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    Orlando Gunman Omar Mateen

    Armed in America: Orlando Gunman Purchased Weapons Legally

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    The Orlando office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms confirmed that the gunman responsible for the Club Pulse shooting used legitimate means to acquire his weapons.

    "We have completed urgent traces on firearms involved in #Orlando shooting. Firearms purchased legally," the Orlando ATF tweeted Sunday. 

    Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old New York native, used a military-style assault rifle and a Glock handgun to kill 49 people and injure 53. The incident took place during Pride weekend, and the club is a popular hangout for Orlando’s LGBTQ community.

    The shooter called 911 during the shooting, declaring his allegiance to Daesh, also known as ISIS/Islamic State, and told the operator, "I’m doing this to protest the US bombing in Syria and Iraq and the killing of women and children… I’m doing this in solidarity with the Tsarnaev brothers and Moner Abu-Salha." President Obama has said that despite Mateen’s pronouncement there’s no evidence linking Mateen to Daesh. 

    FBI Assistant special agent Trevor Velinor said Mateen acquired his weapons "within the last week or so" and that he was able to legally "acquire and purchase firearms."

    According to the Orlando Sentinel, Mateen purchased his gun at the St. Lucie Shooting Center.

    Adam Putnam, from Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which issues gun licenses, explained the process Mateen went through to buy his gun.

    "You have a U.S. citizen with no criminal record, a U.S. citizen with no prior mental health issues, who waited the three days and went through yet another background check at the point of purchase. So it does not appear that the typical legislative actions would have had an impact on this individual’s ability to purchase a firearm," he said, adding, "The striking thing about what we think we know about this incident is that all of the so-called loopholes that people point to were not a part of this crime, not a part of this terrorist act. There was a background check. There was a further background check that allowed him to become an armed security guard." 

    Edward Henson, who owns the St. Lucie Shooting Center said that he only barely remembers Mateen and that nothing stood out about him. "He’s a nobody. He’s a customer. He came and purchased his guns and he left. We do a large business." He recalls how Mateen "legally purchased two firearms from us, and if he had not bought from us, he would have gotten them elsewhere." The former New York City police officer expressed remorse over Sunday’s shooting. "It is horrific, this terrible act that has happened," Henson said. "My condolences to all the families. I’m working with law enforcement and cooperating with them."

    He said that the shop is in "full compliance" with authorities and that "The ATF did not shut us down."

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    Omar Mateen, Orlando shooting, Omar Mateen, Florida, United States, Orlando
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