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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Prior to shooting, Navy Yard gunman broke no federal gun laws

Smoking gun
Associated Press: The gunman in the mass shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, Aaron Alexis, had a history of violent outbursts, was at least twice accused of firing guns in anger and was in the early stages of treatment for serious mental problems, according to court records and U.S. law enforcement officials.

But Alexis apparently managed to exploit seams in the nation’s patchwork of complicated gun laws designed to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people. He was able to buy a shotgun in Virginia with out-of-state identification, even though that would have prevented him from buying a handgun.

It is illegal for gun dealers to sell handguns to such out-of-state buyers, but the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act, passed by Congress in 1986, opened up interstate sales for shotguns and rifles. Virginia gun laws require only that an out-of-state buyer show valid identification, pass a background check and otherwise abide by state laws in order to buy a shotgun in the state. Alexis was never prosecuted for the two misdemeanors involving guns.

Alexis bought the shotgun at Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in Lorton, Va. on Saturday, according to a statement from the attorney for the gun range.
But hey, no reason to tighten up any gun regulations, right? I mean, just because they don’t actually work is no reason to fly off the handle and do anything rash. Why, here in Wisconsin, Republicans are working on loosening up the very law that put a shotgun in the hands of a dangerously unstable individual, because why the hell not? What’s the worst that could happen?

Besides, if we stop being so soft on crime, it’ll cut into gun sales — and that would be a real tragedy.

The Republican Party: endorsed by unhinged mass murderers and the NRA. But I repeat myself.

[photo by AppleDave]

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