Failed background check allowed Charleston shooter to purchase gun – FBI

The FBI stated that “heartbreaking” errors in a background check of Charleston shooter Dylann Roof allowed him to purchase a semi-computerized handgun. Roof used the weapon to kill 9 African-American individuals attending a church Bible examine final month.

“We are all sick this has happened,” FBI Director James Comey advised reporters on the company headquarters on Friday. “We wish we could turn back time, because from this vantage point, everything seems obvious. But we cannot.”

The issues started with a drug-associated arrest of Dylan Roof in South Carolina weeks earlier than the taking pictures, throughout which he admitted to possessing unlawful medicine. Under federal guidelines, that admission alone would have been sufficient to instantly disqualify Roof from an April gun purchase, in accordance to Comey.

According to CBS News, Roof used birthday cash from his father to purchase the firearm.

The FBI makes use of a database often called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to scrutinize individuals trying to purchase weapons. The Bureau has three enterprise days to reply to vendor’s request earlier than a sale can proceed. Comey stated that the sophisticated format of police jurisdictions in Columbia, South Carolina contributed to the errors, in accordance to ABC News.

The FBI examiner who evaluated Roof’s request to purchase a gun by no means noticed the arrest report as a result of the flawed arresting company was listed on the South Carolina felony historical past information that she reviewed. Comey stated that had the examiner seen the arrest report, Roof’s gun purchase would have been denied.

The West Virginia examiner did discover Roof’s arrest on a drug cost, however for some cause the arresting company listed was the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office, whereas the arresting company was truly the Columbia Police Department. She contacted the sheriff’s workplace and the county prosecutor’s workplace. The prosecutor didn’t reply and the county sheriff’s workplace steered she check with the Columbia police drive.

If the examiner had finished so, she would have seen an arrest report wherein Roof admitted having the drug Suboxone, which is used to deal with opiate habit. However, since she was unfamiliar with the realm, her record did not embrace the Columbia Police Department, and she or he contacted one other police division nearer to the gun vendor, one which had no report on Roof’s arrest.

Comey stated he had ordered an inner 30-day overview of what occurred, and that FBI officers could be assembly with the victims’ family members. The Justice Department has begun its personal investigation, in accordance to the Associated Press.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, condemned the errors.

“It’s disastrous that this bureaucratic mistake prevented existing laws from working and blocking an illegal gun sale,” Grassley advised the AP. “The facts undercut attempts to use the tragedy to enact unnecessary gun laws. The American people, and especially the victims’ families, deserve better.”