Preserve a Mental Health Patient’s Gun Rights, or Protect the Public?

Before he turned 21, Blaec Lammers had seen the inside of mental health facilities at least seven times.

One of those visits stemmed from following an employee for two hours at the Bolivar Wal-Mart wearing a Halloween mask and wielding a butcher knife.

None of that stopped that same supercenter from selling the 20-year-old a pair of AR-15-style, semi-automatic rifles in November 2012. Lammers was not in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System deployed to deny the wrong people access to firearms.

So Thursday, after being convicted Jan. 31 of harboring thoughts of using those semi-automatic weapons to spray bullets inside that very Wal-Mart, Lammers was sentenced to 15 years in prison for first-degree assault and armed criminal action. The convictions are being appealed.