SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio District 9 Councilman John Courage has asked for an audit to see if municipal courts have reported all family violence convictions to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is used by the FBI and Texas Department of Public Safety.
The request comes after reports that the U.S. Air Force failed to report the conviction of Devin Patrick Kelley, the shooter in Sunday’s Sutherland Springs attack at a church.
“I was an Air Force military policeman myself, and when I heard that the Air Force failed to report the incident involving this person, I felt it personally,” Courage said. “And I wanted to make sure, as a city councilman, that the city is doing everything that it needs to do to properly report these things so that we can prevent any similar types of events from occurring.”
Courage is chairman of the city’s Audit and Accountability Committee, which routinely looks at city department financials and procedures.
“The audit that I've called for is much more significant,” he said. “The city has a role to play when it comes to domestic violence. If someone's found guilty of domestic violence, our judiciary informs them that they no longer have the right to possess a firearm, that they can't buy firearms and then we report that to the state and to the federal government.”
Courage doesn’t believe the city has a major problem with a lack of reporting but believes it’s the city’s responsibility to look into it.
“I think the municipal court does a good job, but they handle so many things. We just want to make sure that everyone's aware of those procedures and they're followed through,” he said. “I don't believe there's a problem, but if you don't check, you don't know. If there seems to be a pattern of those kinds of situations being missed, then we need to identify what is in that pattern that's causing this to happen.”
County officials were asked if they are looking into a similar audit for the county convictions, but they have not yet responded.