Highland shooting sparks outrage over gun law loopholes missing suspect | Filming in Highland Park

Lawmakers and activists have derided weak US gun control laws following the July 4 mass shooting in which the suspected shooter was allowed to legally buy guns despite multiple alarming previous encounters with law enforcement.

On Monday, seven people were killed and more than 30 injured in Highland Park, an affluent, mostly white Chicago suburb, after the suspect allegedly fired into an Independence Day parade from a rooftop.

He was later arrested after his gun was found with the help of a gun dealer, charged with seven counts of first-degree murder and is due in court on Wednesday.

Prior to the massacre, Highland Park already had relatively strict gun laws by American standards. In 2013, city officials banned semi-automatic assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. Illinois also has some of the strictest gun control laws of any state, with mandatory background checks for gun purchases, laws limiting gun access to domestic abusers and a “red flag” law that allows people who pose a danger to themselves and others to be temporarily barred from buying guns.

Monday’s mass shootings prove these laws still fall far short of what’s needed to curb the wave of mass shootings plaguing the country, gun control advocates said.

At a press conference on Tuesday, US Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois said, “Last month, Congress proved that bipartisan compromises on gun safety are possible. Today has proven that we can’t stop there.

Kathleen Sances of the Gun Violence Prevention Pac called on politicians to “move quickly to regulate the weapons of war” that are making mass shootings increasingly deadly.

Many also decried the Highland Park shooting as an example of how loopholes in local gun control policies allow offenders to slip through the cracks.

The alleged shooter had two previous run-ins with law enforcement that went unreported in the multiple background checks needed to allow him to legally purchase multiple firearms, Reuters reported.

In April 2019, an emergency call was made after the shooter attempted suicide, said Chris Covelli, spokesman for the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force.

In September of the same year, police were dispatched to the gunman’s home after he allegedly threatened to “kill everyone” in his family. During this visit, officers recovered several weapons from the shooter’s home: more than a dozen knives, a sword and a dagger.

Under Illinois’ “red flag” law, both instances could have prevented him from legally obtaining the five firearms he allegedly used in Monday’s mass shooting.

Illinois State Police, however, said that while the shooter was reported as a “clear and present danger” following the September 2019 incident and his history of threatening violence, police of the state dismissed the case because the shooter did not have a gun owner’s identification card or a pending application to own a gun.

An additional hurdle under Illinois law is that police, relatives, roommates, or friends must also first ask a judge to seize a person’s guns.

In December 2019, the shooter successfully applied for a firearms license at the age of 19, with his father sponsoring his application.

State Police, which processes firearms license applications in Illinois, said “there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger” at the time of its application, reported the Associated Press.

Authorities said they plan to seek additional charges against him, with Lake County Attorney General Eric Rinehart promising the charges would be the “first in a long line.” If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.