The suspect in a Florida college shooting to buy the AR-15-style rifle offered in the attack legally a year ago, authorities claimed Thursday.

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Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged with murdering 17 world at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, wherein he had actually been expelled because that fighting, follow to authorities.

Cruz lawfully bought the semiautomatic rifle last February, according to Peter Forcelli, unique agent in charge of the Miami office the the bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and also Explosives. 

The gun, a smith & Wesson M&P 15 .223, was purchased in ~ Sunrise Tactical Supply, follow to the linked Press.

Federal law permits people 18 and older to legally purchase lengthy guns, consisting of this type of attack weapon. V no criminal record, Cruz clearing an instant background examine via the FBI criminal database.

If somebody is adjudicated holy spirit defective or has actually been committed to a mental institution, the is prohibition from own a firearm under federal law.

Florida Gov. Stack Scott said at a news conference Thursday that he would comment on with the Legislature following week increasing resources for mental-health services and keeping weapons out of the hands of the holy spirit ill.

“If somebody is holy ghost ill, they can’t have access to a gun,” Scott said.

Melisa McNeill, his publicly defender, described Cruz in his initial court illustration Thursday together a "broken child" who experienced brain-development problems and depression.

Gun buyers are rarely turned down due to the fact that of psychological illness. From 1998 to 2014, the FBI garbage 16,669 potential pistol buyers since a background check found a mental wellness adjudication, around 1.4% that the about 1.2 million background check that caused a denial.

Mental health entered the conflict after the 2007 Virginia tech shooting. The gunman in that situation had to be treated in ~ a Virginia hospital top top the grounds that he can be a peril to himself or others. The was nonetheless able to happen a lift check. After that, a most states moved to it is provided the FBI and their own background inspect databases through records about people with psychological illness.


Rob Lasky, FBI special agent in charge of the Miami division, claimed his firm received a reminder in September around a comment do on a YouTube video that said, “I’m walking to it is in a professional school shooter.”

The FBI the review databases and couldn’t track down that made the statement, that said.

“There to be no connection found to south Florida,” Lasky said.

More on the Florida institution shooting:

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What we know about Nikolas Cruz, strike at Parkland high school

"My institution is being shot up and I am locked inside!": Chaos in Florida school

Why the AR-15 keeps showing up at America"s deadliest mass shootings

Cruz was equipped with a gas mask, acting grenades and magazines that ammunition once he opened up fire Wednesday, police said.

"An AR-15 is not for hunting, it"s because that killing," Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said on the Senate floor Thursday.

After Cruz’s mother passed away Nov. 1, he relocated in through a friend’s family around Thanksgiving, the family’s lawyer, Jim Lewis, told AP. The family was conscious of the rifle and make him save it locked in a cabinet, but he had a key, he said.

Photos post in one Instagram account attached to Cruz display a half-dozen weapons presented on a mattress and a box of ammunition.

Lewis claimed the family wasn’t aware of other weapons in the cabinet. The family is cooperating with authorities and had no idea he was planning the shooting, Lewis said.

They had “no indication that anything severe like this to be wrong,” Lewis said. “He completely kept this from everybody.”

Cruz had been component of the junior Reserve Officer maintain Corps while attending the school as a freshman, and also he wore one of the group’s shirts Wednesday. However current members that JROTC said the uniforms have changed, and Cruz’s shirt didn’t complement theirs.

“If the wore the uniform, he would have been an ext successful,” said Colton Haab, 17, that attends the school.

Gun manage advocates space calling for tougher measures.

Senate decimal Whip Richard Durbin, D-Ill., claimed the Florida shooting come on the 10th anniversary of a shoot at north Illinois university that killed 5 people and injured 17.

“A numbness is setup in,” Durbin said on the Senate floor. “Schools and colleges are doing the ideal they can to prepare and protect their students. But is conference doing all that it have the right to to save our country students safe from gun violence? Not also close.”

Gabrielle Giffords, a former member of the home who made it through a shooting, urged congress to plot after 3 of the most dangerous mass shootings in U.S. History in the past 5 months.

House speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., decreased Thursday to assistance a proposal make by democrats to produce a one-of-a-kind committee to examine gun violence. He made referral to the shooter"s possible mental illness but claimed Congress had passed law to address that question.

“This is not the time to jump to some conclusions," Ryan said.

Experts say national tragedies such together Wednesday’s hardly ever lead to alters in federal gun laws because people burrow additional on their very own side of the fence. Says with chop gun constraints squeeze tighter. States with loose laws open up more.

"In the wake of this shootings, reactions are polarized, and also people often tend to twin down,” claimed Timothy Lytton, associate dean for research and also faculty advancement at Georgia State’s school of Law.

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"States are most likely to do much more of the same, while congress is most likely to be deadlocked ~ above the worry of guns," he said. 

He spicy to less politically toxicity solutions that might assist curb pistol violence, consisting of bolstered institution security. In plenty of parts of the country, steel detectors space commonplace.

If lawmakers start "thinking about security of institutions the same way we think about it in other places,” Lytton said, civilization on both sides of the gun dispute might uncover middle ground. 

Contributing: Brett Murphy, USA this particular day Network; Emily Bohatch, The (Stuart, Fla.) News; Alan Gomez, USA TODAY