WASHINGTON --- Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, issued the following statement about news reports that John Patrick Bedell, the dangerously mentally ill California man who opened fire on police guarding the Pentagon March 4, was armed with a gun sold without a Brady background check at a gun show in Las Vegas, Nevada:
"If media reports are correct, a dangerous and delusional man was denied a gun by a Brady background check in California, but was able to arm himself with a gun purchased at a Las Vegas gun show without a Brady background check.
“Again we see the cost of the loophole in the Brady Law that allows guns to be purchased from so-called private sellers, most often at gun shows, without a background check. A man is dead, and two law enforcement officers are recovering from gunshot wounds, and Congress still refuses to take action to close this loophole. The Pentagon attack shows that our weak gun laws are not just a public safety issue but also a national security issue.
“Nearly a hundred members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors of legislation to require background checks on firearm sales at gun shows. It is long past time to close this dangerous loophole.”