[i] (June 16, 2016)

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Orlando Nightclub Mass Shooting: Gun Checks and

Terrorist Watchlists

June 16, 2016 (IN10509)

Related   Author

    * William J Krous

William J. Krouse, Specialist in Domestic Security and Crime Policy (wkrouse crs loc gov, 7-2225)

On June 12, 2016, an armed assailant killed 49 people and wounded over 50 others in an Orlando, FL nightclub. After a
three-hour stand-off with police, the assailant was killed by police. It is unknown at this time whether any of the victims
may  have been killed in the crosfire between the police and the assailant during a hostagerescue operation. The
deceased assailant was armed with a                      and a_9mm  G.ockemia    m    istl.

Assailant's Gun Check

The alleged assailant, 29-year-old Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, acquired these firearms from a federally licensed gun
dealer about to.Eek   prior to the shooting. In so doing, he underwent and passed a hac grond check through a
computer  system administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), known as the National Instant Criminal
Background  Check System (NICS). In addition, the alleged assailant was employed as a state-licensed security guard
and held a concealed carrv weapons (CCW) permit. It has been reported that the state-issued security guard license
might have allowed the alleged assailant to purchase these firearms with minimal background check requirements.
Neither the Florida-issued security guard license nor his CCW permit would have exempted him from the federally
required NICS background check, however.

Gun Checks and Terrorist Watchlists

Pursuant to the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (P.L 103-159), in November 1998 the FBI activated NICS for
the purposes of determining an individual's firearms transfer and possession eligibility whenever an unlicensed
individual seeks to acquire a firearm from a federally licensed gun dealer. Federal law enumerates several grounds that
disqualify someone from firearms eligibility. However, being a known or suspected terrorist is not a federal firearms
eligibility disqualifier.

Following the September I. 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI modified its NICS background check procedures to search
an additional file in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) that includes terrorist watchlist records. Today, this
NCIC  file is known as the Known and Appropriately Suspected Terrorist (KST) File. Since February 2004, information
related to the subjects of NICS-generated terrorist watchlist matches has been passed on to the FBI Counterterrorism

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