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Texas Gov Acknowledges Mass Shooter Skirted Background Check To Get Gun

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, announced in a tweet on Monday that the gunman who shot and killed seven individuals over the weekend in the Odessa/Midland area had attained his weapon without undergoing a background check.

Photo by Drew Anthony Smith/Getty Images

“Not only did the Odessa gunman have a criminal history, he also previously failed a gun purchase background check in Texas, & he didn’t go thru a background check for the gun he used in Odessa,” Abbott wrote in his tweet.

He also suggested that something should be done to prevent tragedies like what was witnessed on Saturday from happening in the future. “We must keep guns out of criminals’ hands,” Abbott wrote.

Abbott’s tweet was unclear on whether the 36-year-old gunman was able to purchase the weapon without a background check, but reporting from KVUE in Austin suggested the assailant had indeed bought the gun without a background check being performed.

Details over why the shooter failed the background check were not made clear.

This is the second mass shooting with multiple casualties in Texas within 30 days. After a shooter in El Paso was able to kill 22 individuals in a minute’s time earlier last month, Abbott made similar calls for action on the issue of addressing gun violence.

It’s unclear how exactly Abbott plans to tackle the issue, however, and it’s unlikely he’ll promote reforms that will create added restrictions on gun ownership, strengthening background checks, or limiting what kinds of weapons or accessories individuals can purchase, given that the governor has a 100 percent rating from the National Rifle Association.

According to the Texas Tribune, Abbott announced on Monday he was “”working on a legislative package” to address shootings in Texas. He added, “expedited executions for mass murderers would be a nice addition.”

Experts have warned that such methods do not work to deter would-be mass shooters, previous reporting from HillReporter.com detailed. Indeed, some have cautioned that such an approach could have the opposite effect, inspiring domestic terrorists to carry out their shootings, knowing they’d be killed by the state and viewed as martyrs by others with similar viewpoints.



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