Background Checks Couldn’t Help: Gun Used In City Hall Shooting Was Obtained Through Straw Purchase
With a strong desire, people will find ways to get their hands on firearms to cause harm. This is a fact, and it’s shown here again in this latest example of how background checks are easily bypassed.
A few days ago, a mentally disturbed man opened fire during a City Council meeting in New Hope, Minnesota. He was ultimately shot and killed by police on the scene, and he managed to wound two officers before being taken out.
New details were released by the Sheriff today saying that the shotgun used in the shooting was obtained illegally through a straw purchase. For those unfamiliar, a straw purchase is a purchase of a firearm by a person who can successfully pass a background check, and then that firearm is privately sold to a person who would not be able to pass the same background check.
Raymond Kmetz, 68, had a long record of disputes with New Hope officials. He was killed Monday night after he opened fire on officers outside the New Hope City Council chambers. Kmetz could not legally buy a gun because of his history of mental illness, which included commitments to the Minnesota Security Hospital in St. Peter.
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek said told reporters Friday that Kmetz bought three guns via an online auction site and had a 42-year-old Golden Valley man pick them up for him at a licensed dealer. The guns included the shotgun he used Monday night.
The buyer admitted to purchasing the guns for Kmetz and was booked into Hennepin County Jail, the sheriff said.
Although police were there to stop the man, Council Member John Elder was captured on video drawing his firearm at the first sound of gun shots. He did not have to engage the gunman, since police encountered him first outside of the chambers.
What I personally take away from stories such as these is that it’s so dang important for people to arm themselves. They can pass a million gun control laws, and we’ll still have people sneak through the system like this man did.
Arm yourself, train, and hope that you never encounter a lunatic.