The father of the accused Waffle House killer “could potentially” face criminal charges himself for returning his son’s guns to him, including the AR-15-style assault rifle used to carry out the attack, after they were seized by authorities last year, officials said Monday.
Travis Reinking had his weapons taken away after an arrest at the White House, authorities said. His father, Jeffrey Reinking, has admitted to authorities that he eventually gave Travis’s four guns back to him — “potentially a violation of federal law,” said an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives at a Monday press briefing announcing the alleged killer’s arrest.
Illinois authorities seized the firearms — including the assault rifle, two other rifles, and a handgun — after Travis Reinking, 29, was arrested by the Secret Service in July for breaching the security perimeter at the White House.
The disturbed younger Reinking told agents he was there to meet with President Trump.
A month later, the sheriff’s office in Tazewell County, Ill. revoked Reinking’s permit and seized his guns, only to eventually return them to Jeffrey Reinking on the promise that he keep them out of his son’s hands.
The elder Reinking has admitted to investigators returning the weapons to his son, who moved from Illinois to Nashville in the fall of 2017.
“If you transfer weapons knowingly to a person who is prohibited [from having them], that could potentially be a violation of federal law,” said ATF Special Agent Marcus Watson on Monday.
Travis Reinking, arrested Monday afternoon after a nearly 34-hour manhunt, used his assault rifle to kill four people and wound four more at an Antioch, Tenn. Waffle House around 3:25 a.m. Sunday.
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