FBI: Congressional Baseball Shooter Bought [Non-Assault] Rifle in Illinois

In the immediate aftermath of an assassination attempt on Republican politicians at a Virginia baseball field, the anti-gun mainstream media blamed Virginia’s “lax gun control laws.” Virginia’s Governor immediately used the shooting to further his agenda. Virginia needs to do more to “get guns off the streets”! There was one problem with the narrative: it was wrong.

Virginia’s gun control laws weren’t applicable to the assailant. The FBI issued a report on the facts of the case, summarized by the National Review:

…the guns weren’t bought in Virginia; they were bought in Illinois, which has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. And they weren’t purchased privately, illegally, or without attendant background checks, but “legally through federal firearms licensees” that are obliged under federal law to run checks. Moreover, Hodgkinson only got the weapons after he obtained an additional possession-and-purchase license (FOID) of the sort that more extreme gun-control advocates want to see made mandatory in all states.

The media also called the SKS rifle an “assault weapon” or “assault rifle.” As we pointed out, it was a standard SKS rifle with an internal 10-round magazine. But don’t take our word for it. The SKS is specifically exempt from the “assault weapon bans” currently in force in New York and California. Even under the latest federally-proposed assault weapon ban, the SKS doesn’t qualify.

As with the San Bernardino terrorist attack, the baseball shooter modified his rifle. In this case, he added a detachable magazine and folding stock. Under some states’ regulations, the addition of these items re-classified the firearm as an “assault weapon.” But not according to any technical (see: select fire) or sensible definition.

The Congressional baseball shooting does not demonstrate the need for “stronger” gun control laws. It’s an illustration of gun control laws’ inherent inability to stop criminals, crazies and terrorists from realizing their violent plans. And the mainstream media’s inability to report the truth about guns.


  1. avatar Turd Furgeson says:

    Tapco stock on his SKS? what modifications we’re made?

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      FBI says folding stock and detachable magazine mods were made to the rifle.

      1. avatar Norincojay says:

        Yeppers. Folding stock and duck bill mags. As reported by FBI. Would be considered an “assault rifle” in several states.

  2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    I have found many gun channels promoting the SKS going back three years at least. After the assassination attempt the prices will probably go into the stratosphere.

    1. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy says:

      We didn’t see droves of people rushing out and buying Caracano rifles after JFK was shot nor were they running out and purchasing Charter Arms Bulldogs after Reagan or Remington rifles after MLK were gunned down.

      1. avatar Andrew Lias says:

        Son of Sam used a bulldog, Hinkley used a Rohm 22; I don’t know of anyone who would rush to buy one of those.

        1. avatar Mark Kelly's Diapered Drooling Ventriloquist's Dummy (says "pull my strings") says:

          Thank you for the correction I get my Democrats and their guns mixed up, there’s been so many of them the shooting people. As for the Rohm, I amazed it didn’t blow up in Hinckley’s hand.

      2. avatar J says:

        Sig mcx prices are falling too…..1300 bucks, even after the Orlando bs.

  3. avatar Steve says:

    The conclusion? All guns should be banned. Wait for it. This is coming no doubt and using all the points made here…

    1. avatar ColdNorth says:

      This does not bode well for the national rifle of Canada.

    2. avatar Michael says:

      Paranoid fear tactics. Please keep them to yourself. They are counter productive.

      1. avatar Steve says:

        How is this paranoid fear [tactics]. ‘We’ allow and even have much fun here about anti’s talking points and debating why this or that is not an assault weapon or other. The anti’s agenda that is not challenged is disarmament. If I were an anti and you said ‘yea, but this was not an assault weapon but a basic rifle.’ I say ‘you know you are right, even these, all rifles, should be banned we need to stop such tragedies … oh the humantiy.’ Where I live (MA) all assault style weapons were removed from store shelves with a simple memo from an AG in part stating that this style was used in, wait for it, Orlando. So, I see no reason except for the fact Hillary lost, that this AG would not apply the same logic to remove any semi-auto because of this tragedy in VA.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          Well, Steve, this is why we have elections at the local level.
          I urge all POTG to get involved at the local level, whenever possible. These people who have no idea of what the Constitution says need to be taken out of office.

