check.

The proposal, from Democratic Sens. Richard BlumenthalRichard BlumenthalSenators push for enhanced powers to battle botnets Five things to know about Joe Lieberman Special counsel appointment gets bipartisan praise MORE (Conn.), Chris MurphyChris MurphySenate gears up for fight on Trump's 0B Saudi Arabia arms sale Dem rep jokes ‘body slammed’ reporter lucky GOP healthcare plan isn’t in place yet GOP senators distance themselves from House ObamaCare repeal bill MORE (Conn.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinThe case for protecting America's intelligence agency whistleblowers Senate confirms Trump's first lower-court nominee Feinstein: Comey memos 'going to be turned over' MORE (Calif.), would close a loophole that allows federally licensed gun retailers to sell a gun without a background check after 72 hours.

It is referred to as the Charleston loophole after the South Carolina city where Dylann Roof allegedly killed nine people in a mass shooting. The FBI said earlier this year that Roof was able to buy a gun after the three-day wait time for a background check expired.

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Democrats on Wednesday urged their colleagues to back the legislation, saying it is a simple and "straightforward" measure.

"The background check system is broken," Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate confirms Trump's first lower-court nominee The Hill's 12:30 Report Warren: McConnell 'finally said hello to me' MORE (D-Mass.) said. "A bill that is this straightforward is a test for the United States Senate. It asks the fundamental question, 'Who do you work for?' ... So long as we don't act, we make it clear that this Congress works for the NRA [National Rifle Association].'"

Blumenthal, separately, said that any "inconvenience" created by having to wait longer for a background check is outweighed by lives saved.

"Waiting for a background check, even if longer than 72 hours, is a minor inconvenience far outweighed by the benefit of keeping lethal weapons out of the hands of dangerous people," he added. 

The legislation already has a handful of Democratic backers, including Warren. However, it likely faces an uphill battle in the Senate where Republicans have shown little interest in moving forward with gun control legislation, instead focusing on mental health bills.

Blumenthal's office first announced that he would unveil the bill earlier this month. 

Separately, dozen of Senate Democrats unveiled a sweeping gun control push earlier this month, with Sen. Charles SchumerCharles SchumerOvernight Finance: Dems introduce minimum wage bill | Sanders clashes with Trump budget chief | Border tax proposal at death's door Sanders, Democrats introduce minimum wage bill Top House, Senate Dems ask Interior not to eliminate national monuments MORE (D-N.Y.) suggesting they could try to introduce and move legislation later this year or early next year.