The director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said he was “sick” because Dylann Roof should not have been able to legally buy a gun.
The FBI told the New York Times on Friday that “flawed background check system” allowed Roof to legally purchase a gun, prior to the shooting attack he is charged with carrying out at Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. on June 17 that killed nine people, including the pastor and state Senator Clementa Pinckney.
The reason Roof should not have been able to buy any gun legally is because the deranged psychopath previously admitted to drug possession, which should have prevented him from legally obtaining a firearm. But that loophole in the background check system allowed him to buy a .45-caliber handgun. The system the FBI is referring to is the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), run by the FBI.
We are all sick this happened,” FBI director James Comey told the Times. “We wish we could turn back time.”
As it stood, Roof was already free on bail in connection to recent arrests on drug and trespassing charges, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. He was arrested in February in Columbia, S.C. for possession of prescription drugs, and charges were pending. Federal rules stipulate that pending felony charges and convictions are sufficient enough reason to prevent the purchase of a gun.
Roof’s narcotics charge is considered a felony by federal definitions, and Comey told The Associated Press that the FBI background-check examiner who evaluated Roof’s request to buy a gun never saw the arrest report because the wrong arresting agency was listed on the list rap sheet she reviewed.
This meant that after a three day waiting period, Roof was able to purchase the gun because the background check didn’t offer enough information to deny his request.
“If she had seen that police report,” Comey said, “that purchase would have been denied.”