Sessions orders review of federal background check system after Texas massacre

Sessions orders review of federal background check system after Texas massacre
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Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRosenstein warns of growing cyber threat from Russia, other foreign actors Key GOP lawmaker throws cold water on Rosenstein impeachment With new immigration policy, Trump administration gutting the right to asylum MORE on Wednesday ordered a review of the federal background check system following the mass shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas, earlier this month.

In a memorandum to the director of the FBI and acting director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Sessions directed officials to identify any agencies that are not "fully and accurately" reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

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"NICS is critically important to protecting the America public from firearms-related violence. It is, however, only as reliable and robust as the information that federal, state, local, and tribal government entities make available to it," Sessions wrote.

"The recent tragedy in Sutherland, Springs, Texas has revealed that the U.S. Air Force and other military branches may not be fully reporting relevant information to NICS," he added.

Sessions directed the FBI and ATF to "work with the Department of Defense to identify and resolve any issues with the military's reporting of convictions and other information" relevant to those who should be prohibited from getting a firearm.

Twenty-six people were killed and 20 others injured in Sutherland Springs when suspected gunman Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire at a church in the Texas community earlier this month.

Subsequent reports revealed that the Air Force failed to enter the Texas church shooter's domestic violence conviction into the federal database used for background checks on gun sales.

Kelley was sentenced to a year in prison and received a bad conduct discharge from the military after being convicted in 2014 of two counts of domestic abuse against his wife and stepson.

The Pentagon was reviewing the case and any relevant policies and procedures after the Air Force acknowledged it failed to report the gunman's history of domestic abuse.

Sessions directed the FBI and ATF to address the issues in the memorandum within 60 days.

Updated: 5:37 p.m.