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Canton shooter bought murder-suicide weapon legally the same day

Nine states and D.C. impose waiting periods
Posted at 11:38 PM, Mar 31, 2017

Canton Police said Friday Tres Peterson, the man accused of killing three people and a dog before killing himself Thursday, bought the gun he used legally the same day.

Most states, including Ohio, allow guns to be handed over to the buyer the moment they’re sold, but nine states and Washington D.C. impose waiting periods between one and ten days.

Ari Freilich with the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said such laws work to prevent impulsive shooting sprees.

“The vast majority of murder victims are killed by somebody they knew,” Freilich said. “This gives folks who may be suddenly wrestling with acts of impulsive anger and violence time to cool off.”

But gun rights advocates are split on the idea. Todd Karam, who runs the Cleveland Armory gun store in Valley View, said he didn’t have a problem with waiting periods but worried about infringements on law-abiding gun owners’ constitutional rights.

“Why should I be stopped from engaging in something that’s legal?” he asked.

But Karam added it is legal for gun retailers like himself to deny purchases to anyone for any reason. Karam said he does it all the time.

“I can pick and choose, at any moment, who I want to do business with,” he said. 

According to Politifact, some research has linked waiting periods to lower rates of suicide, but the data is mixed on whether it works to reduce homicides.