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A federal appeals court ruled Friday that a lawsuit against the federal government over a failed background check, which will leave the South Carolina man, buy a gun, which he later used to kill nine men at a historically black church in the City will be.
The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals voided, a lower court ruling that found the government is immune from liability because the claims of the survivors and the families of people who died in the June of 2015 the massacre did not fit into the narrow exceptions to the laws that shield public employees from liability in the performance of their official duties.
The panel also found that the examiner who conducted a background check on Dylann’s Roof has failed to follow a required procedure, if they are not in contact with the police department in Columbia, S. C., about the time of his arrest on a drug possession charge weeks earlier.
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“As soon as the examiner during the research, it appears that the Columbia PD was arresting agency that did the report, was to contact with it. Her decision not to do so, which member are not permitted in the exercise of its discretion,” Judge Roger Gregory wrote for the federal panel on Friday, the court added: “The government may say that there is no immunity in these circumstances.”
After capturing the image, then-FBI Director James Comey said the Roof was in a position to complete the purchase of the Glock 41 pistol, “only because of the lapses in the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), according to the court documents.
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“Dylann Roof, the alleged murderer of so many innocent people in the Community A. M. E. Church, should not be allowed to purchase the gun he allegedly used in that night,” Comey said at the time. (By the end of 2016, the jury found the Roof to be guilty in the church of blood, and he was subsequently convicted and sentenced to death.)
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U. s. District Court Judge Richard Gergel said that, last year, the FBI’s background-check process was “disturbingly superficial,” pointing to several typing errors and other mistakes.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.