Offbeat Judge dismisses Charleston church shooting lawsuits, says FBI can fix gun checks
2nd anniversary of Pulse massacre marked by art, litigation
Survivors and victims' relatives are marking the second anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting with a remembrance ceremony, a run, art exhibits and litigation. In the run-up to Tuesday's commemoration of the massacre of 49 people at the gay nightclub, some survivors and victims' relatives have sued the Orlando Police Department and the owners of the nightclub. The federal lawsuit against the police and city of Orlando was filed last Thursday and it claims police officers should have acted more aggressively to stop the shooter.
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.
Mayors conference passes resolutions calling for more gun control
The U.S. Conference of Mayors on Tuesday passed resolutions calling for more gun control, including limits on the number of guns a person may purchase in a single transaction. The conference, a bipartisan organization of mayors representing cities with more than 30,000 people, passed the resolutions at their annual meeting in Boston, Mass.The mayors called for a ban on military-style assault weapons, such as AK-47s, and large-capacity ammunition-feeding devices.They also oppose proposals to arm teachers and other non-law enforcement officials, which has been pushed by President Trump.
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
Just a mile from where ships dropped shackled Africans off by the thousands, and inside a city hall that forced labor built, council members gathered Tuesday to finally apologize for Charleston's role in the history of slavery.For the South Carolina city, the apology has been in the works for a long time. The City Council picked Tuesday to approve the resolution because it's Juneteenth -- a day that celebrates the abolition of slavery.
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.
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.
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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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