In light of the Air Force’s failure to report Sutherland Springs shooter Devin Kelley’s criminal record to the FBI, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Pat Toomey (R-PA) wrote to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke today, urging them to conduct a comprehensive review of the military’s reporting procedures of criminal records.
The Senators requested a report as well as regular updates on the investigation.
If the Air Force had submitted Kelley’s 2014 domestic violence conviction to the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC) database in accordance with federal law, he would have been prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm.
As a result of this oversight, Kelley was able to purchase at least four firearms since his conviction, including the firearm that was used in Sunday’s shooting. The Air Force has initiated an investigation into this case, but Senators Collins and Toomey called for a wider review to help prevent a tragedy like the one that occurred in Sutherland Springs from occurring in the future.
“We urge you to conduct a review of the NCIC database reporting procedures across all Armed Services components for the past decade,” Senators Collins and Toomey wrote. “We further request a full review of military records and databases to ensure criminal records in other cases have been reported correctly.”
“The 2007 NICS Improvement Act directs federal agencies to report records identifying prohibited persons to the Attorney General no less than quarterly,” Senators Collins and Toomey continued. “This incident raises the question of whether there are other gaps in the military’s criminal records reporting procedures. In addition, inmate in-processing could provide an additional opportunity for the Armed Services to check that cases are properly reported.”