An Air Force review has found “several dozen” cases where the service failed to provide information about criminal convictions to the FBI database used in the background checks for gun purchases.
The review by the Air Force’s Inspector General was prompted by the service’s failure to provide, as required, the details of Devin Kelley’s domestic violence conviction to the FBI’s databases.
An Air Force statement released today said that following a review of 60,000 serious cases as far back as 2002 it has determined that Kelley’s case was “not an isolated incident”.
An Air Force official said the review is ongoing, but that so far several dozen records have been “corrected”.
If Kelley’s conviction had been passed to the FBI’s databases, as required by law, the Texas church shooter would not have been able to purchase some of the weapons he used in the deadly attack at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, earlier this month. The mass shooting left 26 dead, according to police, who have included an unborn child in the death count.
In 2012 Kelley plead guilty to assault charges on his then wife and her stepson while was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.
“Preliminary findings by the Air Force Inspector General confirmed the OSI and Security Forces personnel then assigned at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, did not report required information to civilian law enforcement in the Kelley case,” said an Air Force statement.
“The review also found the error in the Kelley case was not an isolated incident and similar reporting lapses occurred at other locations,” it added. “Although policies and procedures requiring reporting were in place, training and compliance measures were lacking.”
The Air Force will continue reviewing criminal cases to determine what additional corrective actions may need to be taken.
The service says the Air Force Office of Special Investigations has already implemented corrective measures to ensure that reporting requirements to civilian law enforcement are being followed through. .
They include new procedures where printed documents or screen grabs verify to leadership at regional and headquarters levels that applicable cases have been registered with the FBI's National Crime Information Center's Interstate Identification Index.
The Air Force review is expected to continue its review for several more months, an official said.
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