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Man accused of killing deputy U.S. marshal points out gun loophole

TUCSON- The man accused of gunning down Deputy U.S.  Marshal Chase White had several run-ins with Tucson police.

Despite several active injunctions against him, Ryan Schlesinger still had a firearm.

News Four Tucson digs into a loophole that may have helped Schlesinger get the gun used in last week’s shooting.

According to a federal complaint Schlesinger indicated to detectives that despite two active injunctions prohibiting him from possessing firearms he still could purchase a gun because he had a valid concealed carry weapons permit or a CCW.

“If you have a CCW permit in Arizona you most likely will be able to purchase a gun without an additional background check,” Andrew LeFevre Executive Director of Arizona Criminal Justice Commision said.

A CCW permit can be suspended if there is an active qualifying protection order against an individual. There is a loophole that can be exploited.

“Under Arizona Statue if a person is arrested or has an injunction against harassment or an order of protection that would prevent them from having a firearm the onus is on the individual to relishing that card to DPS so there is in essences a small gap available there,” LeFevre said.

The Department of Public Safety confirms they are not notified when a protection order has been issued.

DPS says they only find out about protection orders if a family member notifies them or it’s discovered when an individual renews a CCW permit.

“The Department of Public Safety has to come up with a program to get the permit back from people who no longer are qualified to have them,” Todd Rathner Lobbyist for Arizona State Rifle and Pistol Association said.

In August 2017, TPD officers seized a loaded Glock handgun from Schlesinger.

It is unknown how he got the gun used to kill Deputy U.S. Marshall Chase White on Nov. 29. DPS officials told News 4 Tucson they are prohibited from releasing any information regarding an applicant, permit holder or instructor without a court order from a state or federal court and referred to the Arizona revised statute on concealed weapons.

According to Arizona Revised Statute §13-3112, the Arizona Department of Public Safety is prohibited from releasing any information regarding an applicant, permit holder or instructor without a court order from a state or federal court.  For additional information on the concealed weapons permit process, please refer to Arizona Revised Statute §13-3112 and Arizona Administrative Rules R13-9-101 through R13-9-603.”

Director Lefevre says his agency is aware of this gap and there are administrative solutions to solve this problem.

“That would be the state voluntarily bumping the list of the CCW holders up against the state and national databases on a more regular basis as we’re beginning to see more states do,” LeFevre said.

Lefevre also says there could be a legislative fix, saying a lawmaker would need to propose a bill mandating database cross-checks for CCW holders.

Denelle Confair

Denelle Confair

Multimedia reporter for News 4 Tucson. Follow her on Facebook @DenelleConfairKVOA and Twitter @DenelleKVOA. Story idea? Email her at Dconfair@kvoa.com
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