ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — WJZ is learning more about how the 19-year-old shooter in Saturday’s shooting at the Mall in Columbia got hold of such a deadly weapon.
Rochelle Ritchie visited the gun shop where he purchased the gun and learned just how easy it is to purchase a shotgun in the state of Maryland.
The gun shop owners didn’t want to go on camera but did give us a firsthand look at the type of gun Darion Aguilar bought. They also revealed two different procedures in buying a handgun and a shotgun. The difference may surprise you.
It was Dec. 10, 2013, when the gun shop owners at United Gun Shop in Rockville say 19-year-old Darion Aguilar walked into the store and paid cash for a Mossberg shotgun for more than $400 and bought two boxes of ammunition.
Seven weeks later, he would walk into the Mall in Columbia and kill Tyler Johnson and Brianna Benlolo before killing himself.
“You never think it’s going to be you but this time it was us,” said Tyler Johnson’s aunt.
The gun shop owners would not go on camera but customers inside of the store revealed a loophole in Maryland law.
“It’s way easier to get a shotgun or a rifle than it is to get a handgun,” said Jim Winik.
Winik has been applying to get a handgun for two months. His record comes back clean but because of Maryland law, he is unable to purchase the gun that day and walk out so he has to wait.
It’s a very different process than Darion Aguilar, who walked in and walked out with his weapon of choice on the same day.
There is only one form you have to fill out in the state of Maryland to get a shotgun. To get a handgun, you have to fill out five forms.
“You have to go through the training, then submit your paperwork, get your fingerprint. The whole process takes about two months,” said Winik.
New gun laws went into effect across the state on Oct. 1, 2013. It prevents people from purchasing military-style assault weapons or a magazine that could fire more than 10 bullets.
Governor Martin O’Malley spoke about the shooting and gun laws during a tour of a production plant.
“It’s hard to imagine any law that could prevent such acts like this but that doesn’t mean you stop trying,” he said.
The owners say Aguilar came back around Christmas to purchase more ammunition and that his background check came back completely clean.
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