US Military Adds More Than 4,000 Names to Gun Ban List

Law enforcement officials work at the scene of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2017. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)
Law enforcement officials work at the scene of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Nov. 5, 2017. (Nick Wagner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

A Texas church massacre that killed 26 people last year prompted the U.S. military to add the names of more than 4,000 people to the list of dishonorably discharged people banned from owning guns, according to a report.

Six months ago, gunman Devin Kelley, dressed in tactical gear and a bulletproof vest, stormed a small Sutherland Springs church, opening fire on parishioners during Sunday service.

He killed 26 people and wounded 20 more in what authorities said was the deadliest church shooting in U.S. history and largest mass shooting ever in Texas.

Kelley, 26, served in the Air Force, and received a bad conduct discharge in 2012 after he was court-martialed on charges of assaulting his wife and child.

Even so, Kelley was able to purchase an assault-style rifle, exposing a gaping loophole in the nation's gun laws.

The federal background check system outlaws gun sales to anyone who received a dishonorable discharge from the U.S. armed forces.

But the same restriction does not apply to less serious bad conduct discharges, like the one Kelley received.

But after the Texas shooting, the military rushed to add 4,284 names to the gun ban list after officials uncovered a dangerous backlog, according to CNN.

In Kelley's case, the Air Force admitted that it had not submitted his records to the FBI's background check system.

"I'm encouraged that they're trying to hurry up and get through this backlog," said Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.), a former Navy SEAL who is working on a bill to improve background checks.

"But it was a failure of duty and responsibility to not report these people to the federal database. I'm highly disappointed."

Kelley shot and killed himself after a civilian wounded him in a gun battle outside the church and chased him along a highway.

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This article is written by Leonard Greene from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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