Gun laws in Texas allowed Uvalde school shooter to legally purchase weapons

Thursday, May 26, 2022
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"Texas allows people to carry guns in public without a permit and a background check," said one expert. "Generally speaking, Texas just has overall weaker laws than many states."

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- State Rep. Jarvis Johnson is requesting Gov. Greg Abbott to call for a special session on gun reform, including raising the age limit for purchasing long guns to 21.

Since September 2021, when permitless carry, also known as constitutional carry law, went into effect, Texans who legally own a gun can carry without a license.

The person must be at least 21 years old to buy a handgun, but Texans aged 18 and over can buy a handgun from another Texas resident in a private sale.

"It's very easy and straightforward to buy guns in this state," Sandra Guerra Thompson, a Criminal Law professor at the University of Houston Law Center, said. "And I think we have made that more and more clear, especially last year with carrying the permitless carry law which basically eliminated any safety requirements when purchasing handguns."

There are also other exceptions to allow an 18-year-old to purchase a gun if they meet certain requirements and have parental consent.

Texas is among the majority of states that allows an 18-year-old to legally buy long guns, including shotguns and rifles, plus the ammunition to pair with them.

According to Giffords Law Center's Annual Gun Law Score Card, Texas received an F. Allison Anderman with Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence said that compared to other states, Texas ranked 14 th for weakest gun laws in the country.

"States like Texas that do not require a permit to purchase firearms have higher rates of gun homicides and suicides, so enacting that law would be a step in the right direction," Anderman said. "Also, banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines."

This following multiple law enforcement agencies confirming with ABC News that the suspect in the Uvalde shooting, Salvador Ramos, legally purchased two rifles after turning 18 and carried out the second-worst school shooting in U.S. history.

For more information on Texas' current gun laws, visit Texas State Law Library's website.

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