Was the mall shooter legally allowed to have a gun? Likely not, experts say

Was the mall shooter legally allowed to have a gun? Likely not, experts say

A bullet hole appears in the drivers side window of a vehicle involved in a shooting at Boise Towne Square mall on Monday. BOISE — In the months before October’s deadly mall shooting, the suspected shooter flaunted firearms and lobbied for felons’ gun rights. But legal experts say he shouldn’t have been allowed to carry a gun. As recently as April, Jacob Bergquist, 27, had on his criminal record a felony retail theft conviction in Illinois. He also told lawmakers, in Idaho and elsewhere, and local law enforcement officers that he was a felon. Federal law prohibits convicted felons from possessing firearms, unless they’ve been pardoned, their conviction has been expunged or set aside or their gun rights have been restored by the state agency that prosecuted them. Mike Brown, a north Idaho attorney and gun rights advocate, said Bergquist was “most likely” federally prohibited from possessing a gun, and that prohibition should have been enforced “You’ve probably heard the (National Rifle Association) and other groups say, ‘Let’s enforce the gun laws we have,'” Brown said in a phone interview. “Here’s a case, if this guy was prohibited, why wasn’t he in federal custody? They apparently had a tool to pick this guy up, and I don’t know why they didn’t.” Officers from the Idaho State Police and Boise Police Department sent reports on Bergquist to Ada County prosecutors. After a brief investigation, prosecutors found the suspect’s felony conviction did not meet Idaho’s standards for crimes that prohibit firearm […]

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