The suspect in a Colorado shooting early Friday morning was heavily armed. James Holmes, 24, used at least one .40 caliber Glock handgun, a single barrel shotgun and an Smith and Wesson AR-15 assault rifle in what's being called the Batman Movie Massacre. We wanted to know just how easy it would be to get our hands on those kinds of weapons.
What we found was surprising. Walk into a Wal-Mart, Academy Sporting Goods or any number of retailers in Wichita Falls and with a clean background check you could walk out with a gun.
Chris Reitsma, owner of Point Blank Firearms on Van Buren Street, said for someone with a clean background, obtaining anything from a handgun to semi-automatic assault rifle can take just minutes. He said, "You would come in here, or another gun shop, and fill out a form and we would call in a background check to the ATF."
The same background check applies to any kind of gun. One gun getting a lot of recent attention is the AR-15 Assault Rifle, used Friday morning by James Holmes as he murdered 12 people and wounded more than 50 others. All of the guns he used were purchased legally.
An AR-15 we found online at Cabela's went for $699.99. A salesperson we spoke with said we would have to go into a retailer to complete the background check. Reitsma said you can find all of the guns used in the Colorado shooting at various stores in Texoma. In his display cases, he had several handguns priced around $500.
Reitsma says guns like the AR-15 just have a bad rap. He said, "A hunting rifle is a lot more powerful than an AR-15. A gun in just a tool. If the person has bad intent, he's going to do it regardless. No gun restrictions will stop that. If you can't buy them legally you can always buy them on the black market."
Some Texoma residents we spoke with disagree. One said, "If that type of gun wasn't here, if we had a little handgun, you know, maybe less people would have gotten killed. I'm to saying don't have them type of weapons, but I'm saying be more careful of who you give those weapons to."