Published: Fri, December 01, 2017
Global | By Shelia Dennis

Family blames US Air Force in Texas church shooting

Family blames US Air Force in Texas church shooting

The claims seek unspecified monetary damages. He was among eight members of the family, spanning three generations, who died.

Unlike state- and local-level governmental bodies, U.S. federal agencies are required by law to report criminal convictions to the FBI in order for that information to be included in firearm licensing databases.

Members of Congress have introduced at least two bills in the wake of the massacre to ensure that the military submits domestic violence convictions to the background check system.

In the days after the shooting, the Air Force admitted it had never entered the conviction in a federal database.

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"Although the shooter undoubtedly "pulled the trigger" that resulted in the injuries and death of JB Holcombe and others, the failures of the US Air Force, and others, allowed the shooter to purchase, own and/or possess the semiautomatic rifle, ammunition and body armor he used", the claim reads.

The full scope of the air force's failure to report domestic violence records and other disqualifying convictions to the gun-buying background check system is still unknown. But since the Air Force failed to report it, Kelley was able to purchase the guns without a single issue.

Coincidentally, in a statement sent on Tuesday, the Air Force blamed failures in "training and compliance measures" for the lapse involving Kelley, who had been convicted of assaulting his wife and stepson in 2012.

While federal agencies are already required by law to submit criminal records to the gun background check system, a bipartisan group of legislators has introduced new federal legislation to make sure that the U.S. military follows the law, including introducing new requirements for public disclosure about record submissions, and financial penalties for officials whose agencies do not comply with the law. In addition, Air Force Security Forces have also implemented several corrective measures and remaining actions will be completed in the next few weeks.

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Under the procedures announced Tuesday, Air Force supervisors at the local, regional, and national level will all be required to verify that offenses have been correctly submitted to NCIS, including by obtaining physical proof of submissions, like a screenshot or printout. Additionally, supporting software, checklist and training changes were made to support the new procedures.

The arrests date back to 2002, though its unclear how many have actually been reviewed.

"The Air Force OSI has already implemented corrective measures to ensure compliance with reporting requirements to civilian law enforcement", branch officials said.

"Air Force officials are correcting all identified deficiencies as they are discovered and reporting them to civilian law enforcement".

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While the Air Force review is still ongoing, officials have already started to make changes to the system in order to "ensure compliance" and "prevent future occurrences". The Air Force has also requested that the Department of Defense Inspector General review records and procedures across the Department of Defense.

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