Vice President Mike Pence stood outside the church on Wednesday, where one man murdered 26 people, promising that the U.S. Air Force will complete a review within “days” of how the USAF failed to report the shooter’s criminal history.
Gunman Devin Kelley passed a background check in 2016 to acquire a rifle, as his criminal history had not been reported to the background check system. A 2012 arrest for “assaulting his then-wife and stepson” led to him striking a plea deal for a lesser sentence. The record should have prevented him from legally possessing a firearm. However, the record was never reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
During his visit to the First Baptist Church where Kelley carried out the mass shooting, Pence spoke of government failures in allowing the perpetrator to obtain a weapon. “We now know it was a crime that the assailant was ever able to purchase a firearm in the first place. He lied on his application, had a history of mental illness, and there were bureaucratic failures.”
The Vice President told the crowd outside the church that Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson had assured him that a review of the error would be completed in days, not weeks.
Pence added that the Department of Defense is conducting it’s own review:
…to ensure that the National Crime Information Center has the most up-to-date information on every branch of the armed forces. We will find out why this information was not properly reported in 2012, and we will work with leaders in Congress to ensure that this never happens again.
Just three years before Sunday’s attack on the church, Kelley was cited for misdemeanor cruelty to animals for beating a Husky puppy in the head and neck with his fists.
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