In a meeting with reporters on Friday, FBI Director James Comey said that Dylann Roof, who is accused of killing nine people in a church shooting on June 17, should not have been able to purchase a firearm. A breakdown in the FBI’s background check system allowed Roof to purchase a .45 caliber handgun on April 11, days after he turned 21, and use it to murder nine people in Charleston’s historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

“This case rips all of our hearts out, but the thought that an error on our part is connected to a gun this person used to slaughter these people is very painful to us,” Comey told The Washington Post.

In February, Roof was arrested at a Columbia shopping mall and charged with possessing a narcotic—Suboxone, a substance sometimes used to treat heroin addiction. The arrest made Roof ineligible to purchase a firearm through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. According to the FBI, an examiner missed Roof’s admission of drug possession during the arrest.

Comey further indicated that the information regarding the arrest may have not been properly entered in the FBI database, but nonetheless, the agency will be conducting a 30-day review of the incident.

“We are all sick this happened,” he told NBC News. “We wish we could turn back time.”

Roof is now in custody and has been charged with nine counts of murder. Federal authorities are considering treating the mass shooting as a hate crime. All nine victims were African American and Roof’s former roommate described the shooter as a proponent of segregation and other racist views.

Roof has also been charged with three counts of attempted murder. You can learn more in the video below:


Image screenshot of video by NewsBeat Social on YouTube

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9 thoughts on “FBI: Background Check System Failed, Let Charleston Shooter Buy Gun

  1. The gun shop that sold Dylan Roof a gun
    called the FBI for clearance to sell him
    the gun. The FBI never informed the seller
    Roof had a record of drug possession that
    would have stopped the sale.

    Wasn’t no flag that killed those people.
    You didn’t need to take away nobody’s
    gun, hell you didn’t even need any new
    gun laws. All you needed to save those
    people was an FBI smart enough to use
    the laws you already have.

    Eight years ago, if you had allowed the
    nomination of a presidential candidate
    honest enough and smart enough to appoint
    people honest and smart enough to hire
    people smart enough to do the job, nine
    people would still be alive.

    We don’t love that flag because it stands
    for racism or slavery, we love it simply
    because it is the only alternative, to
    YOURS. The Rebel Flag ain’t the Yankee Jack
    that represents a Yankee majority too hot
    dam stupid to effectively run the country
    they domineer and abuse.


  2. What about the Gun Store Owner, that decide upon himself. That after waiting the Minimum Three Day Waiting Limit and Still not hearing anything. To sell the Gun to the Kid Anyway. “Profit Talks, Safety to Public Walks”.

  3. “And once we finished 45 days later, the only thing we craved was a huge glass of icy sparkling water. Fibrous carbs examples are brocolli, asparagus, cabbage, spinach, etc. A little fat is fine, but try not to get your carbs fried, at least not too often.

  4. If the young man was not convicted of a crime I can’t see him being denied a gun permit. Many people make all kinds of statements to police and simply admitting to trying drugs once upon a time is far from being a convicted criminal.
    What might really help is having decent mental health clinics at no cost to the patients so that troubled people could get real help. Keep in mind that only hiring psychologists who can not make a living in private practice will be of no use to patients as a rule. High quality staffing is essential as is availability of medications for all patients.
    When we stop the double talk and lies we must confront the fact that simply wanting to shoot people for no reason at all is in itself proof of insanity. The insane have insane desires. Normal people do not want to gun people down, rape babies or even commit robberies. Society does not want to deal with the truth. After all if we get real with things things would have to change.

    1. Hey Jim Stadler, the arrest that was made on him for drug charges, automatically made it illegal to purchase a gun. The fact that Roofs admission of drug possession made it illegal to purchase one through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Somehow the idiot examiner missed the admission of drug possession and being arrested and charged. The store owner screwed up big time. Its his darn job, hes the one selling the guns, so he needs to be held accountable for illegally (intentional or not) selling Roof a gun. This never wouldve happened had he done his job! He is Federally checked and licensed to sell guns to the public, and he knows what why and when to find out someones eligibility! Its his fault via “CAUSATION!” Had he done his darn job correctly, this psycho wouldnt have killed those people w/ a gun, granted that Roof probably wouldve just killed people in the church w/ something else (beings he killed them). In this, he wouldnt have been responsible for aiding a murderer, whether he meant to or not, the fact is he sold him the GUN, after looking at Roofs report, and he needs his license to sell suspended and fined or just stripped all together. Roof needs to be put to death, and while hes waiting on DEATH ROW, he should have to listen to the music sung by the church he committed the murders on! If hes mentally insane, then he needs to be locked away from sunlight until he dies!

