FBI Explains How Felon Passed Background Check to Buy Gun Used to Shoot Three Police Officers

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has responded to questions and explained the breakdown that allowed a dangerous felon to pass a background check to purchase a gun that he later used to shoot three Kansas City police officers, according to a report from FOX4 in Kansas City, Missouri.

FOX4 reports that Kansas City police say 25-year-old Marlin Mack shot and killed a man named Sharath Koppu on July 6 during an attempted robbery. Nine days later Mack shot three Kansas City police officers during a shootout in which he was killed with a gun bought by passing a background check.

FOX4 reports that Mack bought the AK-47 pistol used to shoot the officers one day before the shooting by passing the FBI background check even though he was a convicted felon and should not be allowed to have a gun. The Kansas City police officers are still recovering from the incident a month ago.

FOX4 contacted the FBI to ask how Mack passed the background check to purchase the powerful gun and FBI Spokesperson Stephen Fischer replied by saying that “Mr. Mack provided false biographical information at the time of his firearm purchase.” Fischer continued the explanation by saying:

That information can only be verified at the point of sale. The false information was submitted to the FBI and searched through the national instant criminal background check system (NICS).  As the false information did not match a prohibited record, the request was cleared to proceed.

FOX4 contacted Michael Tabman, a retired FBI Special Agent in Charge who now runs background checks for employers, and gave him the information Mack provided on the application to buy the gun. The name was slightly different and place of birth was also incorrect, but the birthday was correct.

Tabman entered the information and ‘Marlin James Mack Jr.’ appeared with a list of felony convictions, which should have triggered a three-day hold while the FBI investigated further. When FOX4 asked Fischer about the information uncovered, he replied: “We have no further comment at this time.”

In July 2018, ESR News reported that the FBI was planning to add the National Data Exchange (N-DEx) System to the NICS to fix a flaw in the system that enabled convicted murderer Dylann Roof to purchase a weapon used to kill nine black worshipers in a Charleston, South Carolina church in 2015.

The FBI would use the 400 million records in N-DEx to screen gun buyers following an internal review that found Roof would have been blocked from legally acquiring his murder weapon if examiners performing his gun background check were able to use N-DEx. The change will take at least two years.

More Information about the FBI Background Check System

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