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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.

 

 

Daniel O’Kelly – ATF Yesterday, Today, & Tomorrow

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Part 2 of 2.     Click here if you missed Part 1.

 Daniel O’Kelly spent 23 years as an Agent and Supervisor in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Proof of his rich expertise is he was selected as one of the writers of the new and improved ATF Curriculum still in use today.

 

Ares Armor Inc.: How do the employees of the ATF view firearms, and the people who carry or own guns?

Dan O’Kelly: “Great question. The truth is you might be surprised. There is a good percentage of ATF people who are pro-gun rights. I know many who are gun collectors, and even some who are NRA members. A large percentage of Agents are former cops, and to my experience they are generally in favor of private gun ownership.”

On the other hand, there are those who are anti-gun, and who equate gun ownership with crime. Since ATF is the federal “gun police” agency, it gets a lot of pressure from Capitol Hill and the White House to make rulings and regulations which restrict firearms. For many of those near the top, they have no choice but to support that agenda or sabotage their career. And in many cases, that agenda flows downhill.

It was always easy to tell who was anti-gun. Those in ATF who are gun-knowledgeable and pro-gun are commonly referred to by their anti-gun co-workers as a ‘Gunstroke.’ That term was used with varying degrees of malice to indicate you’re one of those weirdos who ‘likes to stroke guns’. That of course was all forgotten about when one of the anti-gunners needed you to identify something for them about which they had no clue.

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Photo: BATFE Headquarters. Washington, D.C.

Ares Armor Inc.: How do you think the public should view the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives?

Dan O’Kelly: “People obviously have the right to think what they want. But let me supply some ammo here for taking an informed position. Some gun owners and dealers have a steamy hatred for the ATF. If you ask them why, it’s because of something they read or heard which supposedly happened to someone else. And, just like there are pro-gun citizens who don’t believe there should be any limits on guns, there are those in ATF who don’t believe in any gun rights. No one can deny there have been occasional abuses, but that is not something limited to just that agency. As a staunch gun rights advocate, I personally know hundreds of great people among ATF’s ranks.

A great many firearms dealers will tell you they haven’t been inspected by ATF in years, if ever, and if so, they’ve had no issues during their encounters. After I retired from ATF, I spent two years working for the corporate office of the largest firearm retailer in the world. That company, which sells a half-million firearms a year, has a great relationship with ATF.

If you read these accounts objectively, many of the people who hate ATF are angry about something the law will not allow them to manufacture or own. The law which prevents what they want wasn’t written by ATF. Just like the cop didn’t install the traffic light you just ran, although he’s writing you the ticket.

I’ll agree that ATF has contradicted themselves on several issues, and has made some rulings which do not stand up to logic, and we at the IFSA have gone on the record in Federal Court to point out some of those contradictions in an effort to get ATF to correct them. However, ATF has also ruled on several things which many gun owners seem surprisingly pleased about, such as exploding targets, “80% receiver blanks” possessed with completion jigs, the so-called “solvent traps”, etc…

When you see inside the gun industry, and talk with the people from the companies who manufacture firearms, and others like Ares Armor which make upper receivers, lower receivers, and other related products, most of them would tell us they have no real problem with the ATF. They understand it is just a matter of people doing their jobs. They acknowledge there has to be someone enforcing the gun laws.

You need to understand…

It is the leadership at ATF Headquarters who constantly gets contacted by Capitol Hill and the White House. It is those in power in Washington D.C. who are not gun-friendly. President Clinton and even more so, President Obama have proven themselves to be anything but gun-friendly. There is always some new anti-gun initiative coming along.

The ATF is not in a position to argue with the President or Congress. They must do what they are told. Unfortunately, the ATF are the ones who get hated most for it when it’s not even them who is thinking up these anti-gun legislations.

I’ve said it many times before, the ATF people are so busy in their jobs, they don’t possibly have time to dream up new anti-gun laws.”

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Photo: Surveillance video of Dylann Roof entering church. Released by Charleston, SC Police.

 

Ares Armor Inc.: Final question, after the recent Dylann Roof church shootings in Charleston, we knew President Obama would seize the moment for advancing his anti-gun legacy. But now, other politicians who seemed to have been equipped with silencers, are acting like it’s safe to come out again and talk up the need for more gun control. What do you see happening here as it pertains to the ATF?

Daniel O’Kelly: “I’d ask them what it is that they want to prevent, which is not already illegal?

Like always, the President will use the ATF as a political tool for his anti-gun agenda. This kid’s act of shooting up a church is deplorable in itself, but like every mass shooting, it serves to further hinder the rights of the law abiding. Anti-gunners use tragedy as a new angle to do what they have wanted to do all along.

I expect them to try another gun grab as before. And of course they will tell the ATF what to do.

Anti-gunners betray their own foolishness by trying to legislate compliance. Have you seen the businesses with a “No Guns Allowed” sign on the door? Hilarious. Now the people who comply with rules will be unarmed. The fool inside who placed the sign is now even more vulnerable. The person who complies with rules is not the problem.

Let me close wrap up with a personal favorite…

In joining the ATF, during my panel interview with 3 senior officials, one of questions they asked me was, ‘What do you think of gun control?’ I said, ‘Sir, if you can prove to me you’ve gotten all of the other guns, then I will give you mine. But, that ship sailed 200 years ago.’ Surprisingly, they later told me that realistic answer was one of the reasons I was hired.

There are an estimated 290 million guns in the U.S. Let’s say for illustration that they are all outlawed, and as many as 95% have been turned in or confiscated. I don’t believe that you could ever get to that high a percentage point, but even if you did, you would still have over 14 million guns in circulation. But now, 95% of the American population is unarmed and defenseless against the people who don’t care what the laws say and who didn’t turn in theirs. Therefore, gun control is not even a realistic concept anymore from where I sit. You either bear Arms, or are vulnerable to those who do.”

 

Ares Armor Inc.: Agreed. Well said Sir. Thank you. To learn more about Daniel O’Kelly’s  International Firearm Specialist Academy, visit http://www.GunLearn.com.

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