Radcliffe Haughton, the man who reportedly killed three people and wounded four others at a Wisconsin day spa before taking his own life, should not have been able to legally obtain a firearm. Three days before Haughton’s mass killing, his estranged wife obtained a restraining order against him and he was ordered to turn over all of his firearms. Haughton’s wife was one of his victims.
Federal law prohibits possession of firearms by most people who are the subject of a domestic violence restraining order, yet Haughton was able to buy the firearm he used in his mass shooting thanks to a loophole that enables gun sales over the Internet without a background check. Worse, Haughton is far from the only person able to take advantage of this loophole:
In its “Point, Click, Fire” investigation of illegal online gun sales, NYC investigators found that 62 percent of private gun sellers, most of them online, agreed to sell a gun to a customer who admitted he probably couldn’t pass a background check. . . . The report found a number of high-powered rifles, like a Ruger Mini 14 assault rifle, for sale on Armslist.com . . . .
Armslist.com boasted 54,745 active listings as of Thursday. In Wisconsin alone, the site is advertising Rugers, a Bushmaster AR-15 and a Remington 7600 pump 270.
In one case documented by the New York investigation, an undercover investigator asked a seller if he was “one of those licensed guys” and said he couldn’t pass a background check. The seller responded with a laugh and said “no, I just take cash, and there you go!”