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Judge Throws Out Charleston Church Shooting Victims’ Lawsuits Against FBI

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Molly Prince Politics Reporter

A federal court judge dismissed the lawsuits on Tuesday filed by victims of the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina.

The shooting occurred in 2015 after white supremacist Dylann Roof open fired into the church during a prayer service, leaving nine worshippers dead and one injured.

The lawsuits accused the FBI of failing to run proper background checks, which enabled Roof to purchase the .45-caliber handgun that he used during the attack. (RELATED: Dylann Roof Sentenced To Death By Unanimous Jury)

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel cited the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, specifically in reference to a provision that shields the federal government from liability for failing to prevent the sale of a firearm to an unlawful individual.

Roof purchased the pistol over a month after he was charged for possession of a schedule III drug, which should have made him a prohibited possessor, reported Live5News. However, the information of Roof’s drug arrest was incorrectly entered into the database system, preventing the background check results from getting flagged.

Gergel further blamed the FBI for some “abysmally poor policy choices made,” according to the Post And Courier. He also criticized the agency for hiding behind governmental policies rather than fixing the problem.

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