Air Force Failed To Follow Procedures, Allowing Texas Church Shooter Purchase Of Guns Despite Ineligibility

Devin Patrick Kelly should have been legally barred from owning guns.  The Air Force failed to follow procedure, it did not submit Kelly’s criminal history to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The Air Force says a mistake allowed Devin Patrick Kelley to buy guns. On Sunday Kelley opened fire on a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The former airman had an assault-style rifle and two handguns — all purchased by him, according to federal officials — when he shot and killed 26 people.

He also had a known record of domestic violence. In 2012, while he was in the U.S. Air Force, he was court-martialed for assaulting his then-wife and stepson. He served a year in confinement at a Naval facility in California after a plea bargain.

Under federal law, his conviction disqualified him from legally possessing a firearm. But there was an apparent breakdown in getting information about his conviction to the proper federal database.

“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 Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek in an email.

Top Air Force brass has ordered a complete review of the case…

An official at the Pentagon tells NPR’s Tom Bowman that a mistake resulted in neither the arrest nor the conviction being listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the database that would have flagged him as ineligible to purchase a firearm.

“This was mishandled by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, where Kelley was serving when he was arrested,” Tom reports. “An investigation is now underway, and the Air Force is taking it very seriously, said the source.” NPR