Uvalde families ask local gun shop to stand with them in their fight for justice

The gunman bought two AR-15s at Oasis Outback.

Uvalde families continue their fight to change gun laws in Texas, three months after the Robb Elementary mass shooting.

UVALDE – Uvalde families continue their fight to change gun laws in Texas, three months after the Robb Elementary mass shooting.

On Saturday, dozens rallied at the Texas State Capitol demanding for Gov. Greg Abbott to call for a special session to raise the age to purchase an assault-style weapon.

“From the classroom, and yes, that is from the bullet...bullets,” Nikki Cross, Uziyah Garcia’s guardian, said while showing his water bottle from the classroom.

“She would finish them, she would make a new one. So she had just made this one this year,” Kimberly Garcia, Amerie Jo Garza’s mom, said as she showed KSAT 12 her sketchbook.

These are some of the last items their children ever touched. Amerie and Uziyah were killed inside of their classroom at Robb Elementary.

“I never, ever want a mother to sit here and go through this. It is the worst pain, the worst. And I don’t want that for anybody else,” Nikki said.

“We just want her to know that we love her so much,” Angel Garza, Amerie’s stepdad, said.

Three months later, the pain of the loss still feels just as fresh.

Families are turning this pain into action, sending a petition letter at the beginning of August to local sporting goods store Oasis Outback to stand with its community and stop selling assault-style rifles and ammo.

Uvalde CISD Superintendent Dr. Hal Harrell and several board members signed the letter as well.

“Just to show some respect and compassion for the families,” Berlinda Arreola, Amerie’s grandma, said. “We’re hoping that they will accept our, our letter and, and stop the sales.”

Oasis is where the gunman bought two AR-15s used in the attack.

“Thousands of people that mailed that letter. And so I’m hoping that we get a response from them,” Nikki said.

“Well, we asked for a response within 30 days,” her husband Brett added.

Meanwhile 60 miles East in Devine, these families have a big supporter for their calls for change.

“I’m still standing up. The good Lord has been good to me,” 79-year-old Bernie Phillip said.

Phillip has been an NRA member for more than 50 years, until May 24th.

“I see them in, in my dreams, really. And that really bothers me because I said, ‘man, that could be my granddaughter,’” Phillip said.

His granddaughter Sophie is 10. She marched with families in Austin Saturday to call for common sense gun law changes, like raising the age to buy an assault-style rifle to at least 21.

Phillip believes they need to be banned altogether.

“Ban those AR-15s period, and the AK-47. Any gun weapon that has 40 rounds, it belongs to the police,” Phillip said.

Kimberly Garcia agrees with him.

“I don’t think we want to ban fire all firearms, you know. But I think it’s just those type, the ARs. I don’t even like to say that word,” she said.

If Oasis Outback doesn’t comply, families have vowed to fight, just like they have for the last three months.

“We too feel like we failed her not trying, not fighting harder to get in. We’re not going to fail them a second time. We’re not going to fail her a second time,” Arreola said tearfully.

As of Sunday, Arreola said they have not received a response from Oasis Outback.

The store is closed on Sundays, so KSAT 12′s calls for comment on the petition letter sent haven’t been answered.

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About the Authors:

Leigh Waldman is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2021. Leigh comes to San Antonio from the Midwest after spending time at a station in Omaha, NE. After two winters there, she knew it was time to come home to Texas. When Leigh is not at work, she enjoys eating, playing with her dogs and spending time with family.

Gavin Nesbitt is a photojournalist and video editor who joined KSAT in September 2021. He has traveled across the great state of Texas to film, conduct interviews and edit many major news stories, including the White Settlement church shooting, Hurricane Hanna, 2020 presidential campaigns, Texas border coverage and the Spurs.