By Jon Dougherty

(NationalSentinel) Federal authorities believe the Odessa, Texas shooter who killed seven and wounded 20 in late August may have gotten his weapon from an illegal firearms maker which, if true, means that even “enhanced background checks” involving private gun sales pushed by Democrats would not have stopped him.

The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that authorities have identified a person of interest from Lubbock, Texas, and were seeking to question him a day earlier. Authorities have not publicly identified the suspect.

WSJ reported further:

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has been trying to piece together how Seth Aaron Ator was able to purchase the AR-15-style rifle he used to kill seven people and wound 22 before police shot and killed him.

Ator, 36 years old, was prohibited under federal law from owning a firearm because a court had previously found him mentally unfit, law-enforcement officials previously said. He had tried to buy a gun in January 2014 but failed because a nationwide criminal-background-check system flagged the mental-health determination by a local court and prevented the purchase, according to the officials.

Federal authorities believe the Lubbock may may have sold Ator the gun via a private sale. And though such a purchase would have allowed him to obtain the weapon without an FBI criminal background check, if the gun was illegally manufactured it’s not likely the pair would have subjected the sale to such a check anyway.

Authorities suspect the Lubbock man sold Ator the gun through a private sale. Such a sale allowed Ator to purchase a gun without going through a criminal-background check. Gun-control proponents have frequently complained that private sales are a hole in the background-check system that should be addressed.

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It is unclear whether the man knew Ator was a prohibited person when selling him the rifle. If the gun dealer did in fact know that Ator was barred from buying guns, he could be charged with a federal crime. But authorities are also looking into whether the man was illegally selling guns.

While private gun sales are legal under federal law, it is a crime to be in the business of manufacturing or selling guns without a license. Law-enforcement officials suspect the man was buying various gun parts to build his own guns and then reselling them.

Ator shot a total of 29 people as he drove to evade police following an attempted stop by state troopers between Odessa and Midland on Saturday. He fired at random as he hijacked a U.S. Postal Service van and was killed by officers who intercepted him outside a movie theater.

“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,” wrote Washington Free Beacon gun reporter Stephen Gutowski on Twitter.

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“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,” he explained in a thread.


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