If the reports are accurate, we have a 24-year-old Chinese national in the US on a student visa as the VTech shooter. I don’t know a great deal about the process for student visa holders to obtain firearms, but I have a friend who does know quite a bit about it. So I’ll defer to an email he just sent me.

You can obtain a firearm if you are a resident alien and present proof of residency 90 days prior to a purchase. Usually a utility bill for 3 months prior to the day the RA attempts to purchase the firearm bill must match your state DL or ID address. The RA also must must fill out 4473 form and pass a background check. But on a student VISA? No way! Those guns had to be stolen or he fooled the system some how!

He sent a link to the ATF’s write-up on the Brady Law, which states:

As you may be aware, Section 121 of Public Law 105-277, the Omnibus Appropriations Act for 1999, amended the Gun Control Act of 1968 to prohibit, with certain exceptions, the transfer to and possession of firearms by aliens admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa. This definition includes, in large part, persons traveling temporarily in the United States for business or pleasure, persons studying in the United States who maintain a residence abroad, and certain foreign workers. Therefore, you, as a Federal firearms licensee, are prohibited from transferring firearms to aliens that fall within this category.

The site lists exceptions, none of which appear to apply to the as of yet unnamed mass murderer. So it would seem that the gunman obtained his weapons illegally, either by gaming the system or by stealing them.

Now, some are likely to react to this post by scolding me for highlighting a possible gun crime committed by a man who perpetrated the worst massacre in US history, bringing up a relatively trivial crime next to a monstrous one as though I’m equating the two. I’m not. The point of bringing it up is to discover as much as we can about how the crime occurred, and how he obtained his weapons plays a role in that.

Just so we’re all on the same page.

Update: Extreme caution–this could be a hoax. But it doesn’t ring quite hollow.

Call BS all you like, but I just spent the last several hours with 3 ATF agents. I saw the shooter’s picture. I know his name and home address. I also know that he used a Glock 19 and a Walther P-22. The serial number was ground off the Glock. Why would he do that and still keep the receipt in his pocket from when he bought the gun?
ATF told me that they are going to keep this low-key and not report this to the tv news. However, they cautioned that it will leak out eventually, and that I should be ready to deal with CNN, FOX, etc.
My 32 camera surveillance system recorded the event 35 days ago. This is a digital system that only keeps the video for 35 days. We got lucky.
By the way, the paperwork for Mr. Cho was perfect, thank God.

The poster seems to own a gun shop. If he’s right, the gunman kept the receipt for the guns in his pockets…since March? But ground the serial number off one of the guns? And his name is Cho. I guess we’ll know if this is our guy soon enough.

Hat tip to Gateway Pundit for the catch.

Update (AP): WaPo confirms that the serial numbers were indeed removed from both guns. Hmmm.

Tags: China Virginia