An Inspector General's report from the Department of Defense reveals failure to report court martialed criminals in the ranks of the military is disturbingly widespread, and the U.S. Air Force actually has a better record than the other branches, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The report was requested by U.S. Rep Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) who represents Sutherland Springs, where a gunman killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church last month. The gunman had been court martialed for domestic violence and served a year in prison, and should have been ineligible to legally buy the weapons used in the attack. But the Air Force admitted it failed to submit his name to the FBI data base which is accessed by gun sellers.
“While I am pleased to see the DoD taking necessary measures in assessing the way that agencies conduct background checks within their organizations, this report demonstrates the need to implement accountability as outlined in my Fix NICS legislation," Cellar said.
According to the report, the Air Force did not properly submit 106 of the 743 convictions it reported between January 1, 2015 and December 30, 2016, a 14% failure rate.
The Army did not submit of its 948 convictions, and the Navy dropped the ball on 36%.
“If the Air Force had met their minimum obligations, the gunman never would have been able to legally purchase a firearm. It is important to hold agencies accountable for failing to submit essential information which help prevent incidents like the one we experienced in Sutherland Springs," Cuellar said.
Cuellar and several other Democrat and Republican lawmakers have submitted bills that would not only tighten up mandates for reporting crimes to the FBI database, but would provide for penalties for failing to report.