Hillary Clinton said the FBI needed “just one more day” to stop Dylann Roof from being able to purchase the handgun that he allegedly used to kill nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, last year. That’s false.
Comey said the NICS examiner responsible for processing the request did not see an incident report indicating that Roof had previously admitted to possessing drugs, which Comey said would have led to a denial.
To be clear, Roof had been arrested for possession of Suboxone, a Schedule III narcotic, according to the incident report. So it was actually a misdemeanor charge…
The misdemeanor charge alone would not have been grounds for a denial. However, federal law does prohibit selling a firearm to someone if they are “an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance.” And Comey said that Roof’s request would’ve been denied since he admitted to possessing drugs, although he didn’t admit to being an addict.
In any case, the denial didn’t happen because the NICS examiner didn’t see the incident report with that information. Comey said that the wrong arresting agency had been listed in Roof’s file. That led the examiner to contact the wrong police departments to get information on the status of the case against him. The mix-up wasn’t discovered until after the alleged shooting
Nothing here was a pre indicator for a mass murderer. Clearly, changing the time out period for NICS won’t help in any regard and expanding prohibitions on non-violent drug offenses would continue to do more harm than good.
This is a good example of how the NICS system is only as good as the data it if fed. We need to improve this system by using it properly.