Families of Charleston Victims Sue Over ‘Government Negligence’ that Allowed Roof to Get a Gun

Posted: Jul 03, 2016 5:15 PM

Last year, the city of Charleston suffered a devastating tragedy after Dylann Roof walked into the predominantly black Emanuel AME church and gunned down nine people. Reports revealed that Roof, who sympathized with white supremacist groups, should never have passed a background check to allow him to buy a firearm, because he had been previously arrested for drug possession. The victims’ families are now suing the federal government for their deadly mistake.

The legal action stems from a clerical error in a background check that allowed Dylann Roof to buy a gun despite his previous illegal drug use. According to the federal law, Roof's admission to using illegal drugs and prior criminal record should have prevented the purchase from going through.

The FBI has been frequently criticized as of late. The agency received multiple tips, for instance, about Omar Mateen’s suspicious behavior before he killed nearly 50 people in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando last month. Despite these repeated warnings, the FBI apparently didn’t feel he posed a significant threat.

The five survivors from the Charleston rampage have also filed a wrongful death lawsuit.