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    Annnnnnnd…once again TTAG claims Illinois has “some of the strictest gun laws”. Not even in the top ten. Shall issue CCL,can own an unneutered AR 15 with a 30 round mag,I can buy my old butt off in Indiana too. It sucks but thanks to LEGAL wrangling(no thanks to Springfield) it’s tolerable- for NOW. And so much for the touted FOID meaning much of ANYTHING…

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      I agree with TTAG’s characterization of IL’s laws.

      IL was one of the last few states in the nation to get shall-issue Concealed Carry, and their FOID is one of the worst kinds of gun laws, as it requires every gun owner to register THEMSELVES with the state, just to be able to buy and/or possess ammunition (which all firearms need to be functional).

      You can call that turd “chocolate pudding” all you want, but it’s still a turd.

      1. avatar Turd Furgeson says:

        Yep, I live in Aurora…no semi auto long guns sold to residents. This is a place where gun liberties become a privilege

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          been there long enough to remember hookers at 727 hill st.?

          illinois carry laws have nothing to do with purchasing.

    2. avatar tdiinva says:

      Hodgkinson purchaseD his guns before Illinois was forced by the Courts to issue CHL. Therefore, TTAG’s characterization of Illinois gun laws is correct.

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        entirely unrelated. how would his inability to carry a weapon prevent his purchase of one?
        there are a few municipalities that have lists of guns that scare their mayors, but illinois per se doesn’t restrict much beyond suppressors.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          A FOID scheme registers the gun owner, so the state know exactly who and where he is. But, for what purpose? Just to know who and where he is? That makes no sense. Obviously, there’s another purpose. What is that purpose?
          Well, the first (and pretty much only) reason that comes to mind is just in case the state “needs” to take the guns.

        2. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          or maybe where to not stir things up when they’re feeling frisky.

        3. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Bill, one reason to have a FOID style system is to create a barrier to entry in the market excluding the poor. Courts have ruled that’s the point of some voter ID laws (only ones in Republican states). Every barrier added keeps out another group of people from owning firearms.

  5. avatar TheOtherDavid says:

    A local paper outside of Seattle ran an opinion piece talking in great detail about the full-auto M4 he used in the attack.

    I wish I were making that up.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      What paper? I want a copy for a record of stupidity.

      1. avatar Steve says:

        Opinion pieces are the devil.

    2. avatar Jack Gordon says:

      It is Seattle, after all. Take a look at the clown they put in as mayor & the creeps they regularly send to DC. NOTHING should surprise us about the place.

  6. avatar Captain Poop says:

    So what modifications did he make? I drew the assumption it was a .22lr AR since that seems to be a favorite of the alt-left. I’m going to guess it was a tapco setup with a few 20 round duckbills.

    What I found interesting was that he apparently knew nothing about holdover, or his lowest setting on that rear leaf apparently. I LOL’d when I saw I was right with my initial guesses on the path he took. He boxed himself in.

    1. avatar int19h says:

      Why would he need to hold over at those distances?

  7. avatar Joe R. says:

    Focus on the evil POS (D) and where they live, especially the ball-of-snakes cities that they inhabit.

  8. avatar Anonymous says:

    When is Trump going to lift some import bans so I can buy a dozen or so SKSs for ridiculous low prices again?

    1. avatar C.S. says:

      I’d rather the elephants got their act together and do some domestic policy so Trump can appoint a few more into the SCotUS. Besides, isn’t Trump about buying American?

      1. avatar J says:

        well considering Kennedy is retiring Monday, he’ll get to appoint another one (hope it’s pryor)

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          Kennedy is retiring?
          You have some insider information? There’s been no announcement at this point in time.
          Of course, in ten minutes, this could change…

        2. avatar Clark Kent says:

          Try to keep up, Big Bill. Of course, that may be difficult at your nursing home.

