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Uvalde shooting leading to growing controversy over process of buying weapons

1 month 4 days 12 hours ago Saturday, May 28 2022 May 28, 2022 May 28, 2022 2:12 PM May 28, 2022 in News - Local

Authorities revealed the suspected gunman behind the death of 21 people in Uvalde had two guns he purchased within a four-day period last week.

Critics are questioning why it was so easy for an 18-year-old to obtain long guns similar to the one used in the attack.

You must be 21 years old to buy a handgun under federal law. But in Texas, the legal age to purchase a long gun is 18.

UTRGV criminal justice professor Gordon Crews said the process of buying a long gun involves showing your official government-issued I.D. and filling out paperwork.

“They do a very superficial background check through NCIS to see if you're a convicted felon or if there is any kind of restriction, but that's it,” Crews said.

Crews noted that while the well wishes given to the victims of Uvalde are important for a community in mourning, thoughts and prayers are not enough for those affected.

"They're wanting action,” Crews said. “And we do a lot of talk — and we talk tough, but we don't follow through with it."

Tania Chavez with the nonprofit La Union del Pueblo Entero said she’s one of the many demanding changes. 

"What we are looking for is more regulation,” Chavez said. “How is it possible that a young 18-year-old can purchase a weapon but is not allowed to have a drink?"

A person familiar with the process of selling guns says getting a long gun is easy.

"If your record is clean, you can walk out with a firearm between half an hour and an hour," Jorge Espino said.

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