FBI, ATF to review NICS after Texas church shooting

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed a review of the federal background checks system, citing issues that allowed a Texas gunman to legally buy firearms despite a documented background making him a prohibited buyer.

In a statement, Sessions said the shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, “that relevant information may not be getting reported to the (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) – this is alarming and it is unacceptable.”

“The National Instant Criminal Background Check System is critical for us to be able to keep guns out of the hands of those that are prohibited from owning them,” Sessions said. He directed both the FBI and ATF to review the system and identify ways to improve the reporting process.

Earlier this month, the gunman, Devin Patrick Kelley, killed 26 people and injured 20 others. Kelley had obtained the firearms he used legally despite domestic violence convictions during his service in the U.S. Air Force. Admittedly, the military failed to report the conviction to federal authorities.

The directives order the agencies — the FBI manages NICS and the ATF, in addition to enforcing federal gun laws, regulates licensed gun dealers and provides guidance for using NICS — to work with the Defense Department to resolve issues with the military’s reporting info to NICS. They are to also work with any other federal department that has reporting issues as well as improve information sharing by state, local and tribal authorities.

According to the statement, the results will recommend changes to ATF Form 4473, which is filed for a background check. Also, the agencies are to prepare a report identifying current open investigations the involve false statements; the total number of investigations regarding false statements in the past year along with prosecution rates; and the priority level assigned to investigations for making false statements on the form.

Latest Reviews

  • Springfield SAINT: Your High-Value AR-15

    The Springfield Armory SAINT offers a high-value, no-frills-required AR-15 platform. We put it through its paces to see if it's worth adding to your collection. After several trips to the range, we can confirm this is a great gun.

    Read More
  • The Sig Sauer P320 X5 Legion is an Amazing Pistol

    The Sig Sauer p320 X5 Legion has been on the market for a little while now. So I wanted to bring you a review after shooting more than 30,000 rounds through mine over a year of competing in 3-gun and USPSA.

    Read More
  • 17 Reasons to Love the Glock 17

    Glock 17s are trusted by law enforcement and militaries around the world. But they are also great guns for civilians. Here are our top 17 reasons to get a Glock 17.

    Read More
  • Sig P320 vs. Sig P365 for Concealed Carry

    Sig’s P365 and P320 offer two great options for concealed carry. Their compact sizes and high magazine capacities make them excellent choices for everyday carry. They're also easy to customize.

    Read More

Loading