Federal gun laws didn't block shooter

Navy Yard shooting prompts new round of calls for action from lawmakers
Associated Press
Sep 17, 2013

The gunman in the mass shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, Aaron Alexis, had a history of violent outbursts, was at least twice accused of firing guns in anger and was in the early stages of treatment for serious mental problems, according to court records and U.S. law enforcement officials.

But Alexis apparently managed to exploit seams in the nation's patchwork of complicated gun laws designed to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people to buy a weapon. He was able to buy a shotgun in Virginia with out-of-state identification, even though that would have prevented him from buying a handgun.

It is illegal for gun dealers to sell handguns to such out-of-state buyers, but the Firearms Owners' Protection Act, passed by Congress in 1986, opened up interstate sales for shotguns and rifles. Virginia gun laws require only that an out-of-state buyer show valid identification, pass a background check and otherwise abide by state laws in order to buy a shotgun in the state. Alexis was never prosecuted for the two misdemeanors involving guns.

Alexis bought the shotgun at Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in Lorton, Va. on Sunday, according to a statement from the attorney for the gun range.

Michael Slocum said in an email that Alexis rented a rifle, bought bullets and used the range before buying the shotgun and 24 shells. Slocum said Alexis passed a federal background check.

Law enforcement officials visited the range Monday, reviewing the store's video and other records.

"What the 1986 Firearms Owners' Protection Act did was it made it more convenient for gun buyers," said Kristen Rand, the legislative director at the Violence Policy Center. "That's the road we've been on for a while: The convenience of gun owner always seems to trump the right of victims not to be shot."

Federal gun laws bar the mentally ill from legally buying guns from licensed dealers. But the law requires that someone be involuntarily committed to a mental health facility or declared mentally ill by a judge, and that information must be reported to the FBI in order to appear on a background checks. In the wake of the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, state authorities changed state laws to make it tougher for the mentally ill to buy guns there.

But like other recently accused mass shooters, Alexis was never declared mentally ill by a judge or committed to a hospital. He was being treated by the Veterans Administration as recently as August, according to two law enforcement officials, but the Navy had not declared him mentally unfit.

The Virginia Tech shooter, Seung Hi Cho, was declared mentally ill by a judge, but nobody ever reported it to federal authorities to get him included in the database of banned purchasers.

After the December massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, U.S. lawmakers pushed to overhaul gun laws. Among the proposals was a ban on military-style rifles, including the popular AR-15, and high-capacity ammunition magazines. There was also a plan to expand background checks to make sure anyone who wanted a gun got the approval of the federal government.

No legislation has moved forward in Congress, despite urgent pleas from the president, some lawmakers and victims' families.

President Barack Obama has made a few narrow administrative changes, but those are not likely to impact the kinds of guns most often found at crime scenes.

Asked Tuesday about whether the shooting would renew consideration of new gun laws, Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president hasn't stopped pushing for reform, was making executive changes to federal rules and reiterated his commitment to strengthening gun laws, including expanding background checks to sales online and at gun shows.

"He has not in the least hidden his displeasure and disappointment in Congress for its failure to pass legislation that's supported by 80 percent to 90 percent of the American people," Carney told reporters. "You could not define a case of Congress — or a minority in Congress, a minority in the Senate — taking its cues from a narrow special interest, better than this."

Monday's shooting prompted a new round of calls for action from lawmakers.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D.-W.Va., the author of a bill on background checks, both said they would like to see a vote on the background checks bill, but the votes aren't there for passage at this time.

Still, Reid said he hopes to get another gun control vote this year. "I don't want any more bad things to happen, you know. Something's going to have to get the attention of these characters who don't want any controls."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a leading advocate for tougher gun control in the Senate, said in a statement that the shooting "is one more event to add to the litany of massacres."

"Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life," she said.

Some congressional Democrats and family members of shooting victims planned to gather at the Capitol on Wednesday to renew their push for background check legislation. The trip, organized by the Newtown Action Alliance, was previously planned to mark the nine-month anniversary of the Connecticut school shooting.

For Obama, it was at least the seventh mass shooting of his presidency, and he mourned the victims while speaking at the White House on Monday.

"We are confronting yet another mass shooting, and today it happened on a military installation in our nation's capital," Obama said. "It's a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel. These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job protecting all of us. They're patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn't have expected here at home."

 

Comments

looking around

Gene, the problem is most of the guns used to commit crimes were at the onset purchased legally and possibly registered depending on the requirements in the state of acquisition. They then were either stolen from their lawful owners or the said owner either used the weapon in the commission of a crime, or enabled someone else to gain access to their guns to commit a crime. If you create a system of ownership that promotes responsibility on the part of the owner with legal circumstances as recourse against irresponsible gun owners, less legal guns would fall into the hands of those who would commit a crime. Simple as that, you are right they won't use a gun registered in their name to kill someone....they will use yours.

Sam

Where is Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and Eric Holder on this cold blooded killing, oops wrong agenda. Is Erie Holder looking into a hate crime or violation of civil rights on this one?

deertracker

Go to the edge of a very high cliff and take two steps forward and they will be right there!

arnmcrmn

more name calling...how adult like. More 3rd grade replies from deer and crew.

Sam

3rd grade, you insulted 3rd graders. Clearly from their constant posts throughout the day it doesn't interrupt a job.

4shizzle

arnmcrmn here's a name for you: DELUSIONAL.

