Report: Straw Gun Buyer Suspected In Jewish Site Shootings

By: Jamie Oberg
By: Jamie Oberg

CLAYCOMO, MO (KCTV) -- The suspected gunman facing criminal charges in three shooting deaths at two Jewish community sites in Overland Park shouldn't have had a gun.

That is because it is illegal when someone has been convicted of a felony.

The Kansas City Star reports the FBI and ATF are looking for a straw purchaser who may have gotten the firearms for Frazier Glenn Cross.

A gun dealer in Claycomo says non-felons can come into Show Me Shooters and legally buy any of the guns.

Potential buyers would simply fill out a form and pass a background check. But if they buy a gun with the intent to sell it to someone else, that is a straw purchase, which is illegal. However, the former law enforcement agent and firearms dealer says it happens.

"We have had a few of those over the years. Basically, a person with a great background ... no problems in buying a firearm," professional firearms consultant Don Pind said.

Lying on the four-page form carries felony charges, and dealers have to be on the lookout for anything suspicious.

"We have had people come in and look at a gun, two or three people, walk out of the shop, and then one of the girls will come in and say this is the one I want. You know she's not the one purchasing it ... it is one of the guys in the car," Pind said. "So no, that sale is not going to happen."

Authorities are looking for a straw purchaser, or "middle man," who may have helped get guns into Cross' possession.

Cross is accused of then using those guns to shoot and kill three people outside Jewish facilities in Overland Park a week ago.

"I don't know how you're going to stop it. I agree that it is wrong, and it should never happened," Pind said.

Pind says the greater risk is buying and selling guns without a dealer.

"It happens all the time, buying across state lines, and they normally don't ask a person, 'are you a felon?' Dealers have to," Pind said.

In Kansas and Missouri, it is legal for anyone to sell up to five guns online or in the parking lot with no background check or form. Buyers also don't know if the gun has been used in a crime.

If buyers live in a different state than a federally licensed gun dealer and pass the background check, they can legally purchase rifles and walk out with their purchase in hand, but pistols and higher powered weapons have to be in-state sales.

On the Kansas-Missouri border, it is usually same day sales, where buyers pay for their weapon and then have the gun shipped to a dealer in the state they live.


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