CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A man charged with killing Mingo County's sheriff is being investigated by federal prosecutors over his gun permit application.
U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Thursday that the investigation will focus on the form filled out by 37-year-old Tennis Melvin Maynard, including if he was truthful about his personal information.
Maynard is accused of shooting Sheriff Eugene Crum last week as Crum ate lunch in a Williamson parking lot.
Mingo County Prosecutor Michael Sparks has said Maynard wasn't allowed to own a gun but wouldn't disclose why. Maynard's father has said his son has mental problems and previously had been in an institution.
Federal law prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to certain individuals with a history of mental illness.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is leading the investigation into the application, Goodwin said.
"Lying on the form is a federal crime," he said.
Goodwin said investigators also will check for a possible violation of gun-possession law.
Authorities haven't disclosed what year Maynard bought a weapon at a local gun shop after filling out his gun application. Sometime after that, Maynard was turned down when he tried to make additional purchases, Sparks said.
In January 2011, the West Virginia Supreme Court debuted a database that links with the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which federally licensed firearms shops use to determine if a prospective buyer is eligible to make purchases. The national system was established under the 1993 Brady Bill.