- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Defense Secretary James Mattis is ordering a full investigation into why the Pentagon failed to pass along the military criminal history of Devin Patrick Kelley, the Air Force veteran who killed 26 people in a mass shooting in Texas, to federal authorities.

The investigation led by the Pentagon’s Inspector General’s office will look into whether the FBI was given all pertinent information regarding Kelley’s record during his four-year stint with the Air Force, specifically “whether such information was not transmitted, and if it was not transmitted, why it was not,” Mr. Mattis wrote in a department-wide memorandum Wednesday.

During his time in uniform, Kelley was court-martialed for domestic violence stemming from a 2012 assault on his wife and stepchild. He was dishonorably discharged from the military in 2014.

A civilian conviction for domestic abuse would have made him unable to purchase firearms. However, his military records were not passed along to the FBI database used to check potential gun buyers, and his name was not flagged when Kelley purchased the assault-style rifle to open fire at churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The 26 dead and 20 wounded during the massacre made the attack the worst mass shooting incident in state history. On Monday, the Air Force admitted that it failed to put Kelley’s court-martial records into the federal database.

On Tuesday, former White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the Pentagon’s failure to disclose Kelley’s military criminal record represented the overall failure of the vetting system for gun buyers.

“This individual was identified because of their record and because of the actions that [the Pentagon had not] taken that should’ve stopped them from buying a gun,” Mr. Spicer said.

Defense Department investigators also plan to review the overall “policies, practices and procedures” tied to when and how Pentagon refers military histories into the federal criminal database, Mr. Mattis wrote.

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