Good Question: What are the gun-buying laws in South Carolina?
COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) - Police say the suspected Las Vegas shooter had stockpiled dozens of weapons.
Investigators say they found 23 firearms in the Mandalay Bay Resort hotel room from where they say Stephen Paddock shot into a crowd of 20,000 people at an outdoor country music festival, killing 59 people and injured more than 500 others.
Authorities say they also found thousands of rounds of ammunition and almost two dozen more guns at his home.
Many of you might be asking how he was able to build up such an arsenal.
Gun laws differ from state to state, so what are they here in South Carolina?
Here are some of the major points:
- You do not need a permit to buy rifles, shotguns or handguns in South Carolina
- Gun owners are not required to register a weapon
- Gun owners do not need a license to own a weapon
- A permit is required to carry a concealed handgun, issued by SLED after required training
- Licensed firearms dealers must perform background checks on customers before a gun can be sold to them
The background check waiting period is three days. That gives officials time to determine if a person has any criminal charges, documented substance abuse or mental illness issues that would bar them from owning a firearm.
That brings us to what is known as the 'Charleston Loophole.'
A clerical error allowed the convicted Charleston church shooter to legally buy the handgun used in that June 2015 shooting. Many argued that if the waiting period on background checks were longer, a charge on Dylann Roof's record would have been identified and stopped him from buying a gun.
Roof was flagged by the system, but the gun dealer was able to sell him the firearm because the purchase wasn't denied by the end of that three-day waiting period.
Earlier this year, South Carolina lawmakers looked to extend the waiting period by changing state law, but those efforts stalled.
At this point, it isn't clear if there will re a renewed focus on gun issues when state lawmakers return to the State House in January.