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Odessa shooter got his weapon by using private sale loophole that Mitch McConnell refuses to close: report

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Man carries AR-15. Image via Shutterstock.

The man who fatally shot seven people while wounding 25 more in Odessa, Texas over the weekend reportedly obtained his weapon by taking advantage of a key loophole that Republican lawmakers have steadfastly refused to close.

Law enforcement sources tell ABC News’ Matt Gutman that the shooter bought his AR-15-style rifle through a private sale, which meant he did not have to undergo a federal background check.

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Previously, law enforcement officials investigating the shooting said that the shooter had actually failed to pass a federal background check, although they did not elaborate on how he got his weapon.

Gun control advocates have long wanted to extend mandating federal background checks for all sales of weapons, including private sales at gun shows or sales between individuals. So far, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has not endorsed any specific measures to strengthen background checks or reduce the availability of deadly weapons.

While many individual states do require background checks for private gun sales, many conservative states, including Texas, do not.

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House Democrats earlier this year passed legislation that closed the so-called “gun show loophole” by requiring background checks on all sales of firearms, but so far McConnell has refused to take it up.

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2020 Election

‘Another win for democracy’: Pennsylvania AG celebrates Trump’s latest loss in court

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Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election continued to be rejected by judges on Saturday.

"The PA Supreme Court dismisses the case brought by U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly that sought to overturn last year’s law creating no-excuse mail voting and to throw out those mail ballots cast in this election," Philadelphia Inquirer correspondent Jonathan Lai reported Saturday. "This is the case the Commonwealth Court had earlier blocked certification in."

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro celebrated the ruling on Twitter.

"BREAKING: We just notched another win for democracy," Shapiro tweeted, with a red siren emoji.

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San Francisco imposes curfew after spike in coronavirus cases

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A surge in coronavirus cases will put San Francisco under a curfew beginning on Monday and trigger other restrictions related to the virus, the city announced.

The curfew requires non-essential businesses to close and prohibits members of different households from gathering between 10 pm and 5 am until December 21, Mayor London Breed said Saturday.

San Mateo county outside San Francisco will also be subject to the same rules after the state of California classified both under its most restrictive tier of locations based on the spread of the virus.

In addition to the curfew, certain indoor businesses will be required to either close or reduce capacity beginning on Sunday at noon, Breed said.

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19 million Americans could lose their homes as Congress refuses to act before Dec. 31 deadline

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As Congress remains on Thanksgiving vacation, millions of Americans are in danger of losing their homes.

"Millions of Americans are in danger of losing their homes when federal and local limits on evictions expire at the end of the year, a growing body of research shows. A report issued this month from the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) and the University of Arizona estimates that 6.7 million households could be evicted in the coming months. That amounts to 19 million people potentially losing their homes, rivaling the dislocation that foreclosures caused after the subprime housing bust," CBS News reported Saturday.

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