Texas’ pro-gun lobby digs in to oppose reasonable background checks

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One gun rights group in Texas is getting nervous — or at least it appears that way.

During a roundtable discussion last week, Abbott raised the possibility, even if slim, of universal background checks and lamented the fact that firearms could be purchased by terrorists, according to the Associated Press.

“NO, NO and NO,” wrote Alice Tripp of the Texas State Rifle Association in an email to supporters. “This country, this state, has mountains of existing gun law being ignored or under-prosecuted.”

State Rep. Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat and Speaker Pro Tempore who attended the meeting as a member of the Texas Safety Commission, appeared positive about the discussions initiated by Abbott following the terrorist attack that killed 22 people earlier this month.

“Guns were discussed extensively — what we have under current law, what we can do under potential news laws,” Moody told reporters after the meeting, according to the Texas Tribune. “I think everything was on the table.”

Under current Texas law, background checks are not required for private sales, such as guns purchased between individuals or at gun shows. That means felons and people convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors– two groups of people barred from possessing firearms in Texas– can easily acquire a firearm by attending a gun show.

In one recent example, a 23-year-old man was arrested in Austin after amassing guns at a local park. Weeks before, he purchased an AR-15 from the store of local gun rights activist and entrepreneur Michael Cargill despite having an outstanding felony warrant– another sign that loopholes and poor logistics in Texas gun laws and background checks could lead to more deadly shootings.

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