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Texas Church Killer would have been a Threat Even if Air Force had Reported Him

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Article first appeared at Ammoland.com

U.S.A. -(Ammoland.com)- “The DoD Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigated the circumstances surrounding the United States Air Force’s (USAF) failure to submit Devin Patrick Kelley’s criminal history information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in its databases,” a redacted December report advises. “Because his fingerprints were not submitted to the FBI CJIS Division, Kelley was able to purchase firearms, which he used to kill 26 people at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on November 5, 2017.”

Those failures were summarized:

“DoD policy required the submission of Kelley’s fingerprints to the FBI at several points. The first time that the USAF should have submitted his fingerprint cards to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division was after probable cause was determined in an investigation by the AFOSI Detachment 225 that Kelley assaulted his stepson and [first wife] Tessa Kelley. Additionally, a final disposition report should have been submitted to the FBI at the conclusion of Kelley’s court-martial. The USAF was also required to submit to the FBI Kelley’s fingerprints at other times, including when Kelley entered post-trial confinement following his court-martial.”

The bottom line:

“As a result of the investigations, Kelley was convicted by General Court-Martial of an assault on both his wife and stepson, which is reportable to the FBI in accordance with DoD policy. This conviction should have prevented Kelley from purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer.”

“From a licensed firearms dealer” is the crux. Anyone who believes a determined individual can’t obtain a firearm from other sources needs to explain recent headlines from Baltimore or Chicago.

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The inescapable truth is anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. There are plenty of other ways to mass kill. As long as those who do evil walk among us, they will find a way. Remember that mass killings that racked up the highest death tolls, 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Happyland Dance Club fire, were all committed without guns.

While some are learning details of what a violent misfit the killer was from the IG report, there’s really not much new in it, at least for AmmoLand readers. Regulars will recall an exclusive from last May featuring the transcript of Kelley’s court-martial obtained after first filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Air Force, and then filing a lawsuit to get them to comply. You’ll find many of the details contained in this new report were made public over half-a-year ago.

What reporting failures acting as catalysts for “Fix NICS” and other legislation fail to account for is that ultimately, being a “prohibited person” cannot stop anyone so inclined from obtaining a gun. No so-called “commonsense gun safety laws” or record reporting enhancements can change that reality.

The way the citizen disarmament lobby processes and spins that is to demand “universal background checks,” that is, to end private transfers. Aside from the fact that no less an authority than the National Institute of Justice admits “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration” (which would still only impact the ‘law-abiding”), experience shows us every time gun-grabbers get “concessions,” they always move on to the next set of infringement demands.

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In this case, they change the focus and ensure an important takeaway from the Sutherland Springs story remains ignored by the general public:

Armed citizens, one with a so-called “assault rifle,” exchanged fire with and chased the killer down.


About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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