HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — State Assemblyman Jarvis Johnson called on Gov. Greg Abbott to convene a special meeting on gun reform, including raising the age limit to 21 to buy long guns.
Since September 2021, the Unlicensed Carry Act, also known as the Constitutional Carry Act, has allowed Texans who legally own firearms to carry firearms without a license.
The person must be at least 21 years old to purchase a handgun, but Texans 18 and older can purchase a handgun from another Texan resident through private sales.
“It’s very easy to buy a gun in this state,” said Sandra Guerra Thompson, a professor of criminal justice at the University of Houston Law Center. “And I think we’ve made that more and more clear, especially with last year’s Allowed Carry Act, which essentially removed all safety requirements when buying a handgun.”
There are other exceptions that allow 18-year-olds to purchase firearms if certain requirements and parental consent are met.
Texas is one of the states that allows 18-year-olds to legally purchase long guns, including shotguns and rifles and their ammunition.
Texas has the weakest gun laws in the country compared to other states, according to F. Allison Anderman of the Giffords Law Center for Gun Violence Prevention, according to the Giffords Law Center’s annual Gun Law Scorecard. 14th in the ranking.
“States like Texas that don’t require a gun license have higher rates of gun homicides and suicides, so passing this law would be a step in the right direction,” Anderman said. “There’s also a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.”
Earlier, several law enforcement agencies confirmed to ABC News that Salvador Ramos, the suspect in the Uvald shooting, legally purchased two rifles after turning 18 and carried out the second-largest shooting in U.S. history. Serious school shooting.