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Maine Gunman Disclosed Mental Health Issues On Federal Form, Shop Owner Says |

Maine Gunman Disclosed Mental Health Issues On Federal Form, Shop Owner Says

Lillian Tweten on October 30, 2023

Maine mass shooter Robert Card admitted to having mental health issues when he attempted to purchase a firearms accessory in August, ABC News reported.

Card, who killed 18 people and wounded an additional 13 at a bar and a bowling alley on Oct. 25, attempted to buy a silencer on Aug. 5, but was unable to complete the purchase after admitting on a federal form that he had previously been committed to a mental institution, according to ABC. The Army committed Card to a psychiatric care facility for several weeks in July after he reported hearing voices, behaved “erratically” and threatened the base where he was stationed at the time.

“He came in and filled out the form, he checked off a box that incriminated himself saying that he was in an institution,” Rick LaChapelle, who owns the Coastal Defense Firearms store where Card tried to purchase the silencer, told ABC News. “Our staff was fantastic, let him finish filling out the form, and said, ‘I’m sorry, Mr. Card, we cannot give you this… at this point in time, we cannot release this silencer to you because of the answers that you’ve given us.’”

Law enforcement officers in Maine received information in September that Card had threatened to “shoot up” a military base in the area after “hearing voices,” The Associated Press reported. Card’s family also informed law enforcement officers a few weeks before the shooting about their concerns over Card’s mental health, but they did not know what actions had been taken to investigate their reports.

Although Card had been blocked from purchasing the silencer in August, he legally purchased several guns before that law officials believe may have been used during the massacre, according to The New York Times. The FBI stated that there was no information in its system that would have prevented Card from purchasing a gun.

Under federal law, individuals who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health institution or who have been determined to be a “danger to themselves or others” may not purchase a firearm, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the federal agency that oversees gun purchases.

Family of Card said that he began hearing voices after he received high-powered hearing aids over the summer and developed a “manic belief” that people were saying “horrible” things about him. Officials said Card’s paranoia played a role in the mass shooting and referenced a “conspiracy theorist” element that may have pushed the shooter to attack the two locations.

Card committed suicide after ending his killing spree, but did not mention a motive for the attacks in the note he left behind.

The ATF did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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