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ATF Confirms Virginia Gunman Vester Flanagan Bought His Firearm ‘Legally’


On August 26 Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) spokesman Thomas Faison confirmed that Virginia gunman Vester Lee Flanagan bought his gun “weeks ago” and that “he apparently passed a background check” to get the gun.

The gun was a Glock 19 9mm.


According to ABC News, Faison said Flanagan bough the gun “legally.” And BuzzFeed reports that Faison said the ATF had recovered the weapon today.

News that Flanagan bought his gun at a store squares with what Flanagan wrote in his manifesto, where he indicated that he “put down a deposit for a gun on 6/19/15.” That was two days after the heinous attack on the church-goers in Charleston, and The Telegraph reports that Flanagan said that very attack pushed him over the edge.

Confirmation that Flanagan passed a background check means he joins numerous other attackers and alleged attackers who have passed background checks for their guns. These include John Russell Houser  (Lafayette), Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez (Chattanooga), Dylann Roof (Charleston), Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi (Garland), Jared and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barabara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), Paul Ciancia (LAX), Andrew John Engeldinger (Minneapolis), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), Tennis Melvin Maynard (West Virginia), Wade Michael Page (Sikh Temple), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Jared Loughner (Tucson), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), Jiverly Wong (Binghamton), Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), Naveed Haq (Seattle), and Mark Barton (Atlanta).

The fact that Flanagan passed a background also calls into question Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D) call for background check legislation earlier today. He called for that legislation while the police pursuit of Flanagan was still underway.

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