For the record, when an act is illegal, but somebody does it anyway, the absence of yet another law that the somebody could have ignored is not a “legal loophole”—it just means that you have one legal violation instead of two. Yet Jeff Guo argues over at the Washington Post that (allegedly) murderous apartheid nostalgic Dylann Roof was able to arm himself to wreak havoc because of a “legal loophole” that allowed him access to a firearm. Writes Guo:

Federal law prohibits people with pending felony charges from obtaining firearms. In February, Roof was arrested and later charged with felony possession of Suboxone, a narcotic prescription drug. He was released, and  the case is pending.

Because of his criminal record, Roof would not have been able to buy a gun from a store. Federally licensed gun dealers are required to run background checks on gun purchasers, and Roof’s pending charges should have turned up as a red flag.

But Roof didn’t need to go to a dealership. According to his uncle, Roof received a .45-caliber pistol from his father in April for his birthday, Reuters reports.

South Carolina is one of 40 states that do not require background checks for private gun transactions, like the one that allegedly took place between Roof and his father. Gun control activists call this the “private sale” loophole.

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