Here’s Why the Orlando Shooter Would Not Have Been Stopped by “Common-Sense Gun Laws”

In the wake of the Orlando shooting on Sunday that left over 50 people dead, the conversation of enacting stricter gun laws has once again been initiated. Even President Obama, in his speech about the attack, called for vague gun-control measures to stop similar attacks in the future.

However, there are some major flaws with the various gun-control laws that get proposed after mass shootings like this one. Here are a few of the reasons why Sunday’s attack would not have been prevented by “common-sense gun laws.”

1. The shooter had a firearms license, and possibly a license to carry

Because the shooter, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, worked as a private security guard, he possessed a Class G statewide firearms license. It is unknown whether or not he possessed a regular license to carry, as that information is not public. Either way, to obtain a Class G license, Mateen was required to undergo an extensive background check at the time.

2. Pulse, the club where the shooting occurred, was a gun-free zone

According to Florida law, those with a handgun license are not allowed to carry their weapons into a club or facility that serves alcohol. However, even with such a law, it is unlikely that such a regulation would stop a highly-motivated would-be shooter.

3. He already underwent a background check…

G4S, the security company that Mateen had worked at for seven years as a private security guard, performed their own background checks on him at the time of his employment, in addition to the background checks required to obtained the aforementioned licenses he held.

 4. …Which did not reveal a problematic personal history

Mateen did not have a past criminal or psychiatric record that would have barred him from legally purchasing the AR-15-style rifle that he used to carry out the attack. If he did, that would have come up in his past background checks.

5. The gun he used was not an assault rifle

Perhaps the most common gun control measure that is brought up following shootings is a ban on assault weapons. But this is an area of confusion, with most people’s believing an assault weapon is a gun that is fully automatic. That’s to say, when a shooter holds down the trigger, the gun will continue to fire automatically. However, “AR” does not stand for “Automatic Rifle,” and the gun itself is not a fully-automatic weapon.

With an AR-style semi-automatic weapon, the shooter has to pull the trigger for each shot, which makes it just as powerful as any other civilian weapon. Additionally, gun control advocates will also often refer to these weapons as “military-grade,” but this is another mistake because true military-grade weapons are not legal for civilians to purchase.


So please, tell me how gun-free zones, universal background checks, assault weapon bans, and other restrictions would have prevented the Orlando shooting from happening.


Other factors to consider:

  1. It took the police 3 hours from the time of their arrival on the scene to enter the building and rescue the people inside.
  2. The FBI questioned Mateen two times because they believed he may have had potential ties to terrorist organizations.
  3. Following those interviews, the FBI could apparently not determine that the shooter was working with or for a terrorist organization, and the FBI also did not have any indication of the attack he was planning.
  4. The shooter may have been on a terror watch list. However, Congress has refused to restrict people on a watch list from purchasing weapons, not because they want terrorists to have guns, but because doing so would deny millions of Americans, many of which may be on such a list by mistake, their right to due process.
  5. Police can only respond to incidents after they occur, meaning that individuals are often required to be first-responders.
  6. And this, thanks to Cody Hall:

About Stephen Perkins

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Stephen Perkins envisions a world where people are free to fulfill their God-given potential, collaborate with others, and take ownership in their communities. His mission is to help emerging leaders inspire others and influence change. Stephen founded OUTSET in 2014 as a venue for smart commentary on politics and culture from the next generation of conservative voices. His writing centers around changes within conservative politics, with an emphasis on individual liberties, technology, entrepreneurship, media, and civic engagement. Outside of OUTSET, Stephen can be found enjoying a cigar, red wine, or a drive in his Jeep Patriot named Reagan. Originally from Houston, Stephen now lives and works in the DFW metroplex.