Many mass shooters acquire guns legally
The big picture: From 1966 to 2019, 77% of mass shooters purchased at least some of the weapons used in the shootings legally, per data compiled by the National Institute of Justice, a research agency of the Department of Justice.
- Many mass shootings in the U.S. after 2019 have also underscored the same reality.
- Illegal purchases were made by just 13% of mass shooters, per the data, which also notes that 32.5% of mass shooting cases could not be confirmed.
- More than 80% of the assailants responsible for K-12 shootings stole their guns from family members, per the National Institute of Justice.
President Biden after the shooting in Nashville called on Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons, a similar call in the wake of a tragedy, but one that is unlikely to pass the Republican-led House.
- He said he had exhausted his options "to do on my own, anything about guns," but reiterated his plea for Congress to act.
- "I can't do anything except plead with the Congress to act reasonably," he said.
- Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett (R) said that Congress does not have a role in preventing future mass shootings. "We're not going to fix it, criminals are going to be criminals," he said.
Driving the news: The suspected shooter who opened fire at the Covenant School, a few miles south of downtown Nashville, on March 27 was armed with two "assault-type guns" and a pistol, the police said.
- Police said that the shooter legally bought seven firearms from five different local gun stores. The shooter hid the firearms around their parents' house.
- "Three of those weapons were used yesterday during the horrific tragedy," police said.
In Louisville, Kentucky, the shooter accused of killing at least five people at a bank bought the weapon used in the massacre legally from a local dealership about a week before the attack, police said.
- The shooting left eight others injured.
In Buffalo, New York, the 18-year old accused of a mass shooting at a supermarket last year is believed to have legally obtained an AR-15 style rifle from a federally licensed gun dealer in New York, he purchased a shotgun previously and he received a rifle as a gift, the Associated Press reports.
- The massacre killed 10 people, most of whom were Black.
In Uvalde, Texas, the gunman legally bought two AR-style rifles just days before the massacre at Robb Elementary School last year, including one that he brought with him to the elementary school, per the Texas Tribune.
- Nineteen children and two adults were killed in the shooting in Uvalde.