Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin acknowledges that a background check of suspected killer Aaron Alexis still may not prevented Monday’s mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. But that's not stopping the Democrat from calling for expanded background checks for gun purchases.
Durbin, the Majority Whip, is urging the Senate to reconsider legislation sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., to expand background checks.
“We need to return to issues that are of importance,” he said on the Senate floor, reports The Hill.
“There was an issue before the Senate several months ago…that would have taken an extra step to keep guns out of the hands of those who have a history of felonies and who are mentally ill,” Durbin added.
Officials say Alexis entered the Navy Yard building with a with a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun purchased last week in Virginia, according to The Washington Times.
Two other weapons were found at the scene, including an AR-15, the same weapon used is in the mass shootings in Newtown, Conn. And Aurora, Colo. News of the AR-15 used at the Navy Yard brought renewed cries of an assault weapons ban, CNN reports.
“When will enough be enough?" Feinstein said in a statement
released on her website.
But CNN says investigators are exploring the possibility that the AR-15 and a handgun used in the shooting were taken from guards at the scene and were not owned by Alexis.
Alexis, 34, of Fort Worth, Texas, had reportedly finished a contract in Japan for The Experts, an IT consulting firm, and was about to be reassigned to do additional work at the Navy Yard.
“We had just rehired him. Another background investigation was re-run and cleared through the defense security service in July 2013,” said Thomas Hoshko, CEO of The Experts, which was helping service the Navy Marine Corps Intranet as a subcontractor for HP Enterprise Services, part of Hewlett-Packard.
“He did have a secret clearance. And he did have a CAC (common access card),” said Hoshko said Tuesday.
Alexis had served as a Petty Officer in the Navy between 2007 and 2011, when he was discharged, and had been previously arrested in gun-related incidents, according to NBC News.
“This individual appeared to have some background issues…that should have raised some questions,” stated Durbin.
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