USAF ‘Mishandled’ Reporting Texas Church Shooter’s Conviction to Background Check System, Says Report

Devin Patrick Kelley
Mugshot of Devin Kelley

The gunman who opened fire in the Texas church was able to pass a background check because the Air Force “mishandled” the process for reporting his domestic violence conviction, according to a report.

On November 6 Breitbart News reported that the gunman, Devin Kelley, passed a background check in 2016 to acquire his rifle. CNN quoted a law enforcement official who observed that Kelley “didn’t have a disqualifying criminal history when he filled out the background check paperwork at the store” in San Antonio.

Questions immediately arose–how did Kelley pass a background check, considering the fact that he had a domestic violence charge?

According to NPR, Kelley was arrested in 2012 and “was court-martialed for assaulting his then-wife and stepson.” His conviction in that case “disqualified him from legally possessing a firearm.” He entered a plea deal for a lesser sentence, but one which was still enough to prohibit him from firearm possession under federal law. Nevertheless, his arrest and conviction were not reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), thus he was able to buy firearms.

NPR’s Tom Bowman said, “This was mishandled by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico, where Kelley was serving when he was arrested. An investigation is now underway, and the Air Force is taking it very seriously, said the source.”

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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