Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday ordered a sweeping review of the FBI database used to check the backgrounds of prospective gun buyers one week after a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation discovered that convicted felons and other “prohibited persons” could buy guns by lying on their applications.
TheDCNF found in an exclusive investigative report published Nov. 15 that more than 100,000 people with criminal records or mental disabilities each year lied on their federal gun applications. But throughout eight years in office, the Obama administration prosecuted only 30 to 40 people each year.
Sessions directed the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to determine if other government agencies are failing to report information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the main database for denying guns to criminals, according to CBS News.
The Attorney General further demanded a report outlining the number of times agencies investigate and prosecute people for lying on their gun-purchase applications. He called the situation “alarming.”
Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman who killed 26 people and wounded 20 in Southland Springs, Texas Nov. 30 had at least three disqualifying factors that should have denied him a gun. Yet over a four-year period he purchased four guns in California and Colorado.
Kelly had been convicted of domestic abuse, had been institutionalized in a mental facility and was given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force. Any of those factors would have denied him guns.
The Air Force admitted that it failed to forward that critical information to the instant background check system.
The FBI database is only as good as its inputs. It is dependent on states, localities, mental institutions and federal agencies to forward disqualifying information to the bureau.
Sessions said in his memo that the database “is critically important to protecting the American public from firearms-related violence.”
“It is, however, only as reliable and robust as the information that federal, state, local and tribal government entities make available to it,” the Attorney General added.
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