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Buffalo Suspect Planned Attack for Months, Online Posts Reveal

Another victim of the shooting, 72-year-old Katherine Massey, had seemingly been well aware of the danger, penning a letter last year to The Buffalo News, according to the newspaper, in which she argued for “extensive federal action/legislation to address” gun violence.

Mr. Gendron had recently purchased a Bushmaster assault weapon near his home in Conklin, N.Y., according to Robert Donald, the owner of Vintage Firearms in Endicott, N.Y., who primarily sells collectible firearms.

In Mr. Gendron’s home county, Broome, there have been 11 red-flag orders, or about one for every 18,000 residents — roughly average for the state. The court system does not track the number of applications that were denied.

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Nineteen states have enacted such laws, including Virginia and New Mexico as recently as 2020. Because almost all have been enacted within the past 10 years, there is limited research on their effectiveness.

The law enforcement official who had been briefed on the call about Mr. Gendron last year said that in New York, hundreds of school threats are called in annually — including three on Monday in the wake of the massacre — and that in each case, authorities interview students and parents to determine whether students have access to guns. The authorities then try to make a reasoned call on what action to take.

The shooting in Buffalo — New York’s second most-populous city — has shaken many Black residents who say they have endured discrimination and segregation there.

That tension has been intensified by false alarms about other shootings as well as Monday’s arrest of a local man, Joseph S. Chowaniec, 52, who was charged by the Erie County district attorney, John J. Flynn, with making threatening calls to two local businesses on Sunday in which he referenced the shooting at Tops.

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