Gun control advocates have promoted the story that the Odessa, TX shooter who killed seven and wounded 25 last Saturday would not have been able to purchase a gun if the US required universal background checks.

CNN’s Josh Campbell tweeted: “Somebody who failed a federal background check was still able to legally purchase a gun in America. How does that make any sense? It’s literally insane.”

Then, CNN published an article claiming that the gun was purchased in a private sale, which doesn’t require a background check. Their source? A law enforcement official. That would be Campbell, who serves as the network’s law enforcement analyst. Campbell previously worked at the FBI.

Naturally, this claim was breathlessly repeated by others including Jim Sciutto who tweeted, “New: Odessa gunman purchased weapon in private sale, which does not require a background check – @joshscampbell reporting.” And by Jake Tapper, who wrote, “A law enforcement official tells CNN’s @joshscampbell that the Odessa TX mass murderer purchased his weapon in a private sale — which does not require a background check.”

As it turns out, an article in the Wall Street Journal explodes CNN’s entire narrative. The shooter, Seth Aaron Ator, purchased his AR-15 style rifle from a Texas man whom law enforcement officials believe illegally manufactured and sold the firearm. The whole “private” transaction looks to be illegal which means that more stringent universal background check laws would not have stopped Ator from obtaining a weapon.

The Journal reported:

Ator, 36 years old, was prohibited under federal law from owning a firearm because a court had previously found him mentally unfit, law-enforcement officials previously said. He had tried to buy a gun in January 2014 but failed because a nationwide criminal-background-check system flagged the mental-health determination by a local court and prevented the purchase, according to the officials.

While private gun sales are legal under federal law, it is a crime to be in the business of manufacturing or selling guns without a license. Law-enforcement officials suspect the man was buying various gun parts to build his own guns and then reselling them.

It has become increasingly popular for people to build AR-style rifles at home with parts purchased online.

Thus, stronger gun laws would not have prevented this shooting. Existing laws prevented Ator from purchasing a gun legally, so he found a way to obtain one illegally. Which is something that criminals who want a firearm would be likely to do. There are many ways to obtain guns illegally and a criminal will take the time to find one.

Federal investigators searched the suspected seller’s home on Wednesday and as of 7:30 am on Friday, there are no reports of what their findings were.

But CNN, just twelve hours ago, continued to promote their narrative.

The investigation into the gun sale highlights one of the loopholes in the patchwork of federal gun laws. Because the sale was a so-called private sale, the seller isn’t required to conduct a background check on the buyer, which is required in sales by licensed gun dealers.

Authorities are seeking to determine whether the sale violated federal law, which requires that sellers register as gun dealers if they’re buying and selling guns for profit and acting essentially as gun dealers.

Although it has not been confirmed or denied, I believe it would have been reported by now if the suspected seller had been a licensed gun dealer.

My question to CNN and all gun control advocates: After you take all the guns away from law-abiding citizens, how do you plan to take them away from criminals?

Answer: You’ll never be able to do it.

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Below, the NRA’s Dana Loesch and The Federalist’s David Harsanyi weigh in on CNN’s foolish story.