Santa Barbara gunman Elliot Rodger underwent background checks for all his guns, and law enforcement officials say those checks presented “no flags” that would have prompted further action. This means Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) failed Senate gun bill would not have stopped Rodger from getting his guns.
On May 25th Face the Nation’s Major Garrett indicated that Santa Barbara Sheriff Bill Brown said “there were no flags that would have prompted a check on the legally purchased weapons that Elliot Rodger had.”
On May 24 an unnamed “law enforcement official” told CNN that Rodger passed his background checks and said “nothing has been found in the gun trace to indicate that he shouldn’t have been qualified to buy a gun.”
This is crucial as proponents of gun control claim that expanding background checks will make Americans safer. However, the expanded background checks proposed last year by Congress would be the same background checks that gun purchasers undergo right now, only they would be done on every purchase, including private ones.
On November 4 Breitbart News reported that the background checks would change over time as more mental health information was available during the checks, but the change would be dependent on information sharing between agencies – state and federal – and a mechanism for sharing/accessing such information is not in place.
Moreover, even after such a mechanism is in place, persons with no recorded mental health issues or prior criminal record will still pass a background check.
This is why Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) hedged in his post-Santa Barbara calls for expanded background checks by admitting that “not every kind of gun violence is going to be prevented by laws out of Washington.”
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.