- Associated Press - Friday, July 17, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - The father of the Washington teenager who fatally shot four high school classmates and then himself in October has been indicted on five new federal firearms charges.

Raymond Lee Fryberg pleaded not guilty in April to illegally possessing the gun used in the slayings. Federal prosecutors said he was the subject of a permanent domestic violence protection order issued by the Tulalip Tribal Court in 2002. Federal law prohibits such a person from having firearms.

A federal grand jury indicted him this week on five new charges. The indictment said Fryberg had a cache of weapons in addition to the one 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg used at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.

Each of the five new counts is for a specific rifle or rifles. Several of the firearms listed are assault rifles.

Fryberg is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday on the new charges.

Fryberg purchased a Beretta pistol on Jan. 11, 2013, from a gun shop on the reservation, according to the criminal complaint filed in March. He answered “no” on the federal firearms purchasing form when asked if he was the subject of a restraining order that prohibits him from “harassing, stalking or threatening your child or an intimate partner,” the complaint said.

Fryberg’s son used the Beretta to kill four friends and wound another in the high school cafeteria.

John Henry Browne, his lawyer, has told The Associated Press that “there was never an order prohibiting him from owning or even purchasing firearms” from the tribal court. He said Tribal Court protection orders are different than those issued in state courts. He said the issue will be whether Fryberg lied on the federal purchasing form.

Browne did not immediately respond to email and phone messages Friday afternoon seeking comment on the new charges.

Had the protection order been filed in a state court instead of the tribal court, it would have been entered into a criminal records database and would have surfaced during a background check when Fryberg purchased the gun.

But the order was never entered into any state or federal criminal databases because of a flawed reporting system between tribes and outside authorities.

Tribes have long called on the federal government to fix this problem or provide access to the databases so they can enter the orders themselves and the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would host a conference in August with tribes to try to resolve the problem.


Follow Martha Bellisle at https://twitter.com/marthabellisle

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