No one has called you a name.
What names are you hearing inside that thick skull of yours ?

You wouldn't happen to be an undiagnosed paranoid would you?

Sam

Once again the typical far left rant when the facts are against them. Similar to the community organizer minus his teleprompter. The far left continues their envy and hate agenda.

The Big Dog's back

Oh and you right wingnuts are so professional in your responses.

Centauri

Are you a paid blogger Big Dog? I can find out. I am not a Republican from the far right.

What kind of job do you have?

I could find out. If you are poor and on assistance, that is OK with me.

If you refuse to answer then I will see fit to put the "tail on" you.

The Big Dog's back

centroid, I'll give you a pass on what you said. Only one.

Darwin's choice

Just for you Big Dog.....

New Presidential Seal.....

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The eagle has been replaced by this.....the Skunk..!!!

It's half black, half white and everything it does, stinks.

Obama Administration's take on an old biblical passage:
If you give a man hope of getting a job, he will vote Democrat for a year. If you give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone, free Internet, food stamps, section 8 housing, free contraceptives, ninety-nine weeks of unemployment, free health care and free medicine... He will vote Democrat the rest of his life and several more times after he's dead.

Sam

On the day of this tragedy, the community organizer gives a partisan speech instead of a leaders message.

looking around

Sam, you obviously didn't listen. The President addressed all issues, the ongoing tragedy while the investigation and police action was still underway and also issues on the agenda for the scheduled address. The world didn't stop turning.

Sam

looking around, obviously you missed the point, a competent commander in chief would never give a highly unrelated partisan speech while a tragedy of this type was unfolding on a military base..

4shizzle

Who the hell do you think you are ?

Centauri

"Who the hell do you think you are ?"

Centauri

Big Dog!

Tell me what is the TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LIE to me and I will come after you!!!!!!!!!!!!

4shizzle

Threats from somebody who spys on everybody using gov't records but doesn't want others or the gov't to spy on him.

Amazingly hypocritical.

Centauri

Too bad. Government records are public records.

Internet trolls and flamers are fair game.

Obama, Holder and NSA work for the US citizens. They need to be reminded.

Centauri

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...
"Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Thursday that the top secret court order for telephone records is a three-month renewal of an ongoing practice. She spoke to reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference."

Feinstein approves of this message. Give her a big smooch.

http://cdn.breitbart.com/mediase...

The Big Dog's back

Wackadoo.

Sam

That's the pot calling the kettle black.

4shizzle

Rubbish, Centauri

"Internet trolls and flamers are fair game."
.................. just because someone doesn't agree with you doesn't make them a troll or flamer.

You are a failure at being the judge and jury.

Darwins choice and contango are pinnacle examples of trolls and flamers.
You don't threaten them because they don't push back.

Searching and snooping on people is ok when YOU decide it's ok - when it serves YOUR pleasure , oh defender of the 4th amendment.

Great hypocrisy on your part.

Darwin's choice

Azzhat!

4shizzle

Hi , SHITfor-brains.

Centauri

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
Hitler Survivor Condemns Gun Control 'KEEP YOUR GUNS, BUY MORE GUNS' - Katie Worthman

Published on Feb 19, 2013

hitler worthman | Katie Worthman was born in Austria, and lived there for seven years under Hitlers brutal regime, and after world war II, she also lived three years under Soviet communist occupation. Needless to say, but Mrs. Worthman is someone who has an acute awareness of how media distorts things and tyranny comes to power. Mrs. Worthman, not only says that the media was wrong about how Hitler came to power, but she says that "In the beginning, Hitler didn't look like, or talk like a monster at all. He talked like an American politician."

She says that the story of Hitler overthrowing governments and people in order to come to power just simply isn't true, but rather the Austrian people elected Hitler with 98% of the vote at the ballot box. Mrs. Worthman then goes on to say that the Austrian people had guns, but the government began to say that they were dangerous, so they began to implement gun registration. Then she said this was followed by turning in their weapons to the police station in order to cut down on crime, and if citizens didn't... there would be capital punishment.

Mrs. Worthman says that the dictatorship, "didn't happen over night, but it took 5 years, gradually, little by little, to escalate to a dictatorship."

She then goes on to say that, "When the people fear the government, that's tyranny, but when the government fears the people, that's liberty."

As a Nazi survivor, what is her advice to us... "Keep your guns, keep your guns and buy more guns."

Centauri

http://abundanthope.net/pages/Tr...
This article is not intended to be anti-semitic. It's only purpose is to to bring attention to global issues effecting everyone, Jewish or non. It is also not the intent to place specific blame for any incident/s on persons of any faiths, groups or organizations. There are bad and good people in all faiths and in all people regardless of their heritages.

Centauri

http://fightingforliberty.ning.c...
Israeli Dual Citizen Dianne Feinstein Forced to Resign as Chairperson Because of Her Insider Trading/Treason

http://www.theguardian.com/world...
"Details of the intelligence-sharing agreement are laid out in a memorandum of understanding between the NSA and its Israeli counterpart that shows the US government handed over intercepted communications likely to contain phone calls and emails of American citizens. The agreement places no legally binding limits on the use of the data by the Israelis."

Centauri

http://www.viewzone.com/dualciti...
"Dual Citizenship -- Loyal to Whom?"

4shizzle

Looks like a demonizing campaign against her just because she wants tougher gun control.

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