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Texas Governor Reveals Odessa Shooter Failed Background Check

Seth Ator had been blocked from a firearms purchase by the existing system. That didn’t stop him getting a rifle for a mass shooting.

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott revealed that the gunman who killed eight people in a shooting spree Saturday in Odessa had previously failed a background check during a firearms transaction.

If 36-year old Seth Ator failed a firearms transaction background check on the basis of his criminal history, it’s almost certain that the now-deceased truck driver would’ve been legally prohibited from owning or purchasing firearms. Ator went on a rampage across the city of Odessa after being fired from his trucking job on Saturday, killing seven before being neutralized by police.

Reports have already surfaced indicating that Ator pled guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to trespassing in 2002. Texas law doesn’t ban those with misdemeanor convictions from gun ownership, so it’s possible that Ator had another felony conviction that prevented him from legally buying a weapon.

The 36-year old man reportedly called the FBI hours before beginning his crime spree, upset over being fired from his trucking job. He murdered a postal service worker and stole her truck to carry out his shooting spree.

Law enforcement and journalists will now investigate how it is that Ator obtained an AR-style rifle. Some private firearms transactions that take place between individuals don’t require background checks, but sales of the sort are difficult to consistently prevent, as they avoid the existing background check and prohibited possessor system.

The prohibited possessor system exists for a reason, and it’s likely Seth Ator was appropriately barred from legally purchasing guns under the law. Slapping new restriction on transfers between individuals that take place in the light of day at gun shows and between family members is unlikely to prevent dangerous individuals from obtaining weapons.

Big League Guns

Texas Governor Abbott Wants Texas to Be a “Second Amendment Sanctuary”

The Texas GOP needs to get its act together and start passing pro-2A legislation

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Last week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said he wants to turn Texas into a Second Amendment sanctuary state.

Patrick Sviteck of the Texas Tribune reported on Twitter, “Abbott tells TPPF he wants to make TX a “2A sanctuary state” this session “so that no gov’t official at any level can come & take your gun away from you despite those ppl who say, ‘Heck yes, we’re gonna take your gun.’ We’re gonna say, ‘Heck no, you cannot take ppl’s guns'” in TX.”

Abbott’s quip about taking people’s guns was in response to Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke remarks during the 2019 Democrat presidential debates where he explicitly called for gun confiscation.

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Abbott’s comment came after a number of Texas counties began to declare themselves as “Second Amendment sanctuaries” throughout 2020. Daniel Friend of The Texan reported that  “By early 2020, commissioners in over 60 counties — often with the support of the county sheriff — had passed some sort of Second Amendment sanctuary resolution.”

Two elected officials have filed different versions of the Texas Firearm Protection Act, which Greg Abbott pushed back in 2013 when he was Attorney General. The TFPA is a piece of legislation that would ban law enforcement from enforcing federal gun control schemes “that purports to regulate a firearm, a firearm accessory, or firearm ammunition if the statute, order, rule, or regulation imposes a prohibition, restriction, or other regulation, such as a capacity or size limitation, a registration requirement, or a background check, that does not exist under the laws of this state.”

State Representative Steve Toth introduced House Bill (HB) 112 and State Representative Ben Leman introduced HB 919 — both of 2021’s version of the TFPA.

At a Texas Public Policy Foundation event, Abbott emphasized his pro-Tenth Amendment credentials by stating that “I still hold a record that will never be broken by anybody.I hold the record for the most lawsuits filed against Barack Obama — 31 legal actions against him.

The Texas Governor added, “We had to because the actions he was taking trampled upon Texas’ liberties based upon the Tenth Amendment. We need to go back to the fundamentals of the Tenth Amendment and reassert that against any potential encroachments that we see under the Biden administration.

The sanctuary movement is arguably one of the brightest spots for the right heading into the Biden era. Despite Democrat control at the federal level, there will be more paths for reform available at the state and local level. This should make Second Amendment operatives realize that not all politics is federal. Plus, gaining in power in D.C. necessitates having strong local political machines. Fighting Second Amendment battles at the state and local level is a good way to build a power base.

As cliche as it may sound, all politics is still local.

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