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llegal Arms Dealer Who Sold Rifle to Odessa, Texas Mass Shooter Pleads Guilty

FILE – In this Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, file photo, law enforcement officials process the crime scene from a shooting the day before which ended with the shooter, Seth Ator, being shot dead by police in a stolen mail van, right, in Odessa, Texas. Federal prosecutors are seeking to keep more than two dozen guns and firearm accessories seized from Marcus Anthony Braziel, whose home was searched in 2019 following a mass shooting in West Texas. The search of Braziel’s home last September came days after Ator drove through Odessa and Midland, neighboring cities 140 miles (225 kilometers) south of Lubbock, shooting people before being shot dead by police. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

The 2019 mass shooting in Odessa, Texas was — as usual — used by the victim disarmament bloc to demand universal background checks, among other limits on the right to keep and bear arms. After all, the shooter, a prohibited person, got his gun in a “private sale” which are exempt from such checks.

Except…that wasn’t actually the case.

Although background checks are not required for in-state, private gun sales, [Marcus Anthony] Braziel admitted he was “engaged in the business of selling firearms” and should have been licensed and checking his clients’ backgrounds. He admitted routinely buying firearm firing mechanisms, using milling equipment to build them into guns, then selling them for profits of $100-$200.

In fact, the shooter had earlier tried to buy a gun through a legitimate gun retailer and his background check was denied.

When Braziel’s role in this was mentioned at all by the mainstream media — Gun law loophole allowed Odessa mass shooting suspect to buy AR-type assault rifle — he was painted as just a private individual who happened sell a gun to a mass shooter. In fact, he was manufacturing guns at home, a point that furthered anti-homebuild talking points, too.

This guilty plea makes those arguments easier to deflect. This was an illegal arms manufacturer/dealer breaking the law. He wasn’t going to bring attention to himself by trying to access the NICS system for deliberately unlawful transactions.

Let’s hit all the high points again: A prohibited person who couldn’t buy a gun legally knowingly purchased a firearm from a person who was knowingly, unlawfully in the business of manufacturing and dealing firearms.

But never fear. No doubt one more new gun control law would magically stop this kind of activity. Perhaps we could even make it a felony to commit a felony.

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