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Texas Gets 'F' in Gun Control

State scores 9 out of 100 on laws aimed at keeping firearms away from "criminals and other dangerous people," gun violence prevention group says

By Jordan Smith, Fri., Feb. 8, 2008

According to the Brady Campaign to Pre­vent Gun Violence, Texas scores a lowly 9 points out of 100 when it comes to legislation aimed at keeping firearms away from "criminals and other dangerous people." The scorecard is designed to rate state firearms laws in five broad categories: curbing firearm trafficking, strengthening background-check requirements, ensuring child safety, banning assault weapons, and curbing the ability of individuals to carry firearms in public places.

Texas scores a big fat 0 out of a possible 35 points in its efforts to curb firearm trafficking – like limiting bulk firearm purchases, for example; we also score a big zip (out of 25) for our nonexistent efforts to strengthen prepurchase background-check requirements – notably, the state has taken no step to address the so-called gun-show loophole, which allows people to buy whatever firearms are available without showing any identification. Texas scored one final 0 for its lack of restrictions on ownership of military-style assault weapons.

We scored a whopping 5 points out of 20 for legislative efforts aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of children and 4 points out of 10 (our best showing!) for controls placed on the carrying of firearms in public places – specifically, for allowing colleges and employers to restrict the carrying of weapons.

"We can do better than this," Marsha McCartney, president of the Texas Chapters of the Brady Campaign, said in a press release, "and I sincerely hope that Texas' elected officials will take action to improve our failing score during the 2009 session." Well, at least she can hope.

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