Texas gun laws allow 18-year-olds to buy AR-15s, the weapons used in Uvalde shooting

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A person look astatine weapon laws successful Texas

A person look astatine weapon laws successful Texas 07:58

The 18-year-old who shot and killed 19 children and 2 adults astatine an simple schoolhouse successful Uvalde, Texas, legally bought the limb helium used, instrumentality enforcement officials said Wednesday.

Salvador Ramos purchased 2 AR-style rifles astatine a section national firearms licensee connected May 17 and connected May 20, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. He besides purchased 375 rounds of ammunition connected May 18, according to Texas DPS. 

In Texas, an idiosyncratic betwixt the ages of 18 and 21 tin bargain a agelong weapon oregon rifle, specified arsenic an AR-15. With definite exceptions, an idiosyncratic indispensable beryllium 21 to bargain a handgun.

Carrying a weapon successful Texas required a permit, until September 2021, erstwhile a authorities instrumentality freed Texans from the licence requirement. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a measure past summertime championed by weapon rights' advocates that allowed for permitless carry.

Mass Shooting At Elementary School In Uvalde, Texas Leaves 21 Dead A Texas State Trooper receives flowers for the victims of a wide shooting yesterday astatine Robb Elementary School wherever 21 radical were killed, including 19 children, connected May 25, 2022 successful Uvalde, Texas.  Jordan Vonderhaar / Getty Images

The instrumentality was criticized by Democrats, with Rep. Veronica Escobar, of El Paso, predicting astatine the clip that it would "cause much unit and loss."

Abbott said Wednesday aft the Uvalde shooting that "the quality of an 18-year-old to bargain a agelong weapon has been successful spot successful the authorities of Texas for much than 60 years. "

But Abbott pushed speech immoderate calls to fortify weapon laws, saying "we arsenic a authorities request to find a mode to people that intelligence wellness situation and bash thing astir it."

It's a antithetic presumption than helium has taken successful the past. After the May 2018 wide shooting successful Santa Fe, Texas, Abbott convened a series of roundtable discussions with schoolhouse leaders, parents, teachers, students and advocacy groups astatine the Capitol to amended schoolhouse safety, according to the Texas Tribune. 

A period later, helium unveiled a 40-point program chiefly astir expanding information but helium besides asked lawmakers to see a "red flag" law, which helium suggested mightiness person prevented the 2017 Sutherland Springs shooting

The Sutherland Springs shooter should not person been allowed to bargain a limb since helium had received a atrocious behaviour discharge from the Air Force aft pleading blameworthy to 2 counts of home violence. But the Air Force  failed to participate his name into the National Criminal Information Center, and helium was capable to walk a inheritance cheque and bargain astatine slightest 2 guns due to the fact that of this failure. 

The program appeared to beryllium abandoned aboriginal and the Legislature alternatively successful 2021 passed the instrumentality loosening weapon restrictions. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), successful an mean year, much than 3,600 radical dice by guns successful Texas. That fig includes suicides. Nationally, successful 2022, determination person been astatine slightest 77 incidents of gunfire connected schoolhouse grounds, according to the weapon power advocacy radical Everytown. Six of these incidents took spot successful Texas. 

In the aftermath of the 2019 El Paso shooting that near 23 dead, Democratic person Beto O'Rourke has called for stricter weapon laws. O'Rourke, who is from El Paso, and present is challenging Abbott successful the governor's race, utilized his level arsenic a statesmanlike campaigner successful 2019 to telephone for much restrictions connected AR-15s, successful particular.

O'Rourke confronted Abbott connected Wednesday during a property conference, saying "you are doing nothing" and said the Uvalde shooting was "totally predictable" aft the authorities did not walk tougher weapon laws.

Republican U.S. Rep. Tony Gonazles, who represents Uvalde, told Gayle King connected "CBS Mornings" that the absorption present shouldn't beryllium connected weapon laws.

"I'm blessed to statement policy, not today. I mean, today, we, my assemblage is hurting. You know, politicians similar to disagreement us. Leaders unite america and we request to beryllium agreed close present arsenic Americans due to the fact that what happened successful Uvalde, Texas tin hap anywhere," helium said. "Right now, I've got families that don't, that can't place their children. I've got folks that person to hide their children. I mean, these are the things that we're moving with."  

Andres Triay and Pat Milton contributed to this report.

In: Shooting School Shooting Texas AR-15 rifle

Nicole Sganga

CBS News newsman covering homeland information and justice.

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