On June 15, the ATF confirmed that the Alexandria attacker bought his guns from a Federal Firearms License holders (FFLs), which means he had to pass a background check before taking possession of the firearms.
This puts the Alexandria attacker in company with the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007), Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011), the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012), the DC Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013), the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015), the Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015), and the Orlando Pulse attacker (June 12, 2016), all of whom passed a background check to acquire the guns they used in their crimes.
According to Roll Call, Alexandria Police, Capitol Police, the FBI, and the ATF released a joint statement, which said, “ATF has conducted traces on these weapons and has determined that both were purchased by the shooter from federal firearms licensees.”
On June 14, The Charlotte Observer reported that the Alexandria attacker also had a Firearms Owners ID (FOID) card in Illinois. An in-depth background check is part of the process for securing a FOID card.
Following the Alexandria attack, Breitbart News reported:
Background checks do not stop latent criminals. They only stop actual ones. And this is why people who have a desire to commit heinous crimes — but have not yet committed such crimes — can legally walk into a gun store, pass a background check, and get a gun.
This is why the same individual can pass another background to get a carry permit [or a FOID card]. The simple truth is that background checks look backward. They discover crimes committed, and where no past crimes exist, they are powerless to predict who could be holding criminal intentions.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.