        3. avatar Big Bill says:

          Clark Kent: “Try to keep up, Big Bill. Of course, that may be difficult at your nursing home.”

          Ad hominem noted.
          I still don’t see anything about Kennedy retiring today. Are you sure?

        4. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          But Bill, Kennedy has to retire today. Didn’t you see all the completely unsubstantiated rumors? All the conjecture based on slight deviations of behavior? His reunion of clerks was held a whole year early, nevermind that it was moved to celebrate his 80th birthday. That right there is absolute, irrefutable proof.

        5. avatar Big Bill says:

          When I first heard that Kennedy was going to retire on Monday (today), I did what is evidently not done by very many people: I researched it on the Internet, on the chance that I’d missed it.
          That’s when I saw that his clerks’ reunion was what was fueling the speculation.
          Fake news is made of such. “I saw this, so that must be true!”

        6. avatar Big Bill says:

          I also looked up Clark Kent.
          Calling him a troll is, IMO, being kind.

        7. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Calling him what is appropriate to the content of his character will violate the host’s rules, resulting in a the insertion of a “FLAME DELETED.”

    2. avatar ColdNorth says:

      According to the importers in Canada, the supply of SKS is rapidly drying up. The only cheap ones nowadays are the BBQ paint refurbs, the nice Russian ones that we used to be able to buy for $199 all day long are now 3-400. With the US market re-opened, the supply will only drop faster with a commensurate rise in price, probably to the point where a cheap AR is a better choice.

      1. avatar Big Bill says:

        J&G Sales had some nice Romanian (IIRC) SKSs several months ago for a much more reasonable price; Cabela’s now has them for $600. They are in very good condition, but that price!

      2. avatar neiowa says:

        An AR has ALWAYS been a better choice.

        1. avatar Clark Kent says:

          ‘Better’ in what way? Both the AK and SKS are crapola so ‘better’ is a relative term.

    3. avatar California Richard says:

      Trump will do no such thing. He’s still a New York elitist at heart and will only pay lip service.

      1. avatar neiowa says:

        FLAME DELETED Tell us how great those Ca pols are – Feinkenstein, Kamala, Witch Nancy, Babs, Shiff. etc etc etc

      2. avatar Clark Kent says:

        As compared to HiLIARy who would have done what for gun owners? Sorry, I CAN’T HEAR YOU……

  9. avatar Ken w says:

    what pistol did he use?

    1. avatar NineShooter says:

      Good question. I haven’t seen anything about that, either.

      1. avatar Mark Horning says:

        One article said it was a Smith and Wesson 9mm. But no model number was given.

  10. avatar rt66paul says:

    Many people that shoot SKS rifles will state that modifying them to accept larger capacity mags may hurt dependability. Most like the stripper clip feed. as far as a folding stock(or an asumably pistol grip, that is a change that only allows the rofle to be shorter, sometimes beinag able to fire it in a shorter package(without shouldering it). They did not say if it had a pistol grip, but firing it with the stock folded would require a pistol grip for any control.
    While I have access to a bullpup SKS, it still uses the original stripper clip feed and works well. Trying to make it into an AK is not going to work well.

    1. avatar anaxis says:

      The SKS that I picked up in a cheap trade some years ago came with an Archangel stock, a few plastic duckbill 30rd’ers, and a 20rd aluminium magazine. Only one of the plastic 30rd mags worked reliably, the follower spring being far stouter than the rest. None of the others would feed because slinky’s have more spring to them. I also found that it can still be loaded with stripper clips, which is far easier than taking the thing out.

  11. avatar W says:

    Nick, one more. The SKS was purchased in 2003. That is, it was purchased during the progressives’ much-loved Assault Weapons Ban.

