- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2015

The former TV newsman who fatally shot a reporter and a videographer during a live broadcast Wednesday in central Virginia purchased the handgun he used in the killings legally, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

“He purchased them legally in Virginia,” said spokesman Thomas Faison.

Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire on 27-year-old videographer Adam Ward, 24-year-old reporter Alison Parker, and an interview subject during a live morning broadcast on WDBJ-TV, where Flanagan had previously worked. The two journalists died from their injuries, and the interviewee survived.

Mr. Faison declined to say where or when Flanagan purchased the 9mm Glock that was used in the shooting and in taking his own life hours after the attack.

According to USA Today, Flanagan was able to pass a required background check in order to make the purchase despite apparent emotional problems that were flagged, at least internally, by his former workplace as it sought to fire him in 2013.

Lawmakers and family of the victims have both spoken out in favor of increased restrictions of gun purchases, including bolstering background checks.

“It’s senseless that her life and Adam’s life were taken by a crazy person with a gun,” Andy Parker, father of Alison Parker, said Thursday on CNN.

“Look, I’m for the Second Amendment, but there has to be a way to force politicians that are cowards and in the pockets of the NRA to come to grips and make sense, have sensible laws so that crazy people can’t get guns,” he said.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe spoke out about the need for background checks Wednesday before it was known how Flanagan obtained the gun.

“It goes back [to] what I’ve talked about for a long time — there are too many guns in the hands of people who should not have guns,” Mr. McAuliffe said during an interview on WTOP. “This is why I’ve long advocated for background checks. I’m a gun owner, I’m a hunter. But you know what? I went through background checks myself … in America, we have got to come together. There is too much gun violence in the United States of America.”

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