McCain pledges 'rigorous oversight' after Air Force failure to report Texas gunman's conviction

McCain pledges 'rigorous oversight' after Air Force failure to report Texas gunman's conviction
© Getty

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainControversial Trump judicial nominee withdraws Trump vows to hold second meeting with Putin Ex-Montenegro leader fires back at Trump: ‘Strangest president' in history MORE (R-Ariz.) is promising “rigorous oversight” after the Air Force revealed it did not add the suspect in a deadly Texas church shooting to a database that would have banned him from buying a gun.

“The Senate Armed Services Committee will conduct rigorous oversight of the department's investigation into the circumstances that led to this failure,” McCain, the committee's chairman, said in a statement. “It's critical that each of the military services take the steps necessary to ensure that similar mistakes have not occurred and will not occur in the future.”

McCain added that his “thoughts and prayers remain with the congregation in Sutherland Springs, Texas—especially the families of the victims of this horrific shooting.”

On Sunday, a gunman opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people.

Authorities have identified the gunman as Devin Kelley, 26, who officials said died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Kelley received a “bad conduct” discharge from the Air Force in 2014 after being convicted in court-martial of domestic violence.

The domestic violence conviction should have precluded him from buying a gun under federal law. But Air Force officials said Monday that the Holloman Air Force Base Office of Special Investigation did not enter his conviction into the National Criminal Information Center database.

The Air Force said Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has directed the service's inspector general to work with its Pentagon counterpart to review the Kelley case and relevant policies and procedures.

Some members of the Senate Armed Services Committee have also called for a wider review of each military branch’s criminal cases to make sure there have been no lapses similar to Kelley.

Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedSenate Dems press for info on any deals from Trump-Putin meeting Senate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one Schumer: Trump should cancel meeting with Putin MORE (D-R.I.), the committee's ranking member, said in a statement that each service “needs to investigate to determine if there are systemic issues,” while Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandTrump: ‘Dems have a death wish’ Election Countdown: Senate, House Dems build cash advantage | 2020 Dems slam Trump over Putin presser | Trump has M in war chest | Republican blasts parents for donating to rival | Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders to campaign in Kansas Senate Democrats block resolution supporting ICE MORE (D-N.Y.) called for an audit of all military criminal justice systems in a letter to Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump eyes second Putin summit The Hill's Morning Report — Russia furor grips Washington Court rules against Trump administration on transgender military ban MORE.