Law Enforcement: Synagogue Attacker ‘Legally Owned His Guns’

Tree of Life synagogue (Brendan Smialowski / Getty)
Brendan Smialowski / Getty

A law enforcement official says Tree of Life Synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers “legally owned his guns.”

On Saturday CNN reported that Bowers had a “license to carry a firearm.” Breitbart News reported that acquiring a carry permit requires a background check, which would mean Bowers would be able to legally purchase firearms.

On Sunday a law enforcement official told the Associated Press that Bowers “legally owned his guns.” This means he was not a prohibited possessor and would have no problem passing a point-of-sale background check for a firearm purchase.

Background checks are a go-to gun control for the Democrat Party and its surrogates, even though such checks are already a demonstrable failure. The checks look backward, at a would-be gun purchaser’s history. If the would-be purchaser has no criminal history then there is nothing to prevent the sale. For this reason, latent criminals–individuals who desire to evil but yet to commit to a crime–have no trouble acquiring guns for their crime via background checks.

Here is a partial list of high profile public attackers who acquired their guns via background checks:

  • Parkland high school attacker (February 14, 2018)
  • Texas church attacker (November 5, 2017)
  • Las Vegas attacker (October 1, 2017)
  • the Alexandria attacker (June 14, 2017))
  • Orlando attacker (June 12, 2016)
  • the UCLA gunman (June 1, 2016))
  • the San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015)
  • the Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015)
  • the Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015)
  • Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015)
  • the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015)
  • the Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015)
  • the alleged Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015)
  • the Muhammad Carton Contest attackers (May 3, 2014)
  • the Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015)
  • the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014)
  • the Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014)
  • the Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013)
  • the D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013)
  • the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012)
  • Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
  • the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
  • the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007), and many others.

The list of attackers who acquired their guns via background checks demonstrates the futility of looking at such checks as a way to stop violent attackers.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at



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