The young man accused of opening fire on a July 4 parade in a community near Chicago appeared to have several issues that should have tipped off authorities to his mental state before he purchased the firearm he allegedly used to murder a half-dozen people over the holiday.
For one, he allegedly used a “high-powered” rifle that was previously banned by the Highland Park local city government. For another, he was able to purchase the weapon despite Illinios’ “red flag law.”
The suspect killed seven people and wounded several others during the July 4 parade, and not a single law currently put on the books by the state’s and city’s Democratic majority did one bit of good; the state’s red flag law has been in effect since 2013.
Just the News reports:
The police visited the shooter’s home in 2019 and seized weapons, but the shooter was still able to later purchase a semiautomatic weapon he used in the mass shooting.
According to local media reports, the weapon used was a “high-powered” AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle that Robert E. Crimo III, the suspect, legally purchased in Illinois outside of Highland Park.
The Highland Park ordinance that banned semiautomatic weapons like AR-15s was formally adopted in 2013. The Supreme Court upheld the ban in 2015.
On Tuesday, Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said that Crimo was in violation of the local ordinance after he brought the rifle into the city; it should be noted that the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act President Joe Biden recently signed does not ban the sale of such semiautomatic rifles.
According to reports, Crimo had prior contact with police before he allegedly carried out the shooting, but so far, law enforcement officials are not providing any details.
When NPR isn’t trashing the country, the taxpayer-supported outlet reported that the alleged shooter also posted violent videos to various social media accounts; since the shooting, however, the videos have been removed.
The state’s red flag law was passed in order to establish a process to remove firearms from those deemed to be a danger to themselves and/or others. But CBS News reported that the law is “rarely used, except in DuPage County.”
According to a neighbor, police were at the suspect’s home very often. In 2019, police seized weapons from the suspect but the red flag law nevertheless was ineffective in preventing him from acquiring another rifle. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Tuesday that the young man’s father sponsored him for a gun permit.
“The situation that we saw on July 4 is tragic, and in some cases, no amount of new laws that are going to get passed is really going to get to the heart of what’s driving a lot of these incidents,” said Chad Wolf, former acting secretary of Homeland Security under former President Trump.
The gun control law Biden signed does not require states to adopt red flag laws. As Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) noted recently, the law only provides incentives for states to adopt such legislation.
“It created a fund for states who choose to pass red flag legislation,” said Fitzpatrick, a former FBI agent. “So some states are going to choose to do that, and some states will not. But for the states that do it, it’s basically taking a carrot and not a stick approach by incentivizing states to adopt red flag laws.”
Interestingly, the Lake County state’s attorney, Eric Rinehart, praised the state’s red flag law and called on the Democrat-run state to “do more.”
After announcing that the Highland Park shooter will be charged with 7 counts of murder, the State Attorney Eric Rinehart praises red flag laws and calls for a nationwide assault weapons ban both of which are currently on the books in Illinois and Highland Park and failed. pic.twitter.com/bWEA8MZuHm
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 5, 2022