Charleston shooter should have been prevented from buying a gun — Federal Bureau of Investigation director
FBI officials have been meeting with families of the massacre victims to explain the oversight that allowed the white supremacist to obtain a gun.
Mr. Roof had been arrested in late February at a Columbia shopping mall for possession of the controlled substance Suboxone, a drug commonly used to help addicts transition off of heroin. The arresting agency was listed erroneously on the rap sheet that the examiner reviewed.
Previous accounts alleged that Roof had received a gun as a birthday gift from his father, and was therefore not subject to the background check.
Comey said a failure by an Federal Bureau of Investigation examiner in the background check process allowed Dylann Roof’s request to slip through the system.
According to federal law, if the agency cannot provide sufficient evidence in those three days, the potential buyer can return to the gun dealer and buy the weapon – which is exactly what happened in Roof’s case.
That admission should have been enough to stop him from buying a weapon, Mr Comey said, but the offence was incorrectly added to Mr Roof’s record.
Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, condemned the errors. If the company does not report again to the retailer with a sure or no determination in three enterprise days, D.R. regulation permits a gun to be bought. That fact would have blocked him from buying the gun.
Roof posed in photographs with the flag and expressed negative views toward racial minorities.
As it stood, Roof was already free on bail in connection to recent arrests on drug and trespassing charges, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.
“The bottom line is clear”, Comey said. There wasn’t a Columbia Police Department.
The FBI’s confusion was further compounded by local geography. That list should have identified both counties as home to Columbia, Comey said.
The background check turned up the March 1 arrest in Lexington County for drugs, but did not reveal that Roof subsequently admitted to the charge. The prosecutor did not respond and the county sheriff’s office suggested she check with the Columbia police force.
It’s all just a lie to bolster the push for a new gun control law. The question of his drug charge was addressed right after the shootings. Look it up. It was a misdemeanor charge, not a felony, and wouldn’t have blocked the purchase. There were lots of news stories at the time about this. Here are two quotes from a June 23rd article on MSNBC: “Federal law prohibits the sale of a gun to anyone who is “under indictment for” a felony, but the drug charge Roof faces is a misdemeanor under South Carolina law.” “Current and former ATF officials say a single misdemeanor arrest for possession of a controlled substance would not be disqualifying.”
Remember that this is the director of the FBI saying this, not a career agent. He’s only a short-term political appointee who stands to gain a lot of points from his party for backing their play, even if it means making the FBI itself look bad, since he won’t be there more than one more year. When he moves on, the leaders of his party can reward him with something better if he plays ball now. And that’s what he’s doing.