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Abilene gun store owner says prohibitive laws not always effective

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ABILENE, Texas - A documentation error allowed the Sutherland Springs shooter to purchase a firearm, but an Abilene advocate against domestic violence says more could be done.

Even with multiple convictions, including domestic assault, he was able to purchase a firearm. According to Executive Director of the Noah Project in Abilene Dan Cox, "If a gun is introduced to a domestic violence situation, a homicide is five times more likely to occur."

There are laws in place to prevent those with a history of family violence from purchasing a firearm but, not all are effective.

Convicted felons are prohibited from purchasing firearms, however those convicted of family violence misdemeanors cannot possess firearms for up to 10 years.

"If it's shown in court that it's family, you can get a higher-grade penalty, more punishment, it's going to stay on your criminal history. It's going to also prevent you from purchasing firearms," said James Hill with the Abilene Indoor Gun Range.

Guns bought before a misdemeanor family violence charge aren't in violation of state law.

"If you assault her and own a firearm and it's a misdemeanor assault, I do not believe they are going to come in and seize your guns from you. Now, the police might do it at that given time, but you will be able to get back," Hill said.

When going to a gun store to purchase a firearm, Hill said that you need to fill out a questionnaire before a full background check is performed.

"I will call the FBI and they're going to do it and come back yes, no, or delayed, or denied. If it's denied, I write it on the form and you're done," Hill said.

While gun shops do require background checks, private sales and gun show sales in the state of Texas don't.

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