  12. avatar FlamencoD says:

    So let’s get this straight — the shooter did not use an assault rifle or an AR-15, and no one died. It seems this will further their narrative. “See, this wacko used a non-assault weapon, and no one was actually killed. Can you imagine if he used an M-4 military style rifle like an AR-15?? This is proof that AR-15s are more deadly than other rifle types.” I can see it now.

    That said, there’s a reason we all have AR-15s, because they are the most effective fighting rifle when it comes to maneuverability, round capacity, etc.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Meh, I own an AR only because the State of California doesn’t want me to have one.

    2. avatar The Gray Poseur says:

      What am I fighting with an AR-15? Most boring soul-less guns I owned prior to the fishing accident.

    3. avatar Big Bill says:

      I may be wrong, but I think most ARs are sold to wannabes who think they are badasses, and because they are popular.
      Not many actually hunt with them. Not many think they are actually going to be called upon to fight anyone.
      Most are used to punch holes in paper, if used at all.
      Yes, many are sitting in gun safes, “just in case.” But when asked, “just in case” turns out to be a “prepper” day dream.
      I know many say they think our society will someday go down the drain, and they will need to fight off hordes of roaming thieves set on stealing their food and women. Problem is, they only have a month’s worth of food. Those people seen on the “preppers” shows are very few and far between. (Even the LDS people don’t really take that seriously)

      1. avatar neiowa says:


      2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        I disagree with just about everything in your comment, Bill.

        I know plenty of people who hunt with an AR, including my FFL who is at least a decade past retirement age. I have an AR-10 for hunting. I like semi-auto and figure .308 will be big enough for everything I’m ever going to hunt. I have an AR-15 because I saw a deal for a kit I couldn’t pass up and wanted to build one. I have an AK for home defense and/or when the cops can’t/won’t enforce order for a few days. Where I live, it is most likely they won’t be able to enforce order for a while. (The guns are listed in the reverse order of acquisition).

      3. avatar Clark Kent says:

        Stick to predicting lottery numbers. You will have better luck.

  13. avatar El Duderino says:

    Funny thing: If you try to eliminate gun violence by removing guns, you’re still left with violence. If you eliminate violence, you’re still left with guns. Which just shows, again, what they are really after.

  14. avatar Kenneth G Maiden says:

    Damn it, how many times do we have to scream it. Gun Control is not about crime and nut jobs. It’s about control of the serfs. You know, law abiding citizens, the cash cows, unwashed, them, scum.

  15. avatar Lhstr says:

    Is Kalifornia still in our republic? I thought those shits left with all there bills same as that island that wants to be a u.s. country?

  16. avatar BLAMMO says:

    In this case, a detachable magazine and a folding stock had been added, items which would have classified the firearm as an “assault weapon” under some common interpretations.

    Are you saying the criminal broke the law?

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      IANAL, but it doesn’t seem so, or it would have been mentioned. A lot.

  17. avatar Nanashi says:

    He tacticooled his rifle yet despite knowing he would attack an open field he didn’t scope it.

    Not sure why I’d expect better though. These are the same people who thought burning food during a famine was a good idea.

    1. avatar gp says:

      Don’t need a scope to hit a man-size target across a baseball diamond distance. Not with an SKS. Iron sights good enough.

  18. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    But, But 922R should have stopped him from doing this! He probably didn’t have enough US Compliant parts on the gun!

  19. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    Why is any weapon described with the term “assault”? It’s a term that has since been ruined by leftist propaganda the last decade. Retire it already so the feelers can stop stressing about it.

    1. avatar RJB says:

      You are correct, assault is an act not an object. I tell any of the brainwashed socialist I encounter that you can assault people with many things, knives, hammers, two by fours, automobiles, bottles, and yes even firearms but you never seem put the word assault in front of anything other than firearms. Liberals are nothing more than trained monkeys who refuse to grasp the pitfalls of Socialism. Many, many, many years ago I’m pretty sure we fought the English so we wouldn’t have to live a life under socialist dictator rule. The progressives are pure evil !!!!!!!!

