Joe Cunningham calls for gun control in SC 6 years after Charleston church shooting

Two bouquets of flowers laid outside the gate of Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church on Tuesday morning as Democratic gubernatorial candidate and former South Carolina congressman Joe Cunningham announced a series of plans he said would curb gun violence. During a press conference in downtown Charleston, Cunningham pledged to expand background checks on all gun sales and said he would support legislation that gives officials more time to review background checks, if he is elected governor. He also promised to fully fund evidence-based hospital and community programs that seek to break the cycle of gun violence. Cunningham unveiled his gun-control platform in a speech delivered one block away from Emanuel AME Church, the historic house of worship where a white supremacist six years ago this week gunned down nine Black parishioners. The hate crime was committed, Cunningham stressed, with a gun the convicted killer never should have been able to get. “In the six years since the Mother Emanuel tragedy, little has changed,” Cunningham said. “The murderer who committed these atrocities could get a gun just as easily today as he did six years ago.” Though Dylann Roof had an arrest record for drug use, which should have barred him from buying a firearm, he was able to purchase a .45-caliber Glock when his FBI background check was not completed within the required three-day deadline. That breakdown in the background check process is now known as the “Charleston loophole.” When Cunningham was in Congress, he supported a bill that sought […]

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