That’s how the South Carolina shooter was able to obtain his gun. Contrary to the way the story is being reported, the FBI didn’t screw up. The system was set up with a loophole that the shooter was able to exploit.
Here’s what happened. The shooter went to buy the gun on a Saturday (April 11th). According to South Carolina law, if you go to a legal gun dealer and they instigate a background check (as they’re legally required to do), you get a gun in three days unless the FBI comes up with a felony that would prevent you from getting one. Three days. You must get your gun in three days, whether the FBI has released you to get a gun or not. In other words, if they don’t have all of the information they need, and don’t explicitly tell the dealer that the applicant isn’t allowed to purchase a gun, the applicant gets the gun. An incomplete background check means that an applicant gets their gun. The FBI never explicitly told the dealer to release the gun to the shooter, so the dealer was perfectly in his legal (not so much moral) right to make a dollar and sell the gun. The dealer doesn’t have to sell the gun, but can if they want. This gun dealer is a giant piece of ammosexual crap. Big gun dealers like WalMart won’t sell the gun until the background check process is complete.
What type of person has to get a gun in three days? The paranoid, or the crazy who intend to kill a lot of people. That’s who. Normal people can wait 30 days.
Because the shooter triggered the background check on a Saturday, the FBI effectively had one business day to determine if he was a felon. The FBI were able to determine, within the three day waiting period, that the shooter had been arrested on a felony drug charge this year but an arrest isn’t enough (under federal gun laws) to prevent someone from getting a gun. The arrest prompted the FBI to reach out to the the county where he was arrested, but didn’t get a reply from that court house before the three days were up. They didn’t get the information that the shooter had plead guilty to felony drug possession in time.
When the law says that “we haven’t completed the background check” means “go ahead and release the gun”, that’s not a bug. That’s a feature. A clean record comes back quickly. “No arrests” can be determined in minutes. So anytime the FBI can’t beat the three day clock, it’s always because there’s something that warrants obtaining further information. And that’s precisely when a rational system of gun laws would slow the process down.
But not in Ammosexamerica. In America, “we can’t give you the thumbs up to sell a gun” means “sell the gun”. That is batshit crazy.
Don’t let anyone tell you that this instance of the South Carolina shooter obtaining a gun was just a fuck up, and that the laws don’t need to be changed. That’s just pure bullshit. But I’m sure that felons all over South Carolina are delighted to hear that some people think the current system is just swell. Do you think some of them don’t now know how to beat the system?