Reports: Odessa shooter bought gun via private sale without background check

By Brandon Formby
© 2018 The Texas Tribune

The 36-year-old man who fatally shot seven people and wounded 22 others in West Texas on Saturday was federally barred from possessing a firearm because he’d been diagnosed with mental illness, ABC News reported Tuesday.

Citing law enforcement sources, a reporter for the network also tweeted that the gunman obtained the weapon used in the mass shooting from a private sale. In Texas, such sales do not require background checks.

Those reports came a day after Gov. Greg Abbott said the shooter previously failed a gun purchase background check, though Abbott didn't say why. Texas Standard on Tuesday reported that the Texas Department of Public Safety said the shooter failed a gun purchase background check in 2014, but the agency didn't disclose the reason.

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Monday said there should be a “strong look” at the lack of a required background check for some private sales.

“And I believe as a supporter of the Second Amendment we should protect that family transfer or family sale, but any stranger to stranger — we don’t know how this person got the gun — but we do know that that’s a real loophole in the law and I think the NRA needs to get behind the president on that issue and really address that issue,” Patrick said.

© 2018 The Texas Tribune