By AWR Hawkins

ABC News reports that law enforcement sources indicate NYC subway shooting suspect Frank James bought his handgun “legally” in 2011.

James allegedly used a “Glock 9 mm semi-automatic handgun” which he “purchased legally in 2011 in Ohio.”

FOX News notes that the handgun was purchased “at a pawn shop in Columbus, Ohio.”

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A purchase from a pawn shop is considered a retail purchase, and therefore requires a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) check to be performed. (All this is implied when law enforcement says a gun was purchased “legally.”)

Here is a partial list of other high-profile, heinous attacks for which the perpetrators acquired guns legally:

Indianapolis FedEx attacker (April 15, 2021)
Atlanta-Area attacker (March 16, 2021)
Parkland high school attacker (February 14, 2018)
Texas church attacker (November 5, 2017)
Las Vegas attacker (October 1, 2017)
Alexandria attacker (June 14, 2017)
Orlando attacker (June 12, 2016)
UCLA gunman (June 1, 2016)
San Bernardino attackers (December 2, 2015)
Colorado Springs attacker (October 31, 2015)
Umpqua Community College attacker (October 1, 2015)
Alison Parker’s attacker (August 26, 2015)
Lafayette movie theater attacker (July 23, 2015)
Chattanooga attacker (July 16, 2015)
Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker (Jun 17, 2015)
Muhammad Cartoon Contest attackers (May 3, 2014)
Las Vegas cop killers (June 9, 2015)
Santa Barbara attacker (May 23, 2014)
Fort Hood attacker (April 2, 2014)
Arapahoe High School attacker (December 13, 2013)
D.C. Navy Yard attacker (September 16, 2013)
Aurora movie theater attacker (July 20, 2012)
Gabby Giffords’ attacker (January 8, 2011)
Fort Hood attacker (November 5, 2009)
Northern Illinois University attacker (February 14, 2008)
Virginia Tech attacker (April 16, 2007)

News that New York City shooting suspect James bought his gun legally came one day after New York Mayor Eric Adams (D) called for a ban on “ghost guns” in response to the subway attack.

Banning so-called “ghost guns” would not in any way prohibit the legal purchase of a firearm from a pawn shop in Ohio.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at

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