Gun control procedures in place to keep Aurora, Illinois, gunman Gary Martin from having a handgun despite a felony conviction failed, police said Saturday.
On Friday, Martin killed five people at Henry Pratt Co. before wounding five police officers. Martin was later shot by police in an ensuing gunfight.
“Absolutely he was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm,” Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said, according to NBC.
“Some disgruntled person walked in and had access to a firearm that he shouldn’t have had access to,” she added, according to a report by the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t want to make it political. This is a human issue. Lives were lost.”
IF LAWS IN PLACE WERE ENFORCED THIS WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. We don’t need tougher gun control- we need the idiots in charge to enforce existing laws. Aurora shooter should not have had a gun due to felony conviction, but state law failed to stop him – https://t.co/gyIxlGx4h1
— alan ng (@redstatetshirts) February 17, 2019
Martin went through two rounds of screening, she explained.
First, Martin was issued an Illinois Firearm Owner’s Identification card in January 2014. In March, he used that card to buy a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber handgun.
“The … firearm purchase does not require fingerprint. There is a background check, but no fingerprint is required,” she said, according to CNN.
On March 16, 2014, 10 days after buying the gun, Martin applied for a concealed carry permit.
“As part of conceal and carry, that is when the fingerprint” comes in, Ziman said.
Martin’s fingerprints revealed he had a 1995 felony conviction for aggravated assault in Mississippi. At that time, his concealed carry permit was thrown out. His FOID card was revoked.
Martin would have been sent a letter from the Illinois State Police telling him his card had been revoked and that he was required to give up his gun. It was not clear Saturday if Martin received the letter and why the gun was not surrendered.
“Those are the unanswered questions,” Ziman said.
It is unclear whether Martin, a 15-year veteran of the company, knew on Friday he was going to be fired.
“We can surmise that he was speculative about what was going to happen, as evidenced by him arming himself with a firearm — that’s again, we’re speculating there,” she said.
Martin was killed by police after a “very short gunfight,” Aurora police Lt. Rick Robertson said.
“There was the initial contact with the officers and then after those shots everything went quiet,” he said.
“He was in a back machine shop at the very back corner of the building, farthest from the area that we made entry into the building,” Robertson said. “He was probably waiting for us to get to him there, is the way that it appeared, and there were some shots exchanged as the officers made their way into that area.”
“He was basically in the back waiting for us and fired upon us” and officers fired back, he said.
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