February 21, 2024 | USA Today

Despite warnings and reports on deteriorating mental health, Maine shooter had access to guns

In October 2023, a US Army Reservist is said to have shot and killed 18 people in two different locations in Lewiston, Maine. The shootings kicked off a two-day man hunt for the suspect, Robert Card, and created an online stir among far-right users who pointed at Card’s mental health history, in attempts to pivot the conversation away from gun control. Others attempted to blame the FBI for not intervening before the shooting, with Donald Trump Jr posting on X/Twitter: “The Maine shooter was (as always) known to law enforcement, previously committed to a mental institution and prohibited from owning firearms. If only the FBI would stop spying on Catholics, concerned parents at PTA meetings, and Maga patriots maybe they’d actually stop real terrorists for a change rather than trying to create them.”

ISD’s Head of Threat Analysis and Prevention, Katherine Keneally, comments to USA Today about the shooting and how even when family members, colleagues and friends warn authorities and attempt to get individuals help, they can still have access to firearms.

“What we’re seeing is that — regardless of people taking the appropriate steps, contacting law enforcement, seeking mental health help for the person — they’re still getting access to guns,” Keneally said.