Local rifle, handgun retailer says he supports expanded background checks

GARLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Thursday night, the Senate did something many of us thought we would not be seeing in this day and age – passing legislation that would at least include some stricter oversight and regulations on the purchase of firearms.  

The Senate passed the legislation 65 to 33.

The operators of Targetmaster in Garland say their customers who come here to buy rifles and handguns probably won’t notice that much of a difference after the legislation takes effect.  

But it will increase scrutiny on those who are under 21.   

The founder of Targetmaster is a fierce supporter of gun rights, but he also supports expanded background checks on those under 21.

“I’m all in favor of that part that should have been done a long time ago,” Mannewitz said. 

Including juvenile offender records in FBI background checks on firearm purchases is one of the primarily components of a gun violence bill engineered by Senator John Cornyn in the wake of the Uvalde and Buffalo mass shootings.  

The legislation widens restrictions on buying guns among those convicted of domestic abuse beyond just married couples.  

It also provides financial incentives for states that enforce red flag laws which could allow guns to be taken away from those determined to be dangerous.  

Red flag laws are something Mannewitz believes could be abused by the government and he hopes Texas will not adopt them.  

“In some states all a person has to do is tell the police that they think the person is a danger to themselves or someone else and they can go confiscate guns,” Mannewitz said. 

John Fullinwider, with Mother’s Against Police Brutality, argues that nothing in the bill would have prevented recent mass shootings.  

“When are we going to go after the means of this crime? Which is a semi-automatic rifle that is combat ready,” Fullinwider said. “Without that rifle, Sandy Hook, Buffalo, Uvalde they are just revenge fantasies.” 

While there are those who don’t believe the legislation goes far enough, it’s expected to be the most meaningful action Congress has taken on guns in decades. 

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