As authorities continue to learn more information about Omar Mateen, the gunman responsible for the Pulse nightclub attack, questions are being asked about how he was able to purchase a gun in the first place.
Prior to Sunday morning's tragedy, in which Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others before police killed him, he was investigated by the FBI. Despite this, Mateen was able to legally purchase firearms on multiple occasions.
"We're also going to look hard at our own work to see whether there is something we should have done differently. So far, the honest answer is I don't think so," said FBI Director James Comey.
Despite the FBI investigation, Mateen passed background checks.
"We are looking for needles in a nationwide haystack but we are also called upon to figure out which pieces of hay might someday become needles. That is hard work. If we can find a way to do that better, we will," Comey said.
KVUE spoke with Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gunworks, who explained the background process dealers go through before selling a gun.
"The questions they're going to have to fill in are if they're a convicted felon or under indictment for the felony, are they fugitive for justice, are they addicted to any controlled substance," Cargill explained. Other questions range from immigration status, military background, and a mental health check.
From there, the information is checked against NICS - the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and can be completed within a matter of minutes. While some things can be easily checked - including criminal history - others, such as drug addiction or mental health status - cannot be, if a person has no documentation of either. This is where Cargill is calling for greater community involvement.
"If there's no paper trail, then of course it's not going to be in the NICS system. Family members, if you see something, say something so that stuff gets documented," said Cargill.
He is also calling for law enforcement to hold people that lie on background forms legally accountable. If the form is filled out incorrectly, Cargill said he will immediately turn it down.
Cargill said in this instance, the questions should be towards law enforcement.
"In this case this isn't going to be the gun dealer's fault. Maybe we should turn to the FBI and say 'What were you doing?' 'What were you investigating?' 'What were your steps that you were taking to make sure that this person wasn't a threat, a serious problem?'" he said.
Andrea Brauer is the Executive Director of Texas Gun Sense, a group advocating for stricter gun laws.
"We're not anti-gun," explained Brauer. "You can respect the 2nd Amendment, and still have sensible policies. I think people still don't understand what we're trying to do."
Brauer noted that the group has doubled in size over the past year, and they do have members who are responsible gun owners. She said they are trying to work with elected officials to discuss policy changes.
"Universal background checks, a lethal violence order of protection that would help families that have a love one that's at risk of harming themselves of others. Ensuring that we keep our permitting in place," said Brauer.
Brauer noted that many people believe that criminals will be able to access guns regardless of stricter gun laws in place, but she disagreed with the rhetoric.
"I think we need to do all we can to make sure there's a strong structure of gun laws in place to increase public safety across the country, but particularly in Texas but we just don't have that right now," said Brauer.
And while mass tragedies tend to garner the most headlines, Brauer said they represent a small percentage of the daily struggles.
"When we have loose gun laws, we're at risk. It puts our communities at risk - not just mass shootings, but suicides, and homicides, and accidents by toddlers. Shooting siblings, parents we see it everyday unfortunately. It's really tragic," Brauer said.
Private sellers in Texas do not need to conduct background checks on buyers. Cargill said that dealers must conduct background checks - regardless if the sale happens in a shop or a gun show.
Since Texas borders a foreign country, if a person purchases two or more handguns or long guns in a 5-day span, the FBI is notified.
In a recent study, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence graded Texas an "F" for its gun laws.