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Tag: background checks

Air Force Failed to Report Dozens of Service Members to FBI Gun Database

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Air Force acknowledged Tuesday that its failure to report the criminal history of a former airman who went on to kill 26 people at a Texas church in early November was “not an isolated incident.”

The Air Force indicated the failure was part of a pattern of “reporting deficiencies” that resulted in dozens of its service members never being reported to the federal gun background database, despite being charged or convicted of serious crimes.  

Dozens of Air Force service members charged with or convicted of serious crimes were never reported to the federal gun background-check database as required,

The revelation follows the disclosure that the Air Force failed to report the domestic violence conviction of the Texas church gunman, Devin Kelley, who should have been prevented from buying a gun that was used in the attack, the New York Times reports.

In a statement on the progress of its internal investigation, the Air Force pledged to change how it reviews and registers offenses with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

“The error in the Kelley case was not an isolated incident and similar reporting lapses occurred at other locations,” the Air Force said in a statement. “Although policies and procedures requiring reporting were in place, training and compliance measures were lacking.”

The case of Kelley prompted Attorney General Jeff Sessions to order a federal review of the background-check database used by the FBI and ATF to ensure all military cases are properly reported.

FBI Allows Tens of Thousands of People with Outstanding Warrants to Buy Guns

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The names of tens of thousands of people wanted by police have been purged from the FBI criminal background check database this year after the FBI narrowed its legal interpretation of “fugitives from justice.”

In February, the FBI said only people who have crossed state lines are considered “fugitives from justice,” prompting the removal of tens of thousands of names, the Washington Post reports

That means fugitives under the old definition can now buy guns, unless they are barred for some other reason. In other words, people with outstanding warrants are now allowed to buy firearms.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he ordered the FBI and ATF to conduct a comprehensive review of the criminal background check database.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI’s Gun Background Checks Are Missing Millions of Problematic Cases

background checkBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Millions of people who should be barred from legally buying guns may still be eligible to purchase a firearm because government agencies are failing to alert the FBI’s background-check system of citizens with criminal convictions and mental illnesses.

The Air Force, for example, acknowledged it erred by failing to notify the FBI of the Texas church shooter who killed 26 people earlier this month. The gunman had been court-martialed on charges of beating his wife and child. He also escaped a mental health institution after threatening to kill superiors.

The Air Force’s failure to flag the former airman is part of a larger systemic breakdown in which government agencies are failing to forward criminal records and mental health diagnoses to the FBI gun background checks, the Washington Post reports

The FBI is uncertain how widespread the problem is, but the NRA estimates about 7 million records are missing from the system, according to a 2013 report by the nonprofit National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics. The reported found that “at least 25% of felony convictions … are not available” to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Military Often Fails to Report Domestic Violence to FBI to Bar Gun Purchases

airforceBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The military’s failure to notify the FBI about Devin Kelley’s history of violence and mental illness, which enabled him to buy guns used to kill 26 people at a Texas church, is a familiar pattern.

Military service branches and the Pentagon reported just a handful of “adjudicated mental health” reports and one felony to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, according to an FBI report from December 2016, MySanAntonio.com reports

In 2016, the Department of Defense did not flag a single soldier, sailor, airmen or Marine because of domestic violence restraining orders.

The FBI and ATF said Kelley would have been prevented from buying a gun had the Air Force reported that he assaulted his wife and son, threatened to kill his superiors and escaped from a mental hospital.

Several investigations are underway to determine why Kelley’s name was not added to the NICS.

FBI Won’t Follow Nevada’s New Gun Control Law, Saying It’s Unenforceable

gunsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A voter-approved measure in Nevada to require more gun background checks isn’t enforceable, says the FBI and Nevada’s attorney general. 

Under the measure, which was supposed to go into effect on Jan. 1, gun transactions between private citizens must involve federal screenings through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

But according to the Washington Times, the FBI won’t conduct the checks. 

In a letter to state officials, the FBI said the state is tasked with background checks and the ballot initiative’s approval “cannot dictate how federal resources are applied.”

The measure prohibits the state from conducting the background checks involving private sales.

“It is manifestly unjust to criminally penalize someone for failing to perform an act that is impossible to perform,” Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt, a Republican, wrote in an opinion Wednesday deeming the ballot initiative unenforceable. “Despite its intent to merely regulate the transfer or sale of firearms between private parties, because it is impossible to perform the background checks as required by the Act, the Act now unconditionally prohibits such transactions under the threat of criminal prosecution for conduct that was formerly lawful and routine.”

Lawmakers Consider Proposal to Require Lyft, Uber to Undergo FBI Background Checks

uberBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some lawmakers are considering a proposal that would require drivers of ride-sharing services Uber and Lyft to undergo FBI background checks.

Taxi companies, which have been hit hard by the lower prices of Uber and Lyft, said they are subject to FBI background checks and so should drivers for ride-sharing services, the Las Vegas Sun reports. 

Supporters of the ride-sharing services say background checks are a nonstarter and intended to bump Uber and Lyft off the roads.

“There’s a lot of interest in the background check because of public safety,” said John Mowbray, a lawyer who represents Frias Transportation Management, which operates one of Las Vegas’ largest cab companies.

Left and Uber are not fans of FBI checks because they are costly and can months to process. The companies, instead, rely on commercial background checks.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Background Checks Surge in June After Mass Shooting in Orlando

gunBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Americans are buying more guns in the immediate aftermath of mass shootings.

Following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, gun sale surged in June, CNN reports. 

The FBI conducted more than 2.1 million background checks in June 2016. By comparison, the FBI conducted 1.5 million background checks in June 2015.

The FBI is on track to eclipse last year’s record for background checks.

In the first half of this year, the FBI conducted 13.8 million background checks, compared to 23.1 million for all of last year.

Defense Lawyers: Two DEA Employees Operated Strip Club Frequented by Law Enforcement

dea-badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two DEA employees are accused of lying during national security background checks about owning a strip club in South Hackensack, N.J.

Authorities said the DEA official and civilian DEA employee in New York City worked regular shift at the Twins Plus Go-Go Lounge and were in charge of hiring and firing dancers and bouncers, the New York Times reports. 

The defense lawyers have a strategy: They are arguing that the defendants’ ownership of the club was well-known in the agency and that law enforcement officials frequented the club.

David Polos, 51, a former assistant special agent in charge, and Glen Glover, 46, a telecommunications specialist, have been charged with conspiracy and making false statements.

The men are accused of lying during their criminal background checks, saying their only employment was with the DEA.

The defense lawyers said that law enforcement is trying to prevent the disclosure of DEA agents were frequented the establishment.

“What’s really going on here is they want to shut down the fact that D.E.A. agents go to adult establishments, which is an absolute legal right,” Polos’ lawyer, Marc Mukasey, said.

Other Stories of Interest