Lawmakers want change in how military reports criminal history

Want for change comes after mass shooting in Sutherland Springs

SAN ANTONIO – Lawmakers want change when it comes to how the military reports criminal history to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

The want for change comes after the U.S. Air Force admitted it did not submit Devin Patrick Kelley’s domestic violence conviction. That conviction would have shown up on a background check when Kelley purchased the gun used in the Sutherland Springs church shooting Sunday that claimed the lives of 26 people.

NICS has one Pentagon entry for domestic violence convictions as of Dec. 31, 2016. Republican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn plans to introduce a bill to incentivize reporting of military criminal history data.


Currently, the requirement is based on an internal Pentagon rule that does not have the force of the law.

There was vital information unreported. It was a missed opportunity to halt the purchase of weapons, including the gun used to kill 26 people.

“According to the Department of Justice, the number of these records that are actually uploaded is staggeringly low. That is unacceptable and it must change,” Cornyn said.

That admission promoted the need for new legislation — a bill addressing the failure of federal agencies and the military.  

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