Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to review the U.S. database used for background checks on firearm buyers, according to Reuters.
Sessions used the Sutherland Springs shooting as evidence of a need to review the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), as the shooter was able to buy a gun despite having been convicted of domestic assault. The Air Force said it failed to enter his information into the federal database.
In a statement, Sessions said he was directing the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “to do a comprehensive review of the NICS and report back to me the steps we can take to ensure that those who are prohibited from purchasing firearms are prevented from doing so.”
Kelley was found guilty by an Air Force court-martial in 2012 of assaulting his first wife and a stepson. Federal law prohibits anyone from selling a gun to someone who has been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence against a spouse or child.
The Air Force has said it failed to provide information as required about Kelley’s criminal history to the FBI’s criminal database. Sessions said he was directing the FBI and ATF to determine if the Defense Department and other government agencies were properly reporting information to the database.