      1. Brian, what have you been smoking?
        The gun shop owner doesn’t have a copy of Roof’s arrest report so he can’t read it. All he can do is make a phone call to the instant check system and they either approve or deny the sale over the phone, that’s it!
        You and most liberal thinkers are simply delusional that things should work your way and you would incriminate the manufacturer as well!
        If it ever becomes necessary for people to under go a philological evaluation before buying a firearm every liberal in America will be denied!

      2. Glenn Hutchinson, first off Im anything but a liberal! If youdve paid attention, I didnt blame it on a gun, and did mention that that psycho was just going to kill them w/ or w/o a gun. 2nd stance, do you or have you ever sold guns for a living? The report they get covers all arrests and felonies through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, so the store owner/seller will see if they are not allowed to purchase a gun, thats the whole reason they check backgrounds. Thirdly, I dont smoke weed or any other drug, Im a Disabled American Veteran that knows a few things about situations like this, I also have friends that legally sell firearms, and all the work that goes into it, you dont just apply at Walmart, and sell firearms, you have to be Federally Licensed, period, which means you need to pay close attention to anything and everything that is on someones background check, its a requirement of the job! I legally have guns, and nobodys gonna ever take them from me. I only want people to pay for what they did personally, it has nothing to do w/ me being a gungrabbin liberal puke, because Im the furthest from that! So in your innappropriate rambling about what you think of me (youre wrong, by the way), we can dimm the scenario down to something easier for some of the readers that dont understand the article or my comments; lets say a person has a weapons booth at a fair/expo of some kind and he just sold a weapon to a child, then that child goes and kills someone w/ that weapon, whos to blame? I know this is a brain stomper of a question, so……….I would think the idiot that sells weapons, and the child that killed someone, notice I didnt say anything about and inaminate object like a gun or knife, or sword, throwing stars, the blame goes to the seller and the buyer! People selling weapons have to pay attention to all acceptable info, like age, and felonies, you have to be competent and dilligent in these types of sales, because its your chosen profession, its a job that comes w/ pressure to do the right thing, so he shouldnt have missed anything! Next, Ive never heard of a “philological evaluation”, stated in your comment, however I do know what a psychological evaluation is! There are some people that are obviously not allowed to buy guns, because they are psychologically impaired, whether in or out of a psych ward, as for people who are legally US residents, I believe that no one should be allowed to deny them their Constitutional Rights, and that would be my favorite right of them all, MY 2ND AMMENDMENT RIGHT TO BARE ARMS!!! When people screw up selling guns, there is repurcussions, just as Roof killed those people, you have to pay for breaking the law! ROOFS ARREST INFO AUTOMATICALLY COMES UP because of the charges he was arrested for , and that info was available, so in this, everybody involved in this scenario was more-than-likely WRONG, and needs to be punished. When you take on this type of job(selling guns) you are taking on a huge responsibility, and while you are learning your duties as a legal gun seller, you have to be competent in what you do, you chose this profession, so now you need to accept any punishments that are dealt, that is the way it is. This has nothing to do w/ the manufacturer, thats absolutely ridiculous, and barely a topic to talk about, gimme a break, its our SECOND AMMENDMENT RIGHT to have guns, so why in the HADES would I believe crap like that. Glenn, Im sure youre a great guy, and Im sure you believe in a lot of the same things I do, so Im sorry you misinterpreted my first post. I was injured in the military, and I went in to the military to fight for our freedoms, and I went in knowing it was wartime, Persian Gulf, so I would always accept your opinion, its yours, as is mine, and thats perfectly okay. Take care, and go thump on someone whos a gun grabbin liberal, okay! lol

  5. Hold the FBI accountable for their mess up. Just like the dumb people that let the Mexican guy loses on the street after 5 deportations back to Mexico. He got out and killed a young lady. Why do we pay these people? We need to weed the bad ones out. What an American tragedy.

  6. @Brian – apparently you’ve never worked at an FFL dealer’s store (or had one tell you exactly how the process works) or you wouldn’t make such statements. NO background info is available to the FFL except what the purchaser provides. People will lie while filling out the form, so the dealer is not responsible for what he doesn’t know. There is NO “report” from the feds, ONLY a verbal statement over the phone, from a federal employee, as to whether or not to proceed with the transaction, or that there is a hold (3 days) or a denial. That’s it. The dealer does NOT have access to any of the purchaser’s criminal background history, because that’s PRIVATE information, for examination by law enforcement officers only.

    The dealer CAN use discretion in the transaction based on what he observes (as in the case with the gun buyers in the Fast and Furious scandal, who had questionable ID, and were buying dozens of rifles at a time with cash), but aside from that, the dealer generally has no reason to deny a sale if the feds don’t tell him otherwise. And the idea of someone having a mental condition means nothing. The form asks if you’ve been “adjudicated” as someone prohibited from possessing firearms. That means a judge has to find you unqualified, not some mental health professional.

    The FBI spokesman was right – it was THEIR fault. THEIR employee who goofed up, (and not the gun dealer, as you suggest).

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