Are there possible cracks that the suspect may have fallen through when it comes to the law?
Police have said the assault-style rifle suspect Bobby Crimo III allegedly used in the Highland Park mass shooting was legally purchased, as were the other four guns Crimo owned. That despite the state’s red flag laws, which some say could have been used to deny him a FOID card or to potentially take the weapons away.
“Illinois has legislation in place, however, it’s woefully lacking and needs to have teeth to end mass shootings,” said Lori Ann Post, who has a Ph.D. from Northwestern University.
Post has studied mass shootings over the years and said the Highland Park shooting follows a familiar pattern, despite the state’s red flag laws.
Most shooters put out plenty of warning signs.
In Crimo’s case, he attempted suicide in April of 2019. Then, five months later police responded when he threatened to kill people in his home, leading them to temporarily confiscate 16 knives and other weapons. He also put out allegedly threatening social media messages.
“The firearms restraining order is useful in all these situations. Someone making threats, experiencing trauma and should not possess firearms,” said Rep. Denyse Wang Stoneback, 16th District.
Stoneback fought for funding to educate people about the red flag law. Since the law took effect in 2019, more than half of the red flag alerts statewide have been in DuPage County.
EXPLAINED: Illinois’ Clear and Present Danger Law vs. Firearms Restraining Order Law
“I have no doubt the law has saved lives in DuPage County,” said DuPage County State’s Attorney Robert Berlin.
Illinois Senator Dick Durbin (D) toured the UCAN facility on the West Side of the city, which is designed to prevent violence. He said the red flag laws work but ultimately it comes down to those closest to a potential gunman.
“Parents have a responsibility when it comes to firearms, particularly assault weapons for God’s sake,” Durbin said. “There’s gotta be culpability in this situation.”
A lawyer for Bobby Crimo’s parents admits his father signed a consent form allowing his son to get a FOID card and that he had nothing to do with alerting authorities about concerns through the red flag law.
Illinois State Police announced Wednesday afternoon that there will be criminal investigations into the culpability of the father because he signed the FOID affidavit.
Crimo’s father also claimed the weapons in the house belonged to him following the 2019 incident, so not all the weapons were taken from the house, ISP said.
Director Brendan Kelly of the Illinois State Police faced hard questions Wednesday about why his agency did not or could not prevent Crimo from getting his FOID card.
ISP explains how accused Highland Park shooter was approved for FOID card
He saidthat based on the information law enforcement had at the time, there was nothing that could have been done to deny Crimo’s FOID card to legally buy his guns.
When asked his reaction to the fact the Crimo’s father helped his son get the permit, Kelly responded, “I can’t speak to what was going through the mind of this particular person when they made that decision, when they decided to sponsor this person. I can only speak from perspective as a citizen and as a father that we all have a duty we all have an obligation…we all have to be mindful of, of, of the safety of others. And sometimes that requires some difficult things as a parent. Now, again, it’ll be up to the courts, and it’ll be up to this process to decide what was appropriate and what was not in this circumstance.”
The family’s attorney said his clients are cooperating fully with the investigation, are answering questions, and have provided authorities access to electronics and more.
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