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Military Adds Thousands to Gun Ban List after Texas Massacre
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Devin Patrick Kelley shot and killed 26 people in a Sutherland Springs, Texas church in 2017. Photo courtesy of NBC News.

Summary: The US military has updated the list of dishonorably discharged personnel banned from owning guns. 

Last November, an ex-military member killed over two dozen people inside of a Texas Church. In response, the military added more than 4,000 names to a gun ban list, according to CNN which broke the story.

  
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CNN stated that this drastic recent update is “a sign of what has been a massive hole in the nation’s gun buying background check system.”

Currently, dishonorably discharged military personnel are banned from owning firearms. However, the national list was not updated as of last year. This is why Devin Patrick Kelly, who had a history of domestic violence, was able to purchase a semiautomatic rifle, which he used to massacre members of a Sutherland Springs church in November. The shooting was not racially motivated.

Kelly had been forced out of the military because he allegedly assaulted his wife. This discharge should have been submitted to the FBI background check system, but the US Air Force admitted that they had not done it in time, according to CNN. Since the November tragedy, the US Department of Defense has ordered branches of the military to quickly update the FBI system, which has resulted in thousands of names being submitted.

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“We are in the process of conducting a thorough review of past cases to ensure that any prior failures to report are rectified and the appropriate information is provided to the FBI,” Captain Christopher R. Harrison, a spokesman for the Marines, said to CNN.

The number of ex-military barred from owning guns was about 11,000 since 2015, but after the latest update, the number has jumped by almost 38%, according to CNN. It now stands at 15,597.



Dishonorable discharges are given to military members who were convicted of violence or serious misconduct while serving. Like civilians convicted of misdemeanors or felonies, they are banned from owning guns by the federal government.

Representative Scott Taylor, a Republican from Virginia, said that he was “disappointed” by the backlog.

“I’m encouraged that they’re trying to hurry up and get through this backlog. But it was a failure of duty and responsibility to not report these people to the federal database. I’m highly disappointed,” Taylor said.

Kelly had entered the Sutherland Springs church in November, and after murdering 26, he had fled the scene. Police found him dead after running his car off of the road, according to NBC News.

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