Narrative busted? Report: The ‘private sale’ through which Odessa gunman obtained his weapon may have been completely illegal

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Earlier this week, media and gun grabbers fell all over themselves to report that the Odessa shooter obtained his weapon through a “private sale” that allowed him to escape a background check, thereby demonstrating that universal background checks would have prevented the shooting:

New: Odessa gunman purchased weapon in private sale, which does not require a background check – @joshscampbell reporting.

— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) September 3, 2019

A law enforcement official tells CNN’s @joshscampbell that the Odessa TX mass murderer purchased his weapon in a private sale — which does not require a background check.

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 3, 2019

But that story didn’t quite add up for some people.

No link on Sciutto or Campbell's pages.

I want to know what "private sale" means. Do we really think, after being turned down legally, this crazy guy went a legal route?

Need more before conclusion. Gun-grabbers already decided. https://t.co/3AgXrMTWKx

— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) September 3, 2019

I think it's very likely the transaction was not legal anywhere, but because Sciutto put it out there without any link, he is nudging the story in the direction he wants it to go. https://t.co/AlUhmchieF

— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) September 3, 2019

That appears to have been the case. According to the Wall Street Journal, the “private sale” in which the Odessa shooter got his gun was highly illegal.

More from KCBD:

The Wall Street Journal reports that law enforcement is investigating a person of interest in Lubbock, suspected of illegally manufacturing and selling the rifle used in Saturday’s mass shooting in Midland/Odessa.

Authorities have not released the man’s name, as they seek to question him at his residence.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is investigating how [the shooter] was able to purchase the AR-15 rifle he used to kill seven people and wound 22 before police shot and killed him.

[The shooter] was prohibited from owning a firearm because a court had previously found him mentally unfit. He had tried to buy a gun back in January 2014 but failed a criminal background check.

That definitely puts this in a different light.

As I suspected, that CNN story about how the Odessa shooter had circumvented background checks and bought his gun in a legal private sale was junk. pic.twitter.com/kfd2vFdDy1

— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) |d017564de6724dc3910ed2ea641f0e83|

CNN ran an entire story making the "private sale claim" relying on Josh Campbell's claim. Was it sourced to tw people? https://t.co/tVcx4bAHhO

— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) September 5, 2019

It looks like the gun he used was illegally manufactured and sold. Proving not that universal background checks are needed, but that deranged shooters find ways to get their hands on weapons. https://t.co/do0w8WBlI3

— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) September 5, 2019

It is illegal to manufacture and sell guns without a license. And it was illegal for the shooter to buy a gun.

— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) September 5, 2019

None of this means that a private sale can't go wrong. But the idea that it's an important legislation is simply not true.

— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) September 5, 2019

As Dana Loesch points out, the system apparently worked.

So the murderer failed a background check because he was already adjudicated mentally unfit and went to the black market. The background check system WORKED. Universal Background Checks would have had zero affect. CRIMINAL ACTS are NOT loopholes. https://t.co/iky8ZKFI08

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 5, 2019

There’s no piece of legislation that could’ve prevented this from happening.

OK so when I asked why @jimsciutto had no link on the private sale thing, this is why.

He was WRONG.https://t.co/P4v3ZAOZAl

The gun was illegal, all the way.

No background check stops it.

— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) September 5, 2019

The WSJ is now reporting the Odessa shooter got his gun from somebody who was illegally manufacturing and selling them without a license. If true, that would make the idea that universal background checks could have prevented the sale less likely https://t.co/1Dk3iAd9dd

— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) September 5, 2019

It is illegal to manufacture firearms with the intention of selling them to others without a license. Even if you're buying already serialized lowers and then assembling them with other parts, it would be illegal to do so if your intention is to sell the guns to others.

— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) September 5, 2019

That sounds like the exact situation the Wall Street Journal is describing here. pic.twitter.com/amuymIjtSU

— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) September 5, 2019

Oh, look.

Everything about this story seems to have already been illegal.

Weird, right?

It's like the solutions being proposed by gun grabbers are really just ruses to further restrict rights. https://t.co/m9D4WbZn96

— RBe (@RBPundit) September 5, 2019

Once again, reality slaps gun grabbers in the face.

They thought they had THE case to prove Universal Background Checks would stop shootings.

Turns out the gun was illegally manufactured. So the seller was never going to run a BG check.

Everything was already illegal.

— RBe (@RBPundit) September 5, 2019

So to recap:illegal to makeillegal to sellillegal to buyillegal to shoot

— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) September 5, 2019

Which…completely changes the entire story.

All this nonsense attacking @DanCrenshawTX and @MeghanMcCain …and the reality is someone ILLEGALLY MANUFACTURED A GUN AND SOLD IT TO THIS ASSHOLE.

All of that is already illegal, FWIW. https://t.co/FEEPf9KlHx

— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) September 5, 2019

If this holds up (and who knows, these days, with our journalistic class), no background check of any kind would have prevented this.

— Pradheep J. Shanker (@Neoavatara) September 5, 2019

In their mad rush to push a narrative and an agenda, the media appear to have gotten it wrong. Again.

Of course, the CNN coverage was highly misleading, deserving, at least, a clarification. Which I am sure will be forthcoming.

— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) September 5, 2019

Sure it will.

And Tapper amplified Sciutto, so now everyone thinks it was a legal private sale.

But don't worry, correction that 1% of the people who saw the lie will see is on the way!

— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) September 5, 2019

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Related:

New information on the Odessa gunman raises questions about the FBI and local police’s handling of the case

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