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Most Mass Shooters Buy Their Guns Legally; Nashville Shooter Had 7

The suspected shooter who killed six people at a Nashville school is believed to have bought seven guns legally, including three used in the attack. From 1966 to 2019, 77% of mass shooters purchased at least some of the weapons used in the shootings legally, says the National Institute of Justice.

Many mass shootings since 2019 have also underscored the same reality, Axios reports. Illegal purchases were made by just 13% of mass shooters. More than 80% of the assailants responsible for K-12 shootings stole their guns from family members.

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.

The shooter who opened fire at the Covenant School was armed with two "assault-type guns" and a pistol. Police said the shooter legally bought seven firearms from five different local gun stores. The shooter hid the firearms around their parents' house.

In Buffalo, the 18-year-old accused of a mass supermarket shooting last year is believed to have legally obtained an AR-15 style rifle from a federally licensed gun dealer. He had purchased a shotgun previously and he received a rifle as a gift. The massacre killed 10 people, most of whom were Black.

In Uvalde, Tx., 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.

In Parkland, Fl., the shooter at the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 died, the AR-15-style rifle used in the attack was bought legally

Figures compiled by the Small Arms Survey show that the U.S. is awash with guns at vastly higher levels – both numerically and per capita – than any other country in the world, The Guardian reports.

In 2017 there were 393 million legal and illicit firearms in the hands of US civilians. That overshadows the next country in the table: India, with 71 million..

A Washington Post investigation published on Monday (coincidentally about four hours before the Nashville shooter entered the Covenant school) described how the AR-15 – a weapon designed for the battlefield and admired by the Pentagon for its “phenomenal lethality” – has become the best-selling rifle in the U.S.

Polling data from the Washington Post and Ipsos suggests that about one in every 20 US adults – about 16 million people – own at least one AR-15. AR-15s have been involved in 10 of the 17 deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. in the past decade.

A report from Congress last July helps explain why gun manufacturers have turned enthusiastically to flooding the market with AR-15 style rifles. It found that gun makers generated more than $1 billion in sales of the guns over the past decade.


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