On Friday, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) told supporters that "sensible gun legislation" is necessary in the wake of the Aurora, Illinois shooting.
"It is time to do something about, by the way, after the tragedy in what we saw happen in Aurora, Illinois yesterday. It is time to put sensible gun legislation in place..." Klobuchar said. "I actually sat across from the president at that meeting, because I have a bill, a bipartisan bill, involving domestic violence ... I counted nine times he said he was for universal background checks."
The NRA hit back in a series of tweets:
Here’s the full eight-part thread:
For all those exploiting the tragedy in #Illinois and insisting that expanding a broken and ineffective background check system will prevent criminals from accessing guns. Please consider the #facts.
In 1995, the shooter was convicted of a felony prohibiting him from owning a firearm. #facts
In January of 2014, the prohibited shooter was issued a firearms license (Firearm Owner’s Identification Card – FOID) by the state of #Illinois. #facts
On March 6, 2014, the shooter applied to purchase a handgun from a local gun dealer in Aurora and PASSED a background check. On March 11, 2014, after waiting the 72 hours required by #Illinois, the shooter took possession of the handgun. #facts
On March 16, 2014, the shooter applied for a concealed carry permit. He was rejected because of his prior felony conviction and the state revoked his FOID card. #facts
The authorities did not retrieve the firearm, nor did they arrest him for the multiple felonies he committed when purchasing the firearm. #facts
Five years later on February 15, 2019, he committed a mass shooting, and within minutes, the gun control lobby was citing the shooting as evidence that we must pass "universal" background checks and other "sensible" gun control. #facts
Illinois already has "universal" background checks, gun licensing, and many other restrictive gun control laws. How is this case an example of why we need "universal" background checks (or any other restrictive gun control laws for that matter)? #facts
On Thursday, a man killed five of his co-workers at Henry Pratt Company after being informed that he was being let go. The suspect, who used a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun, later injured five police officers who responded to the scene. Police eventually cornered the suspect, and after a brief exchange of gunfire, he was killed.
As The Daily Wire previously reported, the suspect wasn’t supposed to be in possession of a firearm, according to Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman.
As to why the suspect was able to purchase a gun before having his Firearm Owners Identification (FOID) card revoked, Ziman stated: "It should be noted that this conviction would not necessarily have shown up on a criminal background check conducted for a FOID card."
When asked why the suspect didn’t give up his firearm after his FOID card was revoked, Ziman stated:
That's what we are determining right now as part of our investigation ... absolutely he was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm. ... After a FOID card revocation, the subject is provided a letter stating that they need to relinquish their firearms, and we're looking into why that did not happen.
According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) website: "A person who has been convicted in any court of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year or any state offense classified by the state as a misdemeanor and is punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than two years" would be ineligible to receive a firearm.
The suspect was convicted of aggravated assault in 1995 after allegedly beating and stabbing his girlfriend. He was "sentenced to five years in prison," reports the Chicago Tribune. Such a crime seems to fall under the NICS mandate regarding an individual to whom a firearm should not be sold.
However, when the publication spoke with Mark Jones, senior policy adviser for the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, he suggested that the suspect may have lied on his FOID background check, or that "they just missed it."
As for the suspect relinquishing his firearm, Jones said that the law relies on a sort of "honor system," adding that "there’s no reasonable expectation that the cops are going to show up at your door."
This is an ongoing investigation, and The Daily Wire reached out to multiple sources for further information, including the Aurora Police Department, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, and the NRA. However, as of publication, only one of the institutions has returned contact.
Lt. Joseph Hutchins, chief public information officer for the Illinois State Police, responded to questions regarding the FOID revocation process and illegal firearm retrieval, saying: "Working on these questions and many more. Will respond with answers hopefully soon."
Here are the questions to which we still have no answers:
- Where did the suspect purchase his fiream in 2014, and did that store run a viable background check?
- How did the suspect pass the background check that allowed him to purchase a handgun?
- Did the suspect receive a letter ordering him to relinquish his firearm following his FOID card revocation?
- When the suspect didn’t relinquish his firearm, did local or state police attempt to retrieve it?
- Is there any legislation that would have prevented the suspect from acquiring a firearm, or was this an issue relating to lax enforcement of already existing policy?
- Would any proposed legislation (not already on the books) have prevented the suspect from purchasing a firearm?