On August 26 Democrat presidential hopeful Martin O’Malley pledged to push for “mandatory background checks” in reaction to the Virginia shootings, unaware that gunman Vester Lee Flanagan passed a background check for his pistol.
According to Bloomberg Politics, O’Malley made clear he had not seen all the footage related to the shooting of Alison Parker and Adam Ward, but his goal was to press “sensible gun safety legislation,” the “most important” part of which are “background checks.” He also voiced support for an “assault weapons” ban, suggesting that “combat weapons should not be available for sale and use on the streets of our neighborhoods and our cities and towns.”
O’Mally’s calls for more gun control–background checks in particular–were echoed by Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D), who called for background check legislation while the police pursuit of Flanagan was still ongoing Wednesday morning.
On Wednesday night Breitbart News reported that ATF spokesman Thomas Faison confirmed Flanagan bought his gun “legally,” which means he passed a background check to get it. Flanagan had already indicated as much in the manifesto he left behind, wherein he talked of putting money down on a gun on June 19. That language was indicative of a lay-away purchase at a gun store.
O’Malley claims the NRA “is afraid of him” and says he wears their fear as a “badge of honor.”
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