U.S. Policy Allowed Loughner To Buy Gun Despite Drug Use


An old policy memo from the Clinton administration paved the way for accused Arizona gunman Jared Loughner to buy his first firearm, reports the Washington Post. Put in place by then-Attorney General Janet Reno, the policy prohibited the military from reporting certain drug abusers to the FBI, which manages the national list of prohibited gun-buyers.

Loughner attempted to enlist in the Army in 2008 but was rejected because he failed a drug-screening process. Within a year, he bought a shotgun from Sportsman's Warehouse in Tucson. In November, he went back to the same store and purchased a Glock 19 – the one he is accused of using in the Jan. 8 rampage that killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Federal law since 1968 has prohibited gun sales to anyone who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance. Licensed dealers have been required to check the backgrounds of gun-buyers since 1994. The Reno policy told federal agencies not to report people who had voluntarily given drug tests for fear it would deter them from seeking treatment.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/18/AR2011011804524.html?hpid=topnews

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