The dealer who sold Omar Mateen the guns used in Sunday’s slaughter called the terrorist “evil” but said all laws were followed to the letter in selling the guns to Mateen.
“An evil person came in here and legally purchased two firearms from us,” said Ed Henson, owner of the St. Lucie Shooting Center Port St. Lucie, Fla. “And if he hadn’t purchased them from us, I’m sure he would’ve gotten them from another local gun store in the area.”
He said Mateen passed a full background check on both guns, which were bought a week apart.
“He passed the background check that every single person that purchases a firearm in the in the state Florida undergoes. … There is no such thing as an abbreviated background check, even though that’s what’s been wrongly reported,” Henson said.
Henson said that he is a part of the tragedy.
“It’s horrible but I don’t make the laws, I abide by them,” he said. “My heartfelt condolences for the family and victims, and I can’t imagine the horror they face.”
“I did everything by the book. I’m not going to be made into a villain. He’s evil,” Henson said, referring to Mateen. “We happen to be the gun shop he picked.” Henson said agents from the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms were at his store Monday.
“We’ve been cooperating with them and other law enforcement agencies,” he said. “We did nothing wrong.”
Adam Putnam, Florida’s commissioner of agriculture and consumer services, affirmed Henson’s story.
“The striking thing about what we think we know about this incident is that all of the so-called loopholes that people point to were not a part of this crime, not a part of this terrorist act,” Putnam said. “There was a background check. There was a further background check that allowed him to become an armed security guard.”
“You have a U.S. citizen with no criminal record, a U.S. citizen with no prior mental health issues, who waited the three days and went through yet another background check at the point of purchase. So it does not appear that the typical legislative actions would have had an impact on this individual’s ability to purchase a firearm,” Putnam said.