East Texas gun store owners say federal gun laws not highly enfo - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

East Texas gun store owners say federal gun laws not highly enforced

Smitty's Firearms Kilgore (Source: KLTV News Staff) Smitty's Firearms Kilgore (Source: KLTV News Staff)
Smitty's Firearms Kilgore (Source: KLTV News Staff) Smitty's Firearms Kilgore (Source: KLTV News Staff)
Rose City Flying Clays, Tyler (Source: KLTV News Staff) Rose City Flying Clays, Tyler (Source: KLTV News Staff)
KILGORE, TX (KLTV) -

Questions continue to arise as to how the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, was able to buy his gun and pass a background check, even though he had been on an FBI watch list.  

East Texas gun store owners, like Frank Baggett, say those background checks are not always filled out truthfully and are not monitored as much as they could be.

"They are not rigorously enforced, as far as I'm concerned, and that comes from me being former law enforcement and being a gun owner.”

Baggett, who owns Pro-Tek Guns, says he's seen several instances in his store where background checks have become an issue.

"Sometimes The FBI never calls us back, and if they don't call us back, they tell us if you don't hear back from us by this date, you may proceed with the transaction," Baggett said.

Baggett said, the process has its fair share of hiccups.

"There's been time to time that they would call me like several days after this time and go, “calling you about this transaction. It's been denied,” and I will say, “well they've already got the gun.” And then they'll ask for an address and phone number," Baggett said.

Baggett says the essence of these laws is to stop shootings like the one in Orlando.

"To me, it's not a high priority to them. I mean, you would think that if you're trying to stop someone that doesn't need a gun from getting one that you would definitely get back in touch with the people that you've told to hold the gun."

Marion Smith, owner of Smitty's Firearms, said those filling out background forms don't always tell the truth.

"In the last couple of years, there have been thousands who have been rejected by the NICS system as being ineligible to buy a firearm. Out of the rejected applicants, less than one tenth of one percent were prosecuted," Smith said.

"Now when less than one-tenth of one percent get prosecuted for lying on that form, where's the teeth in the law," he added.

Smith said the shooter used a semi-automatic weapon, purchased at a regular gun store. However, Smith said the shooter could have purchased a class three assault weapon.

“With his security certifications and clearances, he was licensed, and yes, he could have paid the $200 and let them. There was nothing in his background, not even a traffic ticket. And yes, he could’ve gotten a class three, and he could’ve really caused some damage,” Smith said.

“An assault weapon is associated with military and police, in that, that weapon has a select fire system so that the gun can fire multiple rounds with the pull of one trigger. All of your assault weapons are classified as class three weapons. They have to go through special dealers that are licensed as class three weapons. There’s a lot of government oversight on it, a lot of paperwork, a lot of stringent background checks and a 200 dollar tax per item,” Smith said.

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