Stats show handguns, not assault weapons, to blame for most gun deaths

Tyler (KYTX) -- Last year more than 6,000 people were killed not by assault weapons, but handguns. That's according to numbers by the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services.

In response, gun-rights advocates like Galen Raper say recent gun proposals may be targeting the wrong weapons.

"If somebody is going to commit a crime, they are going to commit it no matter what," Raper said.

Here's the breakdown of weapons used in gun deaths last year according to the FBI data:

Handguns: 72%,  Rifles: 4%, Shotguns: 4%, Unknown: 18%, and Other 2%

Mack Woods, owner of the Shootist Shop in Tyler, confirms handguns are a popular buy. "I think traditionally, we sell more handguns here," Woods says.

Woods is also a former cop and says his experience in law enforcement backs up those numbers. He says most people use handguns because they're easy to find and they also cost less.

"Through the years, most murders I was involved happened with very cheap guns, guns that just happened to be sitting around. Guns that don't have any place in the so-called assault weapons world," Woods said.

He adds regardless of the numbers, he believes this time around, lawmakers are serious about change.


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