The man who killed nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, did not receive his handgun from his father but from a legitimate firearms dealer after being subjected to a background check, according to a report from CNN.
Previous reports from other news agencies said the shooter, Dylann Roof, had been given the firearm used in the shooting Wednesday from his father as a birthday gift. Law enforcement officials, however, told CNN he had purchased the .45 caliber Glock at a local gun shop. An acquaintance of the shooter made a similar statement to the Associate Press, saying Roof used money from his 21st Birthday to make the purchase.
If CNN’s reports are accurate, the shooter passed the exact same background check that gun-control advocates hope to see applied to all firearm transfers – including gifts, family heirlooms, and private sales.
According to CNN, law enforcement officials have verified that Roof bought the .45 caliber handgun last April at a Charleston area gun store, despite having previously been arrested and charged with felony drug possession.
Federal gun laws prohibit individuals with pending felony charges from obtaining firearms, but a local gun store owner told the local news station WYFF that pending charges “don’t always show up on background checks.”
Public Information Officer Charles Francis told other news outlets that officials would “not discuss that aspect of the investigation.”
If CNN is correct, and Roof managed to purchase his firearm legally, it further undermines the claim that increased gun control would have prevented the massacre.
If Roof obtained his gun as a birthday gift from his father – as initially reported by other outlets – both men could face charges for violating federal laws that prohibit transferring a firearm to an individual with certain criminal charges.
One thing is for certain, Dylann Roof didn’t seem hesitant about violating any of the other laws that applied to him when he decided to slaughter nine people at a church in Charleston.
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