How alleged Brooklyn subway shooter got his gun

How alleged Brooklyn subway shooter got his gun
MikeGunner / Pixabay

Now that the alleged New York subway shooter has been arrested, we won’t be using his name anymore. However, we will be talking about him. After all, how can we not?


What he did was horrible and it seems, as almost has to be the case with someone like this, that he was a very disturbed individual. We mentioned some of it in coverage of this on Wednesday, yet others have gone even deeper and found that he was even more damaged than we thought.

So how did a person like this get a gun? Well, now we know.

[Name redacted], the lone suspect in the Brooklyn subway shooting that wounded 10 people, purchased the gun used in the attack at a pawn shop in Ohio, Fox News has learned.

[The accused], 62, purchased the 9 mm Glock handgun at a pawn shop in Columbus, Ohio, in 2011, a law enforcement source told Fox News on Wednesday.

Now, some will look at this and think this is evidence we need more gun control. However, let’s remember something here. He bought it from a pawn shop. For a pawn shop to buy and sell guns as they do, they have to be Federal Firearms License holders. That means they conduct NICS checks on each and every firearm sold.

The alleged subway shooter passed.

“But he was clearly mentally ill!”

Clearly. However, there’s mental illness and then there’s mental illness. Someone with mild depression or some anxiety disorders suffers mightily from their condition, but they don’t necessarily represent a threat to themselves or others. There’s no reason to even remotely pretend they do.

Is that what the accused subway shooter was suffering from? I don’t have any idea. After all, his mental health records aren’t open and available to the public. Nor, frankly, should they be. There’s enough of a mental health stigma as it is.


Yet if the accused stands trial, it’s likely all that information will come out and we’ll all know then.

However, with regard to being able to buy a gun, we already have a process for preventing someone from purchasing a firearm. If they’re “adjudicated as mentally defective,” as the law phrases it, then they can’t buy a gun. Not in Ohio, not in New York, not in Missouri, not anywhere.

The accused wasn’t, though. That suggests whatever was wrong wasn’t to that level.

So why would he be denied a firearm?

What many are missing, though, is that he then took that gun to New York. Under New York City law, even if you already own a firearm, you must obtain a permit from the city before bringing that gun with you. Failure to do so is a crime.

In theory, that should prevent people like the accused subway shooter from doing just that, but clearly, that didn’t work.

At the end of the day, what we know is that there’s a lot going on with the suspect the police have in custody and I don’t know that a trial will accomplish a whole hell of a lot to clear much of this fiasco up. Still, it’s an opportunity to get answers and we should all hope we actually get some for once.

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