U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a comprehensive review of the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System after the deadly Sutherland Springs church shooting in early November.
The Sutherland Springs church shooting in Texas was perpetrated by former Air Force enlisted-man Devin Kelley, who under U.S. law should not have been able to purchase a firearm. Kelley was convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence against his then-wife and stepson in 2012, earning him a year in military prison and a bad conduct discharge. He reportedly beat his wife during the incident and badly fractured his stepson’s skull. These charges should have denied him legal access to firearms.
The primary item of Sessions’s orders the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to “work with the Department of Defense to identify and resolve any issues with the military’s reporting of convictions and other information relevant to determining prohibited person status under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).”
The U.S. Air Force is reviewing records that date back to 1996 in a bid to ensure that all crimes which would disqualify a convict from buying a firearm have been properly reported to the FBI’s national background check system, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told Pentagon reporters Nov 9.
A previous Daily Caller News Foundation review of FBI records indicates that only a single active record of misdemeanor domestic violence reported by the Pentagon exists. The issue is so widespread the AP discovered a 1997 report that detailed massive fingerprint reporting lapses of military criminals with the U.S. Navy and the Navy failed to report 94 percent of cases.
“The lack of reporting to the FBI criminal history files prevents civilian law enforcement agencies from having significant information on military offenders,” the report warned 20 years ago.
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