The California Gilroy Garlic Festival gunman reportedly “legally” purchased the rifle he used in his attack.

CNN reports Gilroy Police Chief Scot Smithee discovered that the gunman lived in Nevada with family members for a time. In fact, Smithee noted police are not really sure how long the gunman had been back in California before the shooting occurred.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the rifle, an AK-47 variant, was purchased from Big Mikes Gun and Ammo in Fallon, Nevada. A retail purchase such as this would require a background check, thus making the sale legal.

He also purchased a shotgun from another gun store in Reno on July 1. Again, the gun store purchase would have required a background check to be legal.

The gunman used the AK-47 variant in the attack.

Interestingly, numerous gun controllers responded to the attack by calling for universal background checks. However, California has universal background checks and law enforcement’s explanation that the gunman legally purchased firearms in Nevada gun stores means he underwent background checks there. Those checks would have been conducted by the FBI.

Nearly every mass shooter and/or high-profile shooter of the past 15 years acquired guns via a background check. The few exceptions are those who stole their firearms.

Here is a partial list of attackers who bought their guns legally, i.e., who acquired them via background checks:

  • Virginia Beach attacker (May 31, 2019)
  • Poway Synagogue attacker (April 27, 2019)
  • Tree of Life Synagogue  attacker (October 27, 2018)
  • Parkland high school attacker (February 14, 2018)
  • Texas church attacker (November 5, 2017)
  • Las Vegas attacker (October 1, 2017)
  • the Alexandria attacker (June 14, 2017))
  • Orlando attacker (June 12, 2016)
  • the UCLA gunman (June 1, 2016))
  • the San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015)
  • the Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015)
  • the Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015)
  • Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015)
  • the Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015)
  • the Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015)
  • the alleged Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015)
  • the Muhammad Carton Contest attackers (May 3, 2014)
  • the Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015)
  • the Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014)
  • the Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014)
  • the Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013)
  • the D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013)
  • the Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012)
  • Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
  • the Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
  • the Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007)

It should be noted that the rifle used by the gunman is illegal in California, as is murder and assault. However, illegalities meant nothing to the gunman when the time came to ply his horrid trade. And this is the overarching reason gun control has no impact on the criminally-minded. It only constrains law-abiding citizens.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at

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