FBI failed to follow gun laws before Dylan Roof mass shooting

Dylan Roof should not have been allowed to buy a gun. Standing gun laws require a background check of potential gun purchasers by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System.


Dylan Roof perpetuated the 2015 mass shooting at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. He had been arrested for illegal drug use. Roof should have not been allowed to buy a gun, yet the FBI did not block the gun purchase.

As a result of the FBI’s failure, the families of the nine people fatally shot sued the government and an $88 million settlement with the US Department of Justice was announced as a result, Thursday. No one in the FBI was named specifically for the failure and no criminal charges were announced against anyone in the FBI.

Roof bought the 45-caliber hand gun he used at Shooter’s Choice in West Columbia. The FBI failed to process the background check that would have blocked Roof from buying the weapon.

Claimants will receive between $6 million and $7.5 million for those who died in the shooting, Survivors will receive $5 million per claimant.