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Tag: Guns

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: Background Checks for Guns Surge to Record High on Black Friday

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Black Friday continues to break records for the number of requests for background checks for gun purchases.

The bureau received 203,086 requests for background checks Friday, breaking the record of 185,713 in 2016 and 185,345 in 2015.

Anyone who wants to purchase a gun at a federally licensed dealer is required to undergo background checks.

The numbers come from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a government database used for background checks on gun buyers.

The number of background checks have increased every year since the Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut.

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.

TSA Miserably Fails to Detect Weapons at Airports, Alarming Congress

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Undercover tests revealed that TSA failed to detect test weapons about 80% of the time, uncovering a slew of “vulnerabilities” at security checkpoints at multiple airports nationwide.

The results were shared with the House Committee on Homeland Security, which called the failures “disturbing,” ABC News reports

“This agency that you run is broken badly and it needs your attention,”Rep. Mike Rogers told TSA Administrator David Pekoske.

Inspectors “identified vulnerabilities with TSA’s screener performance, screening equipment, and associated procedures,” according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security.

The TSA is working on implementing eight recommendations to improve safety and effectiveness.

In a statement, the TSA said the agency “concurs with the DHS OIG findings and is committed to aggressively implementing the recommendations.”

“We take the OIG’s findings very seriously and are implementing measures that will improve screening effectiveness at checkpoints,” said Pekoske. “We are focused on staying ahead of a dynamic threat to aviation with continued investment in the workforce, enhanced procedures and new technologies,” he added.

Other Stories of Interest

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.

Air Force Error Allowed Texas Mass Shooter with Violent History to Buy Firearms

Church shooter Devin Kelley

Church shooter Devin Kelley

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Texas church gunman who killed 26 people and wounded 20 more worshipers at a Texas church on Sunday should never have been able to buy the guns he used in the massacre.

But the Air Force failed to notify the FBI that Devin Kelley was sentenced to a year of confinement after a court martial found him guilty on two charges of domestic assault. According to numerous reports, Kelley brutally assaulted his wife, threatened her multiple times with loaded and unloaded guns and cracked his stepson’s skull. 

The Air Force failed to enter the domestic violence conviction into the National Criminal Investigation Center database, which would have prohibited him from buying a gun legally.

That omission allowed Kelley to pass background checks to buy four guns, some of which were used in the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Several investigation are underway to determine why the Air Force never flagged Kelley.

Authorities also revealed Monday that Kelley was involved in a dispute with his mother-in-law, who attended the church in the past but was not there Sunday.

“He expressed anger towards his mother-in-law,”  Freeman Martin, a spokesman for the Texas department of public safety, said at a press conference on Monday. “This was not racially motivated, it wasn’t over religious beliefs.”

Record Number of Guns Expected to Be Confiscated at Airport Checkpoints in 2017

Guns seized by the TSA.

Guns seized by the TSA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The TSA is on pace to seize a record-high number of firearms this year, saying the increase is due to an increase in air travelers.

“While it’s impossible to ascertain an exact, scientific reason for the increase, there does seem to be a correlation between the increase in the number of firearms caught and the increase in passenger volume,” TSA spokesman Mike England told the Washington Examiner. “2016 was a record year for passenger volume and the industry is on pace to break that record in 2017. The same can be said for TSA firearm catches.” 

Over the past decade, the seizure of loaded and unloaded guns has increased every year. In 2007, 803 guns were seized at airport checkpoints. That number increased to 2,212 in 2014, 2,653 in 2015 and 3,391 in 2016.

With nearly three months left in the year, the TSA has documented the confiscation of 3,053 firearms. 

Other Stories of Interest