Democratic officials call for special legislation to make background checks universal

While Democratic elected officials push for Senate leaders to call for a special session to pass legislation mandating universal background checks, local activists say more can be done now.

Gun reform activist Marcel McClinton is running for Houston City Council at large-3.

“Thoughts and prayers are completely useless. We've been thinking and praying the violence away and it’s not going away. It's getting worse,” McClinton said.

Scarred by his own run-in with gun violence when he was 14-years-old, McClinton remembers when the church where he was teaching Sunday school in 2016 was terrorized by a shooter.

“A gunman had an AR-15 and went on a rampage outside of the church for like 50 minutes. The shooter in Ohio had 60 seconds,” McClinton.  

The 18-year-old is urging people to register to vote and rally for change alongside organizations like March For Our Lives.

“We can be proactive in our fight to combat gun violence by making phone calls, showing up, demanding change, writing letters and voting them out when the time comes,” McClinton said.

As the conversation nationwide shifts towards passing tougher gun laws and universal background checks, some say the President's rhetoric towards immigrants is to blame.

However, James Hillin, the owner of Full Armour Firearms disagrees.         

“Somebody that's not a rational person can twist your words and make it fit their agenda,” Hillin.

Instead, Hillin said the solution isn't so easy. Hillin advocates for gun owners to receive more training and says he does whatever he can as a gun salesman to not sell it to anyone that might raise a red flag.

“One time we had a woman who was trying to buy a gun who wouldn’t stop crying. Why she was sitting there crying? I have no idea. But I'm not going to sell a gun to someone doing that, right?

“We also had a lady cone in one time in our range. You can rent guns. She wanted to buy one bullet and go shoot. One bullet. Not going to happen. The ATF uses us as a last line of defense if you will and we take that responsibility seriously,” Hillin said.

In the past, reports indicate that gun sales have gone up after some mass shootings. But Hillin tells FOX 26 that’s not the case after this weekend. He adds that hasn't been the case in his store in years.