Error in background checking allowed Dylann Roof to purchase gun

Error in background checking allowed Dylann Roof to purchase gun

Dylann Roof legally purchased the gun he used to kill nine people in Charleston last month, but the FBI says that he shouldn’t have passed his background check.


In February, Roof was arrested and found to be in possession of drugs. Because of this arrest, he can’t legally buy a gun under federal law.


Last Thursday, FBI Director James Comey found a mistake made during Roof’s background check. The FBI agent that was performing the review on Roof didn’t contact the Columbia, South Carolina, police department because of a clerical error in the paperwork. This error caused the agent to call the wrong agency.


Gun shop owners can legally sell a gun, if the review isn’t finished in a three day period. This mistake prevented the failed background check from getting to the gun shop in three days or less, allowing Roof to buy the .45 caliber handgun.


“This rips all of our hearts out,” said Comey after explaining the FBI’s mistake. “We are all sick this happened.”


This error has left many questioning the effectiveness of the background check system. New York Senator Chuck Schumer has spoken out against the the current review process following Director Comey’s statement.


“We simply cannot be allowed to have a background check system that fails to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” said Schumer. “Our current system is broken, and it is costing American lives.”


Interior of a gun shop

An error in background checking allowed Dylann Roof to purchase the gun which he used to kill 9 people in Charleston. (

How common is it for people like Roof to slip through the cracks? In 2013, 186,000 people were able to pass their background check with a criminal background or mental illness that should have prevented them from purchasing a gun.


Now that Roof’s failed review process has been given national attention, more care will hopefully be taken when filling out the background check paperwork.


Should there be a change to the background check system or is it fine the way it is? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.


The Admin is the coolest guy ever. Loves creating things that catches your imagination and makes you scream really?

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.