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Chris Oberender Released from Mental Hospital for Killing Mother, Buys 15 Guns

A Minnesota man who shot and killed his mother when he was 14 was sent to a mental hospital until he was 21, and upon being released, immediately purchased more than a dozen guns.

Chris Oberender's felony record should have prevented him from purchasing firearms, but because court documents were incomplete, he was able to buy them as he complied with other laws like applying for a gun permit. 

A perceptive detective was the only reason Oberender was caught. 

Watertown Township Sheriff Jim Olson recognized Oberender's name on police reports because it was one of his first cases as a young detective. 

Olson was concerned and looked up Oberender on Facebook to determine if it was the same man. He found that the 32 year old was indeed the same one he had convicted years ago for shooting his mother. He also found that he had displayed pictures of the firearms on his profile.

"He can't have guns. Chris Oberender should not have guns," Olson said. 

Police then searched Oberender's home and found a "chilling" note he wrote to his dead mother. It read: "I am so homicide. What is wrong with me. I think about killing all the time."

He is now in jail waiting on illegal firearms possession charges. 

Authorities say cases like this will keep happening if laws are not changed. 

Because his finger prints and legal record were not present when he applied for a background check in 2011, he was able to purchase the guns. 

There are 168,000 people in Minnesota with incomplete records. If these people applied for a gun permit, they could not be held back on account of the court's mishaps. 

Commissioner of the Dept. of Human Services, Lucida Jesson said her office needs to be specifically asked to do a full run on an applicant's file during the permit process. The check is not automatic. 

In Oberender's case, her office wasn't asked to check his health record. If they did, they would have realized he had stayed in a mental hospital. 

"In this case, we were lucky. No one was hurt through the good actions of local law enforcement," Jesson said. 

President Obama is currently pushing for universal background checks on gun purchases and a ban on assault rifles after the Sandy Hook tragedy.



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