Friday, November 9, 2012


                     Felon's family urges gun range checks

A convicted felon managed to rent a gun at a local shooting range and kill himself last week. Now, the man's father says a loophole in state gun laws allowed his son to commit suicide.

Roman Sobie said he watched his son Mark suffer through depression year after year. Mark's 10-year-old son Alex died from Hunter's Syndrome more than a decade ago and Mark was never the same.

"He took it so hard. He did everything because he knew little Alex was going to die," said Roman Sobie.

Roman said Mark hit several low points and had even talked to his father about committing suicide.

"And he looked at me real serious and said, 'But they say you won't be given more than you can stand and I've passed that Dad.' And he was crying so hard," recalled Roman. "And he said, 'You don't understand. I'm broke and they can't fix me.'"

In 2009, Mark robbed a bank with a toy gun. He later turned himself in. The bank robbery landed Mark as a convicted felon and prohibited him from owning a gun.

On Oct. 30, Mark went to the Silver Bullet Firearms shooting range in Wyoming. Police say he lied about being a convicted felon when he rented a gun. By law, shooting ranges don't have to run background checks unless they are selling a gun.

Mark went out to the shooting range and killed himself.  

"He should not have been able to get a gun," said Roman.

Roman said shooting ranges should run background checks, saying maybe that would have spared his son Mark.

'They didn't put the gun to his head, so I can't really blame them," said Roman. "But in all reality, if they would have had something in place and screened him, they would have found that he was a felon and couldn't have a gun."

Management at Silver Bullet shooting range declined to comment Thursday.

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