Shooter Passed Background Checks

Shooter Passed Background Checks


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Jill Atwood Reporting...Disturbing new information tonight about how a mentally ill man got a gun, and then shot a stranger dead in broad daylight over the weekend.

The case reiterates how easy it is, for anyone to obtain a firearm.

In this particular case, 26-year-old Jeffrey Mayer, walked in off the street, walked out with a gun, then used it the very next day.

We now know Mayer bought a gun from a pawnshop on State Street in Salt Lake City. In fact, the pawnshop worker actually called police after he recognized Mayer’s name in news reports.

According to police, the pawnshop did not break any laws. Mayer filled out the necessary paperwork, and a background check was done. Mayer had no felony criminal history, so he was approved for the purchase, and walked out with a 357-magnum handgun. Pawnshop owners would have no way of knowing Mayer was schizophrenic, or whether he was hospitalized in the past for schizophrenia. That type of information doesn't appear in less a person has been in trouble with the law before.

Joyce Carter/Firearms Section Supervisor: "WE DONT HAVE ACCESS TO VOLUNTARY/INVOLUNTARY COMMITTMENTS AND SO A PERSON WHO HAS NEVER BEEN THROUGH AND BEEN ADJUDICATED WOULDN'T SHOW UP."

Det. Dwayne Baird/Salt Lake City Police Department: "PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO BUY GUNS. ONLY A JUDGE CAN DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT OR ORDER THE FACT THAT IS INDIVIDUAL IS NOT TO HAVE A HANDGUN."

On Sunday 26-year-old Jeffrey Mayer shot 29-year-old Midge Perkins-Uribe twice, killing her before turning the gun on himself.

There's been a bunch of debate over whether background checks should be more intrusive and include more information about a person.

But there are always concerns about privacy rights.

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