With an investigation still strongly in place, new details on the Las Vegas shooting are erupting as we speak. Still, one aspect of the entire thing is causing a major uncertainty with the authorities.
At National Review, David French analyzed the shooting executed by now-killed shooter Stephen Paddock, who reportedly used an illegally obtained fully-automatic weapon. It is said he also had more than ten rifles, and a rented room packed with cameras to hint if there is a police activity nearby. None of Paddock’s relatives suspected he would have ever done anything like it, or that he even had weapons purchased. However, reports suggest he had planned the entire scene thoughtfully:
“Not an avid gun guy at all…where the hell did he get automatic weapons? He has no military background,” gunman’s brother says pic.twitter.com/EMSKLQGYFM
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 2, 2017
“So, a person who’s “not a gun guy” has either expended untold thousands of dollars to legally purchase fully-automatic weapons, somehow found them on the black market, or purchased and substantially modified multiple semi-automatic weapons — and did so with enough competence to create a sustained rate of fire. This same person also spent substantial sums purchasing just the right hotel room to maximize casualties. I cannot think of a single other mass shooter who went to this level of expense and planning in the entire history of the United States.
And there was no real warning? His family was unaware? His brother also reported that the shooter had no meaningful political or religious affiliations. “He just hung out.” At the same time, however, there are reports that a woman told a group of concert-goers, “You’re all going to die tonight.”
Sean Davis analyzed that despite liberal narratives about the Second Amendment and the ease to get a weapon at any time, an automated gun is something totally different. As Davis stated, it takes a lot of planning to even get there, to begin with:
Under the [National Firearms Act], it is illegal for any private civilian to own any fully automatic weapons manufactured after May 19, 1986. Only registered Class 3 FFLs may make them, and then only for purchase by qualified state and federal agencies. There are no exceptions, he noted.
As per the ATF’s handbook regarding NFA laws and regulations, it is highly illegal to even replace parts of guns older than those produced in 1986 or earlier: “There is no exception allowing for the lawful production, transfer, possession, or use of a post-May 18, 1986 machinegun receiver as a replacement receiver on a weapon produced prior to May 19, 1986.”
As far as guns produced in 1986 or earlier are concerned, citizens may obtain them but with plenty of exceptions. They are only sold by a Class 3 FFL and need to be registered with the ATF. However, a registration of an NFA item with the ATF is beyond expensive and includes plenty of inspections.
This is just the federal concept. There is also the fact that if a person does find a legal ATF-stamped, pre-1986 machine gun, it wouldn’t cost anything less than $10,000.
If true, big departure. Full auto costs $10,000+, requires deep FBI check; legal autos used 3 crimes since ‘34. (1) https://t.co/lVjkKwGGTV
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) October 2, 2017
Paddock could, as a result, have had help in this case, which would make a lot of sense. Now, we also found that he is the son of Stephen former FBI Most Wanted List alum Patrick Benjamin Paddock. Furthermore, ISIS stated that Paddock acted on their behalf, although it is not reported he is an Islamist.
The story and investigation are not over yet, so we have to monitor and report on each little detail that is reported by the authorities. Still, having the liberals condemn the Second Amendment and push for gun control is obviously a scheme that has nothing to do with how the weapon was obtained in the first place.