Kansas City mom horrified that mentally ill son could buy a gun - KCTV5 News

Kansas City mom horrified that mentally ill son could buy a gun

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A Kansas City mother is horrified her mentally ill son was able to buy a gun.

Not only that, he also has open warrants. The mom says she called the gun shop, DGS in St. Joseph, to warn them, but they blew her off.

“He started laughing which was insulting. I told him that it was in fact serious. I wanted to know what could be done,” said the mother.

KCTV5 News is not revealing the parent’s names and not publicly naming their son at their request. The family has contacted the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to report what happened. 

“Somebody has to step up. When you are dealing with someone with mental illness, you have no idea what they are capable of especially when someone has outstanding warrants related to that,” said the father. 

The parents say their son is currently taking medication and functions well. But, they know there will be rough periods. He has a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia and sometimes suffers from hallucinations. The parents tried to talk their son out of buying a gun. They were stunned that he was somehow able to possibly pass a background check.

They say the gun shop initially ignored their concerns about their son’s mental health problems but then were told the background check should catch the open warrants if that was true. The next day, their son was informed he passed, and he could come pick up his hunting rifle. The parents tried to stop the sale a second time but were unsuccessful.

“He was very nasty to me. Told he wasn't going to talk to me any longer this conversation was over,” said the mother.

“Didn't know someone willing to make a buck over keeping people safe,” said the father.

KCTV5’s investigative team was unable to verify what exactly happened with that background check.

The gun shop, DGS, refused to share any information with us. We called DGS two separate times to let them know we verified warrants in another state. We were told to mind our own business and that this was a legal sale.  We were told to "enjoy our liberal story" and were hung up on.

Selling guns at any price

Gun shops can still face consequences even if the sale of a gun is “legal.”

A recent Missouri civil court case out of Odessa proves it.

In June 2012, a mother warned her local pawn and gun shop that her daughter suffered from schizophrenia and begged them to not sell Colby Sue Weathers a gun.

“Please, please I am begging you as a mother. Do not sell her a gun,” Janet Delana recalled.

Odessa Pawn and Gun Shop sold Colby a weapon anyway. Within an hour, the young woman went home and shot and killed her father then broke down crying on the phone with 911.

It’s a heartbreaking case that highlights what can happen when dealers sell guns at any cost. It also set a legal precedent.

The mother sued the gun shop and eventually settled the case for more than $2 million. Colby is now in a state mental institution.

“It's our hope they would take the information into consideration before transferring a gun,” says ATF spokesperson John Ham.

Ham says the ATF makes it clear with gun dealers that they don’t have to complete a sale to anyone if they don’t feel comfortable, even if the customer passes a background check.

“The business owner themselves needs to make solid common-sense decisions,” said Ham.

 If you have any concerns about gun sales you can call the ATF at 1-888-ATF-GUNS.

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