A new report on Monday shows that Texas gunman Devin Patrick Kelley was never added to a database that would have prevented him from purchasing a firearm.
According to the Huffington Post, “The Air Force failed to record the Texas church shooter’s domestic violence conviction in a federal database that would have kept him from buying a gun.”
More from the report:
The Air Force said on Monday that it failed to record the Texas church shooter’s domestic violence conviction in a federal database that would have kept him from buying a gun.
That glaring oversight allowed Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, to pass multiple background checks and legally purchase firearms. The stunning admission from the Air Force raises critical questions about coordination between the military and the federal background check system that is designed to keep guns from those who have lost the right to purchase them.
Kelley, who served at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, was convicted by a general court martial on two charges of domestic assault against his wife and stepson before being released with a bad conduct discharge in 2014.
In other words, the weapon Kelley used to kill 26 individuals during a church service on Sunday was bought legally, no questions asked, despite the assumption by many that his military discharge would have prohibited the sale.
This gut-wrenching oversight by the Air Force isn’t an isolated incident either.
After a gunman killed nine people at a church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015, it was revealed that the shooter was able to buy his gun due to yet another error in processing his background check.
Since then, gun safety advocates have proposed multiple pieces of legislation to correct that crack in the system, but once again, the gun lobby’s grip on Republicans in Congress continues to win the day.
With Trump in the White House, this lazy enforcement of gun regulations – and even an effort to relax firearm regulations – isn’t likely to change. Shortly after taking office, in fact, Trump signed legislation into law that made it easier for mentally deranged individuals to get their hands on a weapon.
This despite the fact that today, Trump said the shooting in Texas was not a gun problem but is instead a “mental health problem at the highest level.”
At the end of the day, it’s hard to fathom that 26 Americans, many of them children, would be alive today if not for this unimaginable oversight by the U.S. Air Force. But this instant is just a symptom of a system that is clearly broken and in need of tougher and smarter improvements.
Until the American people elect representatives willing to put human life over the campaign donations from the gun lobby, that’s never going to happen.