Because the next president will be appointing a Supreme Court justice to fill the vacancy created by the death of Antonin Scalia, the nominee’s vote will certainly tip the balance one way or the other. In all likelihood, either current gun ownership rights will remain, or access to firearms will be restricted as a means of curbing gun violence.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton believes she has that prescription for America. This time around, we’re going to take a facts-only look at her nine-point plan to address the gun issue.
1. Comprehensive background checks.
Hillary Clinton argues that as many as 40% of all gun purchases in the U.S. are done without a criminal background check being performed on the buyer. And since the Brady Bill was signed into law by her husband Bill Clinton in 1993, more than 2.4 million prohibited gun purchases have been blocked.
Putting those two data points together, Clinton calls for an expansion of the background check program, a move she says is supported by 90% of the U.S. population. The Pew Research Center largely backs up her claim for widespread support, finding that even three quarters of supporters of Republican nominee Donald Trump endorse further criminal investigations, though the policy institute pegs total support slightly lower, at 83%.
2. Close the Charleston loophole.
Under federal law, licensed gun dealers can transfer a firearm to an individual after three days even if the criminal background check hasn’t been completed. Dylan Roof, who killed nine people in a South Carolina church, had ostensibly obtained his weapon under such circumstances.