Dylann Roof

Charleston mass murderer got his gun because of background check gaps, internal report shows
Four years later, Congress and White House have made little progress on gun legislation

Mourners enter Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015 after a mass shooting by Dylann Roof, a self-declared white supremacist, left nine people dead. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images file photo)

Dylann Roof got the pistol he used to kill nine people in a historic black church in South Carolina without a completed background check because of gaps in FBI databases, legal restrictions on how long the FBI can keep data on gun purchasers and other breakdowns in the system, according to an internal report obtained by CQ Roll Call.

Four years after the 2015 attack at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston — and several more high-profile mass shootings — a bipartisan group of senators is still trying to hammer out a deal with the White House on background check legislation. 

U.S. to Seek Death Penalty in South Carolina Mass Shooting
Dylann Roof is charged in the shooting of nine Africian-Americans at Bible study

Dylann Roof is charged in the killings of nine black parishioners during a Bible study last year in South Carolina. (Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)

The Justice Department will seek the death penalty for Dylann Roof, the suspect in a mass shooting at a South Carolina church last year that prosecutors allege was racially motivated.  

Roof, 22, who is white, allegedly opened fire at a Bible study last June 17 in Charleston, killing nine black parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church.