SASC Ranking Member wants answers on Air Force error that allowed Texas gunman to buy gun and a review of DoD procedures regarding violent crime convictions

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, after the Air Force announced it is launching a review of how the Service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. Kelley, the Texas mass-shooter, following his 2012 domestic violence conviction, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), the Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, issued the following statement:

“The Texas church shooter should not have been able to legally purchase and own a gun. Clearly there was a breakdown in the system that needs to be addressed immediately.

“We need to get to the bottom of this case specifically, and every Service needs to investigate to determine if there are systemic issues that result in failure to report information on violent crimes, particularly domestic violence cases, to the FBI and the NCIC database. All necessary steps should be taken, administratively and legislatively, to ensure that such a failure does not happen again.”

The Texas shooter was convicted in 2012 by a general court martial on two charges of domestic assault against his wife and step-son under Article 128 of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. He then served 12-months in confinement at Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in California before being released with a Bad Conduct Discharge in 2014.

Federal law prohibited him from buying or possessing firearms after this conviction. Information about such convictions is supposed to be submitted to the FBI for inclusion in the National Criminal Information Center database, but the Air Force appears to have failed to report that information.