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Lawmakers are Supporting a Waiting Period for Firearm Purchase

S. Baxter Clinton

A bill on firearm sale waiting period has made it through the House of Representatives and through the Senate with a vote of 23-18

Senator Joseph Cervantes, a co-sponsor of House Bill 129, presented it to the Chamber.

“This is a piece of legislation that we have all heard much about, it's seen much in committees and the press. This bill would allow us to join those states in the country which have a waiting period between the purchase of a firearm and the delivery of the firearm. This would now with amendments in the senate judiciary committee, as well as those in the house, would take the waiting period for 7 days.

The bill outlines that the sale of a firearm before the end of this waiting period or before the completion of the background check is defined as an unlawful act and lists the penalties for violations.

The bill requires sellers to keep firearm sales records and make them available for law enforcement inspection upon request.

Senator Cliff R. Pirtle questioned the length of the waiting period.

“I think I've stood up and debated less contiguous things just to slow us down a bit, so I wouldn't let this one slide by so quickly. I have a question, this bill started at a fortnight and then it went to 7 days on the house floor, can someone explain to me the debate.”

Senator Cervantes said that this was a constitutional duration to start with.

“One state, Hawaii, had a 14 day wait period that had not been successfully challenged as unconstitutional and it seemed like a good place to begin.”

As the bill stands it would require a 7 day waiting period.

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.