  20. avatar Leon says:

    This guy was not really crazy, he was an extremist. Crazies hear voices or have nonsensical reasons for committing their crimes. This guy had a clear reason for doing so and he is supported by various elected Democrats, mostly at state level, and probably a significant number of far left professors, students and activists. The left is not against violence, they just don’t like people who do not share their views to be armed. There are many other potential extremists among far left Democrats, and then if this never ending stream of calls for Trump’s assassination or vilification of Republicans in general by actors, “comedians” and others in the mainstream does not stop, we will see other extremists take up arms.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      Pretty much. While the shooter may have been crazy, no one has produced any evidence that he wasn’t just an extremist.

      1. avatar Clark Kent says:

        ‘May’ have been crazy? Typical lawyer obfuscation. No wonder lawyers are (deservedly) rated below used car salesmen on the credibility scale.

        1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Are you saying he was definitely crazy or definitely was not crazy?

          I’m saying I have no reason to believe that he was crazy. There was no obfuscation in my statement. There was no hidden meaning. No trick. No hidden ball. I’ll admit to hedging.

  21. avatar matthew rice-johnson says:

    One of out problems is that we do not know how to argue like liberals. When a conservative makes a point liberals do not counter the point. If they did they would lose out right because conservatives make sensible valid points. They redirect the conversation. When it comes to how James Hodgkinson got his gun the conversation should be redirected to why the liberal courts have not yet put this man in prison and thus removed his ability to EVER own a legal gun.

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      One reason would be because he’s dead.
      Prosecutors, unlike voters, won’t waste their time on dead people.

      1. avatar matthew rice-johnson says:

        Good point but avoiding the shooting in the first place… ban guns or put criminals in prison where they belong?

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          “Good point but avoiding the shooting in the first place… ban guns or put criminals in prison where they belong?”
          You answer your own question.
          Put another way, it’s a question asked often by Dems: lock up more people, when we already lock up too many, or just remove the real problem, guns?
          The answer that should be given goes like this, IMO: lock up those who need to be locked up, no matter how many it is. To do otherwise is only leaving the people at the mercy of those who should be locked up. Those who are locked up aren’t preying on society, and the cost is well worth it. Gun owners (you know, those you want to take the guns from) are a protected class of people (2A), just like blacks, Baptists and gays. (Sorry if I didn’t mention anyone’s favorite protected people, there are so many.) To take their guns is, quite simply, unconstitutional.

  22. avatar kap says:

    Another Democrat, chosen specifically to be the reason their simple minded Gun control laws work. Notice the news release, wrong full carry, a deadly assault rifle and 49 of the deadliest magazines in the country, probably save a bunch of targets, if the Magazines go on a rampage!
    This simple minded Law, has now made a felon over what, expired handgun license, 49 large capacity magazines, possible cocaine possession! Like most of the stupid Democratic sponsored obstructionist laws, big on headline and wasting Tax payer Money on superfluous BS Sort of like the Trump witch hunt?

  23. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Fake news, civilian weapons disarmament, and the Globalist Agenda of world domination….It’s an infringement by hostile foreign influence, and should be immediately rebuffed !

  24. avatar Bill Sneed says:

    It may also show that the FBI is not very good at vetting! Or background checks, as they are supposed to be doing! Anybody could have looked at this guy’s Facebook page and seen all the HATRED he had for Republicans and all the HATE-FILLED groups he belonged to! At least you would think the FBI WOULD have checked it out before they allowed him to purchase a Semi-automatic rifle!! Course, the FBI saw that this guy had a list of Republicans in his pocket but according to them that doesn’t mean anything! He just happened to have that list. Riiiiiight!!

    1. avatar Big Bill says:

      As far as the NICS check, the FBI is not tasked with snooping, just going on what the law requires. And it doesn’t include Facebook checks.
      I am probably right in saying that if it did, you’d be pissed!

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