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 BlumenthalOvernight Tech: AT&T, Time Warner CEOs defend merger before Congress | More tech execs join Trump team | Republican details path to undoing net neutrality Overnight Energy: Trump taps EPA foe to head agency | Energy reform bill officially dead CNN’s parent company promises to defend journalistic independence MORE (Conn.), Chris MurphyChris MurphyOvernight Finance: Senate Dems dig in as shutdown looms | Trump taps fast-food exec for Labor chief | Portland's new CEO tax The Hill's 12:30 Report Senate Dem defends McMahon's qualifications MORE (Conn.) and Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinFeinstein after dinner with Clinton: She has 'accepted' her loss Dems fear Trump undermining US stature Dems push for panel to probe Russian interference in election 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 WarrenPressure grows on Perez to enter DNC race The Hill's 12:30 Report AFL-CIO endorses Ellison for DNC chair 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 SchumerSenate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown Dems see ’18 upside in ObamaCare repeal Confirm Gary Richard Brown for the Eastern District of New York MORE (D-N.Y.) suggesting they could try to introduce and move legislation later this year or early next year.