The man who attacked a Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas was not legally able to purchase a firearm, but still passed a background check because the Air Force did not inform the FBI of domestic violence convictions he obtained during a court martial.
Questions have abounded as to why he was able to fall through the cracks. His conviction in a military court of justice precluded him from being able to purchase or possess a firearm. He even had applied for a Texas concealed handgun license, but was denied by the State.
“So how was it that he was able to get a gun? By all the facts that we seem to know, he was not supposed to have access to a gun,” Governor Gregg Abbott told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “So how did this happen?”
At this point, it is still unclear what reason had precluded him from getting a license to carry; perhaps the State of Texas had access to information that the FBI’s background check system did not (somehow).
We do know that the attacker purchased his rifle in Colorado, and lied in BATFE form 4473 (the background check form), saying that he did not have a criminal history. The FBI’s NICS system should have caught the lie, but did not because the Air Force did not notify the FBI.
So why was the FBI not notified? Well, government incompetence for one, but also because of the fact that Democrats filibustered legislation in 2013 that would have required the Air Force to report that conviction to the FBI for record, Senator Ted Cruz has revealed.
In an interview with Fox News, the junior Senator from Texas revealed that the law would have required the Air Force inform the FBI about the conviction. But the Democrats’ filibuster of the Grassley-Cruz legislation that targeted violent criminals from getting guns.
The Air Force definitively stated that if the information was properly inputted, it would have stopped the sale. But due to negligence, the transaction went through.
“This should have been stopped beforehand,” Cruz told Shannon Bream. “Under federal law, it was illegal for this individual to purchase a firearm. He had a conviction for a crime that is punishable by more than a year in prison, and he had a conviction for multiple domestic violence crimes. Both of those – it’s already ineligible.”
With multiple convictions, it’s simply shocking that no one reported that to the FBI. Cruz stated that legislation he and Senator Chuck Grassley had crafted after the Sandy Hook shooting would have aided in preventing this attack.
“In 2013, in the wake of Sandy Hook, I joined with Chuck Grassley, we introduced legislation that was called the Grassley-Cruz legislation. And it was aggressive legislation targeting felons and violent criminals to stop them from getting guns.
There were a couple of elements to that legislation that were critical. One, it mandated that federal agencies, including the Air Force, report to the NICS because that was a problem back then.”
Indeed, the legislation targeted those who would try to purchase guns illegally.
Cruz Task Force. Task Force and $10 million per year for 5 years to prosecute felons and fugitives who try to get guns. Created task force and proposes funding of $10 million per year for five years to prosecute felons and fugitives who fail National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) – funded through the Asset Forfeiture Fund.
If the Democrats want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, why in God’s name did they oppose this? I guess they are more concerned with attacking people who lawfully own guns for personal protection…
Additionally, he lied on the BATFE form 4473 when he purchased his guns in Colorado.
“That is a felony, to lie on those forms.”
However, the Obama administration was not so keen on prosecuting individuals who lied on these forms, or on those who otherwise tried to buy guns illegally.
“In 2010, 48,000 felons and fugitives lied and tried to illegally purchase guns. They prosecuted only 44 of them.”
Is there not a bigger issue here of enforcing existing law? Methinks that, just like the Charleston, SC shooting, government incompetence is to blame for allowing this individual to fall through.
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