HomeCrimeHow July 4 Gunman Robert Crimo Legally Bought His Guns, Despite Prior...

How July 4 Gunman Robert Crimo Legally Bought His Guns, Despite Prior Death Threats?

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According to Highland Park police, Robert Crimo III legally bought several firearms over the past couple of years, including the one he allegedly used to kill seven and injure 30+ more at a July 4th Parade on Monday.

In September 2019, two years prior to the July 4 massacre, Highland Park police were called to the Crimo family home after he threatened to “kill everyone,” Lake County Deputy Sheriff Chris Covelli told reporters Tuesday.

During that visit, police confiscated 16 knives, a dagger, and a sword and then reported the incident to the Illinois State Police, Covelli said. Just four months later, the then-19-year-old Crimo was granted a firearm owners identification (FOID) card that permitted him to buy guns.


Despite the death threats, confiscated knives and even Crimo’s reported suicide attempt in April 2019, according to Axios, none of this disqualified him from obtaining the permit.

AXIOS: Here’s why…

  • After the September 2019 incident, “no one, including family, was willing to move forward on a complaint,” ISP officials tell Axios.
  • Without an official arrest, “there was insufficient basis to establish a clear and present danger and deny the FOID application.”
  • Plus, Crimo’s father, Bob Crimo, sponsored and co-signed the teenager’s FOID application.

Although FOID card co-signers are “liable for any damages resulting from the minor applicant’s use of firearms,” Crimo turned 21 nine months before the attack, therefore ending his father’s criminal liability.

But the elder Crimo might not be out of the woods yet, and may still be liable for the attack according to Chicago criminal defense attorney Steven Goldman. “You still have a responsibility for weapons in your home, and if he knew, or should have known, that his son’s mental issues posed a potential for carnage, in my opinion, he could be held civilly liable.”

Axios provided an update on the weapon used in the July 4 mass shooting, the gun was a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle, and the suspect reportedly left Highland Park and drove near Madison, Wisc., where he contemplated another shooting, Axios reported.

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