The United States suffered another devastating blow to humanity when 26 innocent people lost their lives after Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Investigation into the incident showed that the shooter may have experienced domestic issues that could have motivated him to attack the parish. He also had reportedly sent a string of threatening text messages to his mother-in-law.
Since she’s a parishioner at the Church, officials say Kelley may have opened fire at churchgoers due to the problems he was having with her.
However, it has now emerged that the Air Force failed to enter his domestic violence conviction into a federal database – a move which would have prevented him from buying a gun.
Kelley had been court-martialed in 2012 after he was accused of assaulting his wife and fracturing his step-son's skull while serving in the Air Force. The conviction was not entered in the database and therefore didn’t come up in the background check at the time he bought a firearm.
“Initial information indicates that Kelley’s domestic violence offense was not entered into the National Criminal Information Center database by the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigations,” said Ann Stefanek, Air Force spokesperson, in a statement.
Stefanek also added that a review will be conducted to make sure all records in such cases are added correctly.
After the revelation, Air Force also released a statement.
“The Air Force has launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. Kelley following his 2012 domestic violence conviction. Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after this conviction.”
Background security checks of arms purchasers are designed to ensure the person doesn’t have a history of violence. However, the breach on the Air Force’s part raises serious questions about the coordination between the military and the federal background check system.
Kelley purchased guns twice in 2016 and 2017 from two different locations of Academy Sports + Outdoors. On both occasions, he cleared background checks because of the glaring oversight.
Had the Air Force added that conviction in his record, Kelley wouldn’t have been able to purchase the weapons and carry out the deadly rampage. The incident also raises fear that the American public might not even know how many more such potential shooters are out there just because the Air Force failed to register them in the criminal background check system.
The horrific incident once again calls for stricter gun laws in the country and repeal of the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution. Repealing the “right to bear arms” is long overdue and only becomes more apparent after each senseless mass shooting carried out by a hateful person who got their hands on a deadly weapon.
Domestic assault conviction meant Texas shooter was barred by law from owning gun but Air Force never entered his name in the NICS database.— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) November 6, 2017
Air Force did not report shooter's domestic violence conviction in nat database that would've kept him from buying guns #TexasChurchMassacre— T.J. Holmes (@tjholmes) November 7, 2017
If Air Force had properly logged the church shooter's domestic violence conviction, he wouldn't have been able to legally buy 2 guns in CO.— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) November 6, 2017
.@TBowmanNPR now reporting that the Air Force failed to enter the Texas shooter's conviction into the federal background check database.— Tom Dreisbach (@TomDreisbach) November 6, 2017
Banner / Thumbnail : Reuters, Rick Wilking