Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white man accused of killing nine people in a Charleston, S.C. church, shouldn’t have been allowed to purchase the gun he used in the crime. According to the FBI, Roof was able to slip past a criminal background check due to a loophole in the system and obtained the .45-caliber handgun.
The New York Times reports that the FBI came forward and admitted that its National Instant Criminal Background Check System failed to prevent Roof from buying the gun from a South Carolina arms dealer. It was previously reported that according to Roof’s uncle, his father purchased the gun for his son. However, the Times is writing that Roof purchased the gun after he was initially marked as a red flag case prior to receiving it.
From the Times:
Mr. Roof first tried to buy the gun on April 11, from a dealer in South Carolina. The F.B.I., which conducts background checks for gun sales, told the dealer not to proceed with the purchase because agents needed to do more investigating about Mr. Roof’s s criminal history.
Under federal law, the F.B.I. has three days to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to deny the purchase. If the bureau cannot come up with an answer, the purchaser can return to the dealer and buy the gun.
In the case of Mr. Roof, his application was not resolved in three days and he returned to store and was sold the gun. The F.B.I. said the delay was the product of a breakdown in communication between federal agents and local authorities in South Carolina.
A Washington Post report from June explained how Roof was arrested and charged for narcotic drug possession back in February of this year, which would have made it impossible for him to buy a gun in the first place. How the story is being framed now is that Roof did indeed purchase the gun himself.
FBI Director James Comey expressed his disappointment regarding Roof and the background check slip-up.
Photo: SC Police