It’s not just the military. America’s gun laws are poorly enforced in general — and it’s a problem.
America’s poor enforcement of its existing gun laws seems to have contributed to yet another atrocity.
We now know how Devin Kelley, who was previously convicted of domestic abuse while he was in the Air Force, was able to purchase guns and on Sunday kill 26 churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas. After Kelley was court-martialed, sentenced to 12-months confinement, and received a bad-conduct discharge, the Air Force failed to enter his record in the National Criminal Information Center database — even though Pentagon guidelines require the Air Force to do so.
Based on these facts, this particular tragedy may have been prevented with better enforcement of existing military guidelines and federal law.
This gets to one of the fundamental problems in America’s gun laws: It’s not just that they are generally laxer than other developed countries’ laws; they are also poorly applied and enforced. This isn’t even the first time poor enforcement seemingly made a mass shooting possible — with previous failures contributing to the mass shootings at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg and a church in Charleston, South Carolina.
How the Air Force failed
Under federal law, Kelley should have been barred from obtaining a firearm after he was convicted of two counts for assaulting his spouse and their child. Geoffrey Corn, a former Army lawyer and professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, told the Washington Post that Kelley’s sentence effectively acted as a felony conviction for domestic abuse, which should have prevented him from buying a gun. But, he said, there seems to be confusion within the military about which convictions to report.
The Air Force’s failure effectively erased Kelley’s record for the purposes of a federal background check to Read More Here