Air Force Ordered to Pay $230 Million for Not Sending Criminal Record of Gunman to FBI Background Check System

ClearStar

Air Force Ordered to Pay $230 Million for Not Sending Criminal Record of Gunman to FBI Background Check System

In February 2022, a federal judge ordered the U.S. Air Force to pay more than $230 million in damages to survivors and families of victims of a shooting in a Texas church after failing to submit the gunman’s criminal history to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) background check system which may have prevented him from legally buying the weapon used in the incident, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

In November 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley shot and killed 26 people and injured several others at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Kelly later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He had served in the Air Force before the shooting and a court found him guilty of assaulting his wife and stepson two years before a bad conduct discharge in 2014, a conviction the Air Force did not report to the FBI, the AP reported.

In July 2021, U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez had found the Air Force was “60 percent liable” for the shooting after failing to submit Kelley’s assault conviction during his time in the Air Force to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that was established by the Brady Act of 1993 as a national system for federal firearms licensees (FFL) to use to determine if a person can legally buy a gun.

“Under Pentagon rules, information about convictions of military personnel in crimes like assault is supposed to be submitted to the FBI’s Criminal Justice Investigation Services Division for inclusion in the National Criminal Information Center database,” the AP reported. The $230 million figure was settled on after relatives of victims asked for $418 million and the Justice Department proposed $31.8 million.

ClearStar – a Hanover Investors portfolio company – is a leading provider of Human Capital Integrity℠ technology-based services specializing in background, credit, and medical screening. To learn more about ClearStar, please visit www.clearstar.net. Follow ClearStar on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

 

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    Thomas Ahearn - News Blog Editor and Public Relations Specialist

    Thomas Ahearn is our News Blog Editor and Public Relations Specialist. Our News Blog provides information about the background check industry to employers, HR professionals, recruiters, and consumers. ClearStar's News covers a variety of topics including Ban the Box, credit reports, criminal records, data breaches, drug testing, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), E-Verify, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), HR technology, identity theft and fraud, jobs reports, lawsuits involving screening, Millennial workforce, privacy issues, social media background checks, and workplace violence.

    At ClearStar, we are committed to your success. An important part of your employment screening program involves compliance with various laws and regulations, which is why we are providing information regarding screening requirements in certain countries, region, etc. While we are happy to provide you with this information, it is your responsibility to comply with applicable laws and to understand how such information pertains to your employment screening program. The foregoing information is not offered as legal advice but is instead offered for informational purposes. ClearStar is not a law firm and does not offer legal advice and this communication does not form an attorney client relationship. The foregoing information is therefore not intended as a substitute for the legal advice of a lawyer knowledgeable of the user’s individual circumstances or to provide legal advice. ClearStar makes no assurances regarding the accuracy, completeness, or utility of the information contained in this publication. Legislative, regulatory and case law developments regularly impact on general research and this area is evolving rapidly. ClearStar expressly disclaim any warranties or responsibility or damages associated with or arising out of the information provided herein.

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