DEVELOPING: Alleged West Texas Shooter Illegally Purchased Illegally Manufactured Firearm
According to the Wall Street Journal, law enforcement have identified a man that they suspect illegally manufactured and sold the rifle that was used in Saturday’s massacre in West Texas.
Authorities have been investigating the man hailing from Lubbock, Texas. His identity hasn’t been released and authorities were trying to question him late Wednesday at his residence.
The ATF has been trying to find out how Seth Aaron Ator, the gunman, was able to buy the AR-15 style-rifle that he used to kill seven people and wound 22 people before police shot and killed him.
The 36-year-old assailant was already prohibited by federal law from owning a firearm because a court previously found him to be mentally unstable according to law enforcement reports. In January 2014, he tried to buy a gun but failed to do so because the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) caught the mental health court order and barred the purchase, according to official reports.
The suspicion is that the Lubbock man sold Ator the gun through a private sale. In doing so, Ator was able to purchase a gun without going through a criminal background check.
It remains to be seen whether the man was aware that Ator was a prohibited person when he sold him the rifle. If the gun dealer did know that Ator was banned from buying guns, he could be guilty of committing a federal crime. Additionally, they are looking into seeing if the man was illegally selling guns.
All in all, no form of gun control would have stopped Ator from getting a firearm, who already demonstrated he was hell-bent on finding a way to acquire a gun to commit his atrocity.
It looks like the gun he used was illegally manufactured and sold. Proving not that universal background checks are needed, but that deranged shooters find ways to get their hands on weapons. https://t.co/do0w8WBlI3
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) September 5, 2019