NYT Excuses FBI’s ‘Mistake’ in Dylann Roof’s Gun Background Check

By AWR Hawkins

Dylann Roof
Dylann Roof
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -(Ammoland.com)- On June 10 2105, USA Today quoted FBI director James Comey saying an FBI “mistake” allowed Dylann Roof to pass a background check for the .45 caliber handgun he allegedly used to attack innocents at Charleston’s Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

The New York Times excused this “mistake,” positing instead that Roof passed the background check because of a system “flaw.”

The best case scenario for gun control proponents would have been that Roof did not even bother with a background check; that he instead bought the firearm at a gun show or from a crazy friend or that, as many gun control advocates posited immediately after the shooting, he was given the gun by his father. But the reality is that Roof bought the gun by passing the same background check that Gabby Giffords’ attacker passed, which is the same check that Santa Barbara gunman Elliot Rodger and Aurora theater shooting suspect James Holmes passed. It is the same background check that 2009 Fort Hood gunman Nidal Hasan and 2014 Fort Hood gunman Ivan Lopez passed.

Consider the fact that Director Comey was very clear when he said the FBI reviewer conducting the background check looked into files for the wrong police department: the reviewer examined Lexington County, SC Sheriff’s Department records rather than Columbia Police Department records. In Lexington County, Roof had a pending drug charge that was not sufficient to bar gun ownership or possession; in the Columbia Police records, he had a felony charge that would have barred him from purchasing a gun as soon as the reviewer saw it.

Comey said the failure to look at the right police records “was the primary error in a series of failures that allowed Roof to acquire the weapon used in the attack.” Comey acknowledged the “mistake,” saying it was made in “a matter of heartbreaking importance.”

Now, here is how the NYT reported it.

The man accused of killing nine people in a historically black church in South Carolina last month should not have been able to buy the gun he used in the attack, the FBI said Friday, in what was the latest acknowledgment of flaws in the national background check system.

…the F.B.I. failed to gain access to a police report in which he admitted to having been in possession of a controlled substance, which would have disqualified him from purchasing the weapon. The F.B.I. said that confusion about where the arrest had occurred had prevented it from acquiring the arrest record in a timely fashion.

The NYT report makes is sound like the FBI was hindered by a “flaw” in the background check system instead of the “mistake” described by Comey.

Ironically, the “flaw” claim then provides the perfect opportunity for the NYT to suggest more changes to background checks–which they do implicitly with their final paragraph, by suggesting a time background checks needed improvement in the past:

After a 2007 shooting in which 33 people died at Virginia Tech University, investigators discovered that the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, also should not have been able to buy a gun because a court had previously declared him to be a danger to himself. The shooting led to legislation aimed at improving the background check system.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins.

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dachu3
dachu3
5 years ago

Even if he was prohibited to buy a gun via official means, he would had gotten his hands on one on the black market anyway.
The only way to stop a crazy on SSRI pills is to have good folks with a firearm.

Infidel7.62
Infidel7.62
5 years ago

Just an excuse to stem the tide of states removing waiting periods and a not-so-veiled attempt to get the Peoples Republic of New Jersey’s three (3) month waiting period (for each and every handgun purchase) nationwide.

Michael Ring
Michael Ring
5 years ago

Nice try at spin by the FBI. Roof had the possession charge in Lexington county. Roof only had a trespassing charge in Columbia. SC records are online and easy to find. A simple call to the Clerk of Courts office would have gotten the FBI the information they wanted. The problem is that there isn’t a problem to find. Roof wasn’t a prohibited person when he bought the gun. Since the FBI is required to complete the background check even after the 3 days lapse and notify the gun shop of the authorization, Roof’s 4473 and the investigator’s notes need… Read more »

Adam
Adam
5 years ago
Reply to  Michael Ring

If the FBI were truly trying to spin this, they wouldn’t admit a mistake on their part – they’d either blame the local authorities for the delay somehow or claim the records weren’t entered into the system at the time.

The NYT article shows the expected liberal spin by claiming it’s a flaw in the system that should be fixed somehow and not an isolated mistake by the FBI’s staff. What’s left unsaid is that once the records were uncovered to justify denying the sale, the ATF was then supposed to track the buyer down and repossess the firearm.

Infidel7.62
Infidel7.62
5 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Good luck getting the ATF to do anything about one (1) gun. Just before the instant check I had a call regarding a stolen handgun. The “victim” gave me his copy of the PA check form that had the serial number on it. I knew the individual had a prior conviction for drug dealing. I returned to the house and ran a records check to confirm the conviction, then got a copy of the dealer’s records. I sent the paperwork to the ATF, they replied I should prosecute under local laws as it was only one (1) gun. Not enough… Read more »

Michael Ring
Michael Ring
5 years ago
Reply to  Adam

With this administration I can see them sending out the FBI director to create a new gun “issue.” The real truth will be on the 4473 form. It’s either going to have an approval for sale on it or the grounds for the denial.