A new Wall Street Journal report disputes CNN’s claim that the recent Odessa, Texas assailant purchased his weapon in a private sale, claiming that law enforcement officials have indicated the weapon was sold by an illegal manufacturer.
“Law enforcement officials said they have identified a person of interest they suspect of illegally manufacturing and selling the rifle used in Saturday’s mass shooting in West Texas,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “While private gun sales are legal under federal law, it is a crime to be in the business of manufacturing or selling guns without a license. Law-enforcement officials suspect the man was buying various gun parts to build his own guns and then reselling them.”
CNN’s Josh Campbell, former assistant to disgraced former FBI Director James Comey, reported that the assailant had purchased the weapon in a “private sale.”
CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted the claim, writing: “A law enforcement official tells CNN’s @joshscampbell that the Odessa TX mass murderer purchased his weapon in a private sale — which does not require a background check.”
The Journal noted that the 36-year-old assailant “was prohibited under federal law from owning a firearm because a court had previously found him mentally unfit, law-enforcement officials previously said. He had tried to buy a gun in January 2014 but failed because a nationwide criminal-background-check system flagged the mental-health determination by a local court and prevented the purchase, according to the officials.”
“Of course, the CNN coverage was highly misleading, deserving, at least, a clarification,” The Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi tweeted. “And honestly, I’m not sure why this WSJ piece keeps harping on the words ‘private sale,’ when it was an illegal sale from every angle.”
Dana Loesch commented: “Illegal private sale — criminal act NOT loophole!”
Washington Free Beacon Second Amendment-centric reporter Stephen Gutowski noted some of the gray areas in the law that apply to this case, but clarified that “what the guy in the WSJ story is accused of doing is blatantly illegal.”