Crow Votes to Pass Universal Background Checks and Close the Charleston Loophole

March 12, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Rep. Jason Crow today voted to pass H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021, two common sense gun violence prevention measures to require background checks on all gun sales and close the Charleston Loophole that allowed the hate crime at Mother Emanuel AME Church. 

“From Columbine to Aurora, our community has been ripped apart by gun violence,” said Rep. Jason Crow. “No longer will we allow conversations about political expediency to take priority over saving lives. Congress has the opportunity -- and the imperative -  to stand up for the safety of our communities. The House has twice now done our job and passed common sense legislation to address the scourge of gun violence. My colleagues in the Senate must have the courage to do the same.” 

“Passage of H.R. 8 will help those of us at state legislatures across this country as we work together with our federal partners to make our communities safe from gun violence,” said State Rep. Tom Sullivan.

Similar to Colorado’s universal background checks law, H.R. 8 would require background checks on all firearm purchases including all commercial and private sales and most firearm transfers between individuals. The bill would ensure that individuals already prohibited from gun possession under federal law cannot obtain a firearm online, at a gun show, or through most types of private transfers. 

H.R. 1446 would close the “Charleston Loophole,” which currently allows the sale of a firearm to proceed if a background check is not completed within three business days. The legislation would provide the FBI with crucial additional time to complete a background check on a potential firearms purchaser before a licensed dealer can transfer a gun. 

Crow, who is Vice Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, spoke on the House floor in advance of votes on both bills: 

“I grew up a gun owner. I’ve been hunting since I was twelve years old. I became an Army Ranger and I went to war for this country where I led over 100 combat missions carrying weapons of war, at war, in defense of our nation. But I’m also a father. And I also represent a district that’s been hit by some of the worst mass shootings in our nation’s history. 

“I learned in the Army years ago that citizenship comes with duties, and rights come with responsibilities. Mr. Speaker, we are failing each other in this country and it’s time that we start fulfilling our duties and our responsibilities to each other. We have the opportunity to do that now and save thousands of lives.” 

Watch his floor speech here

Last Congress, Crow helped secure $25 million in federal research funding to prevent gun violence. Last month, Crow reintroduced the Colorado Loophole Act to make sure someone can’t buy a gun if they aren’t allowed to in their home state. Crow first introduced the legislation after a woman from Florida who was obsessed with the Columbine tragedy arrived in Colorado, purchased a shotgun, and caused a nationwide panic.