Richmond, Va. – Survivors and relatives of nine people killed in a racist attack at a South Carolina church have asked a federal appeals court to reinstate their lawsuit over a faulty background check that allowed Dylann Roof to buy the gun he used in the 2015 shooting.

A judge dismissed the lawsuit last year.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday.

The families’ lawyer argued that a National Instant Criminal Background Check System examiner was required to do additional research after learning Roof had been arrested. But a government lawyer said the system’s standard operating procedures aren’t mandatory.

The FBI has acknowledged that a drug charge should have prevented Roof from buying the gun. Roof was sentenced to death in the massacre at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church.

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