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Tagged: background checks

Dylann Roof Drug Arrest Hidden by Jail Clerical Error

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Authorities now understand how Dylann Roof got a gun through the current background check system. They discovered it started with an error made by an unidentified jail clerk. What we may never understand is why Roof allegedly used the gun as he did in the shootings in a Charleston church two months later.

Jay Koon is the Sheriff of Lexington County, South Carolina. He told the Associated Press his jail uncovered a mistake made during the entering of information regarding the Dylann Roof drug arrest. It could have had the upper hand two days later when it was realized. However, the corrected change was not made in the South Carolina State Police database of arrest records. This led the woman doing the FBI examination of Roof’s gun purchase to call the wrong agency.

Here is what happened.

The FBI examiner could tell there was a Dylann Roof arrest record. However, she couldn’t locate the documents in time. If the background check on him couldn’t deliver an approval or denial within three days, the sale of the .45 caliber handgun to him was allowed to go through legally.

The South Carolina State Police criminal records database originally had Roof’s drug charge categorized as a felony. It also had the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office as the arresting agency. The correct charge is a misdemeanor. Dylann Roof was arrested by the Columbia, South Carolina Police Department.

When the FBI examiner contacted Sheriff Koon’s deputies in Lexington County, they told her Columbia police made the arrest. The FBI examiner also faxed a request for more information to Lexington County prosecutors. However, it is believed the fax never got answered.

She called the police in West Columbia where Dylann Roof bought the gun, and found nothing. This was because only a very small piece of Columbia is in Lexington County. Most of the city sits in neighboring Richland County.

Had the accurate information of the Dylann Roof drug arrest been found in time, he would not have been allowed to purchase a firearm. Federal law prohibits a gun being sold to anyone who uses a controlled substance or is addicted.

Lexington County Sheriff Koon has promised changes which will flag discrepancies like the one exposed with the Dylann Roof drug arrest. For 2014, the FBI reported only about 2 percent of the 58,000 background checks done on an average day ended in not getting enough information to give an answer.

Dylann Roof Background Check Botched

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Right now the roof of the FBI has a big hole in it courtesy of Dylann Roof. FBI Director James Comey told reporters today, the troubled young man who killed nine innocent people in an Emanuel A.M.E. church Bible study in Charleston last month, should never have been allowed to legally purchase the firearm he used in the senseless shootings.

FBI Director Comey said of the Dylann Roof Background Check:

“We are all sick this happened. We wish we could turn back time.”

On April 11, 2015, Dylann Roof, newly 21-years old and of legal age, bought a .45-caliber handgun using money given to him for his birthday. Initially, the media swarmed all over the West Columbia, South Carolina gun shop where Roof went to buy the gun he used in what appears to be a racially motivated attack against African-Americans. The gun shop did nothing wrong. It was a legal transaction.

The FBI Chief said the issue was breakdowns discovered in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. He said that day if the Dylann Roof background check was in order, it should have flagged him. A series of errors were to blame.

The store was totally unaware Roof had admitted to a drug possession charge the previous month. Comey said this would and should have rendered Roof ineligible to obtain the firearm because he was an “unlawful user.”

Instead, the federal Dylann Roof background check only showed the March 1, 2015 arrest in Lexington, South Carolina. The rap sheet did not include Roof admitting guilt. The admission or a conviction of the charges would have prevented the sale of a firearm to Dylann Roof. The arrest on its own was not enough.

The next error was the National Instant Criminal Background Check System did not include any relevant geographical information. Thus, there was no way local law enforcement agencies could be contacted to inquire about the status of the drug possession charge.

In another serious costly error, the time limits in the system let Dylann Roof legally purchase a firearm. His application got marked “delayed pending.” Once three days went by without any update, the South Carolina gun shop did not circumvent or manipulate the system. It simply exercised its legal right to complete the sales transaction even though the background check was inconclusive.

Gun Sales Jump in June 2015

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History repeats itself. We know it. We’ve seen it. This is a pattern in America. It is one which seems to be especially true when it comes to the firearms industry, and even more specifically with gun sales.

The weather was hot across much of the United States last month. But the climate for activity with American purchasing firearms was even hotter, and higher than the expected forecasts.

Using certain statistics of gun sales collected last month, June 2015 was the busiest June on record. Personal background checks done for gun sales were 11% higher compared to the monthly numbers from last year.

In June 2015, the FBI reports it conducted almost 1.53 million NICS Firearm Background Checks. These are the ones required for all purchases of firearms done in stores. It does not take into account any sales of guns done at gun shows or privately between citizens.

There were 1,529,057 background checks performed in June 2015. That is a big jump of 146,082 over the previous year, and 247,706 more than the June of two years ago.

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The June 2015 jump may again be attributed to another case of history repeating itself. Gun sales in America can spike as a result of a mass shooting. Following the senseless Dylann Roof shootings of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, the cries for more gun control have also been heard loud and clear. However, it is also fair to point out, May 2015 also proved to be a record month.

The background check data began being collected in November 1998. Overall, it is a clear indication which shows how much Americans love guns, believe in guns, and want to own them for various reasons. In that span, year over year gun sales in the United States have climbed 13 times. The number of annual background checks has only declined three times. 2014 was one of those three years proved to be an exception.

So, congratulations for choosing to exercise your Second Amendment Rights. If you did just purchase a firearm last month, or are looking to do so this month, there is added safety in these numbers.

 

 

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