Gun legislation forum stops in Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Almost everyone has an opinion on guns and Monday night in Charleston, there were all sorts of them.

The second public hearing on gun issues hosted by the South Carolina legislature was held at the College of Charleston. Hundreds crowded into the fourth floor of the Stern Center to sound off or listen.

“It took us a while to get here,” said State Senator Marlon Kimpson (D) who had to filibuster at the Statehouse last year just to get the hearings held. Kimpson is on the senate sub-committee that wants to expand the background check period when someone purchases a gun. “Will it solve all of our gun homicides? No,” said Kimpson, “if you look at the evidence – and there are eighteen by the way who have passed common sense expanded background checks – the answer is yes their communities are safer.”

Roy Harmon is a gun advocate and says there is no such thing as the “Charleston Loophole.” He points the finger at the miscommunication between agencies that allowed admitted Charleston church gunman Dylann Roof to walk away from a gun store armed after a 72-hour waiting period. “We talk as if we aren’t in the computer age” said Harmon, “I mean back when we had card catalogs and libraries, three days kind of seemed like the the kind of time you need,”

“We should have a 30-second background check,” added Harmon.

Jennifer Pinckney, the widow of Dr. Rev. Clementa Pinckney, was at the event but did not speak. Her late husband’s close friend, Rev. Kylon Middleton, pointed out something that everyone could agree with. “I am reminded that Senator Clementa Carlos Pinckney would be one of the senators right where you are tonight,” said Middleton, “listening to hearings on this very same issue.”

There will be two more gun hearings this month:

6 p.m. Oct. 18 in Coker College’s Elizabeth Boatwright Coker Performing Arts Center, 104 Campus Dr., Hartsville

6 p.m. Oct. 27 in the S.C. State House Complex’s Marion Gressette Building, 1101 Pendleton St., Columbia

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