Culture

A Clerical Error By The Air Force Allowed The Texas Gunman To Buy His Firearm

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On Sunday morning, Devin Patrick Kelley stormed into First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and open fired, killing 26 people and injuring 20 more. Kelly, a 26-year-old former Air Force Air Man, had been court-marshaled in 2012 and accused of assaulting his wife and stepson before being dishonorably discharged. There has been considerable debate in the aftermath regarding how he was able to purchase a gun with that kind of record, but according to a new statement from the Air Force, it was a clerical omission that allowed him to acquire his firearm.

According to a statement from the Air Force, they failed to enter Kelly’s domestic violence court-martial into a federal database which would have prevented him from buying a gun.

“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.”

The statement continued, claiming that “the service will also conduct a comprehensive review of Air Force databases to ensure records in other cases have been reported correctly.”

This information is particularly pertinent due to the fact that Kelly’s crime was likely motivated by his domestic violence. A new report implies that his grandmother-in-law may have been one of the people he killed and that his mother-in-law was a member of First Baptist.

(Via the New York Times)

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