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Air Force blunder allowed Texas church shooter to obtain firearms

House Speaker Paul Ryan

While Democrats have been all over the “more gun control” bandwagon since Sunday’s massacre at a Texas church, House Speaker Paul Ryan is pointing out that existing laws should have prevented now-dead suspect Devin Kelley, 26, from buying guns.

Democrats have gone so far as to walk out of a moment of silence in the U.S. House in memory of the victims, as Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., did to make a publicity video.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., took a more typical path.

USA Today said he “blasted lawmakers for failing to pass laws that could prevent tragedies like Sunday’s Texas rampage.”

He didn’t specify the laws. And House Speaker Paul Ryan pointed out that the existing laws already prohibited Kelley, a man involved in domestic abuse, from having a weapon.

Read the stunning account of how a Christian missionary reacted when terrorists attacked a church service. He shot back! The full are details in the book, and now the movie, “Shooting Back.” They’re available now at the WND Superstore! 

Ryan said: “This man shouldn’t have gotten a gun. You know why? Because he was a domestic abuser.”

He said what needs to be investigated is how Kelley slipped through the cracks after his conviction.

“This speaks to making sure we actually enforce our laws that we have on the books,” he said.

The New York Times reported Kelley had been convicted of domestic assault on his wife and toddler stepson several years ago while he was in the Air Force.

He “cracked the child’s skull.”

And that conviction “should have stopped Mr. Kelley from legally purchasing the military-style rifle and three other guns he acquired in the last four years,” the report said.

But the Air Force admitted officials failed to enter the man’s domestic violence court-martial into a federal database from which gun retailers draw permission to sell weapons.

“The Air Force has launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. Kelley following his 2012 domestic violence conviction,” the military service said in a statement.

In fact, the Washington Times said Defense Secretary James Mattis has instructed the Pentagon watchdog to “find out what’s going on” with the Air Force’s failure to report Kelley’s criminal history.

“If the problem is we didn’t put something out, we’ll correct that,” he said.

More evidence of Kelley’s instability was a report from the Washington Post that he, in 2012, had fled a mental health facility after “he was caught sneaking guns onto an Air Force base.”

It happened about the same time he faced a court-martial, and police officers were told then Kelley “was a danger to himself and others.”

Kelley was able to purchase the Ruger AR-556 rifle he allegedly used in the shooting from a store in San Antonio in April 2016. There was no disqualifying information in the background check conducted as required for the purchase, a law enforcement official told CNN.

Kelley also tried to get a license to carry a gun in Texas but was denied by the state, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.
“So how was it that he was able to get a gun? By all the facts that we seem to know, he was not supposed to have access to a gun,” Abbott told CNN. “So how did this happen?”

Kelley “may have been driven by anger toward his estranged wife’s family,” according to the New York Times.

Authorities believe the mother of his second wife, Danielle, a member of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, was the target of Kelley’s rage.

Freeman Martin, a Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman, said the suspect had sent “threatening” text messages to her, describing the catastrophe as the result of a “domestic” situation.

Kelley, dressed in black and wearing a skull-face mask, fired an estimated 450 shots in and around the church. But when he emerged, he was met by gunfire from a bystander who hit Kelley in the leg and the torso.

Dropping his rifle at that point, Kelley fled in his car but crashed a few miles away.

The bystander who fired at Kelley when he left the church was identified as Stephen Willeford, who then flagged down Johnnie Langendorff. They chased Kelley until he crashed.

Kelley was found dead in the vehicle, and authorities said it appeared he had shot himself in the head.

Local authorities said they found hundreds of shell casings in the church building and described the suspect as a “very deranged individual.”

President Trump, on a trip to Asia, said it was a mental health problem.

He praised “that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck” and went out to “neutralize” the shooter.

“If he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead,” the president said.

Kelley, during a 2012 court-martial, admitted he struck, kicked and choked his then-wife and that he repeatedly hit his stepson’s head with his hands.

Federal law bars anyone with a conviction of domestic violence – even a misdemeanor – from buying a weapon.

Kelley then served 12 months in a brig before being tossed out on a bad conduct discharge. His first wife divorced him, and he remarried after getting out.

The Times also reported Kelley had been investigated for sexual assault and rape by force in 2013, but the case ended without any charges filed.

Kelley, the New York Post said, “was so pathetic, he tried to bribe and threatened ex-girlfriends to take him back – and he stooped so low as to date a 13-year-old when he was 18.”

“He was very sick in the head,” Katy Landry, a former girlfriend, told NBC News. “Years after dating me he would try to bribe me to hang out with him. He ended up assaulting me.”

The report said: “Another girl, Brittany Adcock, 22, said Kelley dated her for two months around 2009 when he was 18 and she was just 13.” Then she dumped him, and he pursued her, offering that she should live with him and his wife “as a topless maid.”

Churches across the nation already have begun ramping up security in the wake of Kelley’s rampage.

In Virginia, Immanuel Bible Church has posted instructions in every room of its facility on what to do in an active-shooter situation. Security cameras are in abundance and key cards are required.

Read the stunning account of how a Christian missionary reacted when terrorists attacked a church service. He shot back! The full are details in the book, and now the movie, “Shooting Back.” They’re available now at the WND Superstore!