Background check system didn’t flag felony warrant of Pease Park suspect

Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A Texas gun store owner said a flaw in the federal background check system allowed him to sell a rifle to the man accused of carrying multiple weapons into Pease Park last Wednesday.

Austin police arrested 23-year-old Dalton Broesche last week after witnesses described seeing him pull out and shoulder a rifle from his backseat.

According to official court documents, police located him walking through the park carrying a loaded nine-millimeter handgun, an extra magazine for the pistol, an expandable metal baton, two knives, a flashlight and black gloves.

RELATED: Man accused of carrying numerous weapons into downtown Austin park

Michael Cargill, the owner of Central Texas Gun Works, said he saw the local reports and checked his system to see if Broesche was a customer. Cargill said he was shocked to see that he had actually sold him the rifle that Broesche had ditched in the woods at Pease Park.

Cargill said the federal background check system should have denied the transaction due to a 2018 felony aggravated assault warrant in Broesche’s name out of Harris County.

“I was in shock and disbelief. I wanted to figure out how in the world did he get a gun from us if he had a warrant for his arrest, a felony warrant,” Cargill said.

Cargill said his staff followed all state and federal laws during the sales process. According to Cargill, Broesche filled out the customary form 4473 and waited three days before purchasing the firearm.

“I looked at all the paperwork,” Cargill said. “We did everything right, we followed federal law, so that means that the court, someone in Houston, messed up and there was an issue there in the court.”

According to Cargill, Broesche had also taken a “licensed to carry a handgun” course at the gun store. Cargill said Broesche showed no signs of strange behavior during his three visits.

The state added a deadly conduct charge against Broesche on top of the counts he already faces.

“Lie and Try”

Texas Congresswoman Gina Hinojosa introduced a bill during the 2019 legislative session that would help close loopholes in the background check process.

Rep. Hinojosa said she believes that Broesche likely lied on the background check form in order to buy the rifle. She said this is common strategy for people to attempt if they feel they might be denied.

“While we don’t have all the facts because the investigation is ongoing, there is indication that the individual with the AR-15 at Pease Park may have lied on his background check.  If so, under my ‘Lie & Try’ bill, HB 95, the DPS would have had to follow up with an investigation based on the discrepancy,” Rep. Hinojosa said in a statement.

We know that, too often, people ‘Lie’ on a background check to ‘Try’ to get a gun.  It is against federal law but the federal government very rarely enforces it.  We need a state law to keep Texans safe.”

Rep. Gina Hinojosa

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