The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms said at a press conference Friday that 13 firearms were recovered from the person and the residence of Oregon mass shooter Christopher Harper Mercer.
The 26-year-old who shot and killed nine people at Umpqua Community College Thursday before losing his own life in a shootout with police had legal possession of all the guns, the ATF reported.
The ATF said all the weapons were purchased legally, either by Mercer or his family members. Mercer was also wearing a flak jacket, which included five ammunition magazines.
President Obama has hammered on the theme that America is the only industrialized nation that has repeated mass shootings and he blamed “gun violence” on the nation’s lack of gun control. He has advocated “common sense” proposals such as a universal background check using a centralized database across the 50 states.
What this new information from ATF demonstrates is that the kinds of gun control that the prohibition lobby has been pushing, namely the “universal background checks,” would not have prevented the tragedy in Oregon, said David Workman, senior editor of TheGunMag.com.
“The shooter reportedly had a clean record, and according to the ATF, he purchased several of those guns,” Workman said. “All the firearms were legally purchased from a firearms dealer, so background checks would have been involved.”
Obama said he knew he would be criticized for trying to “politicize” the tragic shooting but said that exactly what needed to happen in order to rein in “gun violence.”
But none of the president’s gun restrictions would have prevented Thursday’s mass shooting at the community college, said Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president and founder of the Second Amendment Foundation.
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