Gary Martin was in the process of being fired by his employer yesterday when he pulled a gun and began shooting, killing five people. He’d worked at Aurora, Illinois valve manufacturer Henry Pratt Company for fifteen years.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Martin was issued an Illinois firearm owner identification (FOID) card back in 2014 despite a record that included a Mississippi felony conviction. FOID in hand, he then purchased a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol.
He applied for a concealed carry permit shortly after purchasing the gun, according to police. During the fingerprinting and background process, Martin’s conviction in Mississippi was discovered and his concealed carry application was denied. He had also had his firearm license revoked by the Illinois State Police, Aurora Police Chief Kristen Ziman said.
Martin had six prior arrests by the Aurora police, including charges of domestic violence.
So let’s see where we are here. We have a convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm. He must have lied about his record on his FOID application, which would have been another crime.
Martin was able to purchase his gun legally thanks to an error by the Illinois State Police, who failed to find his felony conviction and issued the FOID card. And the Mississippi felony apparently didn’t show up on the NICS background check Martin underwent when he bought the handgun, either.
So Martin was a criminal in illegal possession of a firearm, carrying a gun on his employer’s premises (which, no doubt, was also a gun-free zone).