Offbeat: Judge dismisses Charleston church shooting lawsuits, says FBI can fix gun checks - - PressFrom - US
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Offbeat Judge dismisses Charleston church shooting lawsuits, says FBI can fix gun checks

22:40  19 june  2018
22:40  19 june  2018 Source:   latimes.com

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People hold hands as they pray while they take part in the morning service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 21, 2015. The church will reopen today for its first service since Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, allegedly killed nine people at a Bible-study meeting in the historic African-American church in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime.© REUTERS/Carlo Allegri People hold hands as they pray while they take part in the morning service at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston on June 21, 2015. The church will reopen today for its first service since Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, allegedly killed nine people at a Bible-study meeting in the historic African-American church in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime.

CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge has dismissed 16 lawsuits by survivors and victims in the 2015 Charleston church massacre but also said bureaucratic "nonsense" caused the gun background check system to fail, allowing Dylann Roof to get a gun to carry out his killings.

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In his 22-page order, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel called the FBI's background check system "disturbingly superficial" and "obstructed by policies that deny the overworked and overburdened examiners access to the most comprehensive law enforcement federal database."

Roof would not "have obtained approval to purchase the murder weapon if the examiner could have accessed" the most comprehensive law enforcement crime database, called N-DEx, Gergel wrote.

The government's argument - that it has to deny its employees who make background checks access to N-DEx - is "simple nonsense," Gergel wrote.

In his order, Gergel said FBI director Christopher Wray "has full authority to allow ... examiners to access N-DEx. He could do this today."

Charleston apologizes for its role in the slave trade

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Under federal law, people can't buy a firearm if they have been charged with a felony drug violation.

Roof, then 20, had been arrested by the Columbia Police Department at Columbiana Mall on Feb. 28, 2015, for felony drug possession.

Although Columbiana Mall is within the city limits of Columbia, it is surrounded by Lexington County. The Columbia Police Department makes arrests in the mall, but the 11th Circuit Solicitor's office, which has jurisdiction over Lexington County, prosecutes cases made from those arrests.

Because of the different jurisdictions, the federal employee doing the background check could not find records of Roof's drug arrest.

As a result, on April 22, 2015, Roof, who had turned 21, was able to buy a Glock Model 41 pistol from Shooter's Choice in West Columbia.

a couple of people that are talking to each other: Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof is escorted from the Shelby Police Dept. Thursday, June 18, 2015 in Shelby, N.C. A federal judge has dismissed 16 lawsuits by survivors and victims in the 2015 Charleston church massacre.© Todd Sumlin/Charlotte Observer/TNS Charleston shooting suspect Dylann Roof is escorted from the Shelby Police Dept. Thursday, June 18, 2015 in Shelby, N.C. A federal judge has dismissed 16 lawsuits by survivors and victims in the 2015 Charleston church massacre.

The FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, one of several databases used on gun background checks, failed to uncover Roof's drug arrest, which would have disqualified him from buying the Glock.

Two months later, on June 17, 2015, Roof entered the Mother Emanuel AME church in downtown charges, killing nine persons at a Bible study meeting with his new pistol.

Sixteen survivors and victims subsequently sued the federal government, saying it had been negligent in failing to detect Roof's felony arrest during the background check.

Visit The State (Columbia, S.C.) at www.thestate.com

Autopsy confirms Texas church gunman died by suicide .
An autopsy has confirmed that the gunman who killed more than two dozen people at a Texas church last year died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, opened fire during church services on the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs last November, killing more than two dozen people. He was later found dead in a vehicle after he was shot and chased by two men who heard the gunfire at the church.

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