* The Tennessean…
Authorities in Illinois have charged the father of the suspect in the deadly Nashville Waffle House shooting, accusing him of illegally giving his son the gun used to kill four people at the restaurant.
Jeffrey Reinking was charged Thursday with unlawful delivery of a firearm. Prosecutors said he gave his son Travis Reinking a gun — despite the fact that his son had recently been hospitalized for mental health issues.
Travis Reinking is schizophrenic, according to a medical expert who evaluated him and testified in court. Illinois prosecutors said he had been treated at the mental health unit of Methodist Medical Center of Illinois.
Illinois state law forbids people from selling or giving guns to anyone who has “been a patient in a mental institution within the past five years.”
* NBC 5…
“Mass shootings have raised public awareness regarding the need to keep firearms out of the hands of persons afflicted with mental illness,” [Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz] said, noting that doing so in Illinois is a criminal offense. “While I strongly support citizens’ rights under the Second Amendment, I also strongly support holding individuals accountable for the commission of criminal offenses related to firearms.”
The older Reinking has posted bond and is scheduled for arraignment on April 25. He faces up to three years in prison and a fine, if convicted. Telephone calls to his lawyer weren’t immediately returned. […]
Travis Reinking was a onetime crane operator who moved across multiple states and suffered from delusions, sometimes talking about plans to marry singer Taylor Swift, friends and relatives told authorities. He was detained by the Secret Service in July 2017 after venturing into a forbidden area on the White House grounds and demanding to meet President Donald Trump.
* WEEK TV…
Reinking’s attorney disputed the charges.
“Jeff Reinking has not committed a criminal offense. He has been charged under an Illinois statute that prohibits the sale or gift of firearms to someone who has been in a mental institution. But Jeff didn’t sell or gift Travis the guns,” said Joel E. Brown, Reinking’s attorney in a statement to WKRN in Nashville. “The district attorney wants to pound a round peg into a square hole because of the terrible events that happened months after Travis’s weapons were returned to him. Returning Travis’s guns to Travis is not a criminal offense and we will fight it in court.”
* Peoria Journal Star…
In May 2016, a Tazewell County sheriff’s deputy met with Travis Reinking and members of his family, including his father. Travis Reinking said he believed singer Taylor Swift had been stalking him and hacking into his cellphone and Netflix account. Further, the younger Reinking said Swift had arranged to meet him at the Dairy Queen in Morton, but she only yelled at him from across the street before climbing up the side of a building and onto the roof before disappearing. Also in the meeting with the deputy, the family said Travis Reinking had been suicidal. At the end of that meeting, which also was attended by a representative of the Tazewell County Emergency Response Services, Travis Reinking agreed to go into Methodist’s Behavior Health Unit. He was there from May 26 to June 3 of 2016.
In August 2017, after Travis Reinking became a resident of Colorado, the state of Illinois revoked his Firearm Owner’s Identification Card because he was no longer a resident of Illinois. Further, a representative from the Illinois State Police confiscated the card from Travis Reinking and transferred his firearms — including a Bushmaster AR-15 — into the possession of his father. The complaint alleges a county Sheriff’s Department officer “advised” Reinking that the weapons confiscated from Travis in August 2017 and “transferred” to him “were to be kept secured and away from Travis.” […]
Jeffrey Reinking’s attorney said after the charge was filed that the statute defining the crime of giving a firearm to a person whose mental state makes him potentially dangerous does not apply in Reinking’s case.
The weapons “were neither his to sell or give. He never owned the weapons, they were his son’s” who, at the time, had a legal right to have them, said Peoria attorney Joel Brown. “The term ‘give’ is not defined in the statute.”
Jeffrey Reinking “did some research” and concluded his son was entitled to their return, Brown said.
Sheesh. What a mess. Why weren’t his guns confiscated and his FOID card revoked when he was hospitalized?