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Oh, So That’s What Caused The Texas Shooter To Fail His Initial Background Check

Seth Aaron Ator committed a brutal crime in Odessa, Texas. He went on a shooting rampage, killing seven and wounded over twenty more. He was killed by police. It’s another mass shooting. Another time for the anti-gun Left to fundraise off the dead. Another cycle of the liberal media taking swipes at the National Rifle Association, Republicans, gun owners, supporters of the Constitution, and rural Americans. Ator had called authorities minutes before he committed this crime. The FBI was called. The shooting began when a police officer tried to pull him over for a traffic violation, Ator forgot to signal while changing lanes, which prompted him to open fire at the officer. He later opened fire on passing cars and hijacked a mail truck, but not before killing a postal worker, according to the Associated Press. Ator has had run-ins with the law. NBC News added that Ator was a man who had come to the end of a very violent downward spiral: 


While the FBI and police stopped well short of explaining the killer's motive, they painted a picture of a man who'd been struggling for a long period of time.

"It's a very strange residence. It's very small. I can tell you the conditions reflect what we believe his mental state was going into this," Combs said.

"He was a long spiral of going down. He didn't wake up Saturday morning and walk into his company and then it happened. He went to that company in trouble, probably been in trouble for a while ... we really need the public's help to reach out to us when they see people in that downward spiral that may be on that road to violence."


Ator had shown up to work “enraged.” He was fired shortly before he committed this heinous shooting. Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that Ator had tried to purchase firearms in Texas before, but was rejected. So, how did he obtain a firearm? Well, it looks like it was a private sale (via AP):

The gunman in a West Texas rampage that left seven dead obtained his AR-style rifle through a private sale, allowing him to evade a federal background check that previously blocked him from getting a gun, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

The official spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

Officers killed 36-year-old Seth Aaron Ator on Saturday outside a busy Odessa movie theater after a spate of violence that spanned 10 miles (16 kilometers), injuring around two dozen people in addition to the dead.


 Ator had previously failed a federal background check for a firearm, said John Wester, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Wester did not say when Ator failed the background check or why.

Online court records show Ator was arrested in 2001 for a misdemeanor offense that would not have prevented him from legally purchasing firearms in Texas. Federal law defines nine categories that would legally prevent a person from owning a gun, which include being convicted of a felony, a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, being adjudicated as a “mental defect” or committed to a mental institution, the subject of a restraining order or having an active warrant. Authorities have said Ator had no active warrants at the time of the shooting.


We still have a way to go before we can determine what happened here concerning Ator’s firearms acquisition. As firearms reporter Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon noted, there doesn’t appear to be any prohibiting reasons related to Ator. It seems there was a mental health citation, but that’s it in terms of what we know. We don’t know when his background check was rejected. It should also be noted that private sales are rare. There is no data in terms of how many are conducted, but it’s within the single-digits and most of them are among family members. Yet, as usual, the media went off half-cocked. For example, Newsbusters’ Curtis Houck, who watches these clowns on a daily basis, reported that CNN—shocker, I know—said no background checks were conducted on Ator. Not true.

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