The man who killed 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was able to buy a gun because the Air Force didn’t report his violent history. Now, a top U.S. Army general said his branch of the military has the same problem.
Gen. Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff, admitted that “10 to 20 percent” of Army criminal cases don’t get relayed to the FBI.
“We have a significant amount of omissions,” Milley said. “There are gaps and failures on our part.”
This is not a new problem, although the Texas shooting has brought it to the forefront for tragic reasons.
An inspector general’s report said each service branch had significant failure in sharing data and trial results–back in 1997.
“[The shooting] clearly tells us that wee need to tighten up as well,” Milley said. “That could ave been any one of the services, not just the Air Force.”
The Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General is conducting a full investigation into the processes for sharing information on criminal behavior with the FBI, at the request of Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis.
The Texas church shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley, was convicted of domestic assault in 2012 while he was a member of the Air Force. That conviction, had it been reported to the FBI by the Air Force, Kelley wouldn’t have passed the background check when he tried to purchase a gun.