November 30, 2022

AND ANOTHER: How the St. Louis school shooter got around the FBI block to buy assault rifle

AND ANOTHER: How the St. Louis school shooter got around the FBI block to buy assault rifle

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The suspect in Central Visual and Performing Arts school shooting in St. Louis on Monday purchased the gun used in the massacre from a private seller after being stopped by an FBI background check.

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A spokesman for the St. Louis Police Department said in a statement, “An FBI background check successfully blocked him from buying the gun from the dealer on Oct. 8.”

Just a week later, authorities were called to the suspect’s home after his mother discovered the firearm. Responding to a domestic disturbance at the residence, the officers didn’t remove the assault weapon – later identified as the weapon used in the killings.

According to KSDK-NBC 5:

“Officers responded and determined at that time the suspect was lawfully permitted to possess the firearm,” a statement from police said Wednesday night. “A third-party known to the family was contacted and took possession of the firearm so that it would no longer be stored in the home.”

In June, the bipartisan Safer Communities Act was signed into law. The gun safety legislation – co-sponsored by Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) – aimed to strengthen gun control efforts.

Heightened background checks for those under 21 looking to purchase a firearm and required private sellers to do background checks.  However, in 2021, Missouri’s Republican Governor Mike Parson signed the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which prohibits the enforcement of federal gun laws.

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Law enforcement agencies found violating Missouri’s statute face fines of up to $50,000 per offending officer.

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St. Louis PD stood its ground. Without red flag laws, the department maintains its hands were tied.

“The State of Missouri does not have a red flag law,” the Thursday statement said. “That means St. Louis Police department officers did not have clear authority to temporarily seize the rifle when they responded to the suspect’s home when called by the suspect’s mother on 10/15/22.”

The shooting took the lives of a 16-year-old Alexzandria Bell, 61-year-old teacher Jean Kuczka, and wounded seven others. The 19-year-old suspect had six hundred rounds of ammunition.

Original reporting by Sam Clancy at KSDK NBC 5.

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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