• What does it take to buy a gun in the U.S.?

    By: Tiffany Alaniz


    TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:

    • Federally licensed gun sellers are required to perform background checks on potential buyers.
    • An FBI database is supposed to ensure that buyers are being truthful.
    • FOX23 found out why the gunman in the deadly Texas church shooting was able to buy a gun.


    A deadly mass shooting in Texas over the weekend has many asking why the gunman, who had prior convictions, was able to buy a gun.

    When a potential gun owner wants to buy a gun in the U.S., they are not supposed to simply walk inside a licensed gun shop, pick out a weapon and walk out.

    Buyers have to fill out an ATF form as part of an effort to keep guns out of the wrong hands.

    The six-page form serves as a firearm transaction record.

    Among other things, it asks potential buyers if they have been discharged from the armed forces under dishonorable conditions, convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and more.

    The business selling the gun is supposed to call the FBI and run a check through their database to ensure the potential buyer is telling the truth.

    Local gun store owners say they have seen people lie on the forms, but the background check has caught them.

    In Oklahoma, a delay of up to three days can ensure that a buyer should be able to buy a gun.

    Only federally licensed gun sellers are required to perform the background checks. Private sellers are exempt.

    In the case of the Texas church shooter, the Air Force hadn't submitted information about his prior convictions to the FBI database.

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