Church Killer would have been a Threat Even if Air Force had Reported Him

Who thinks submitting required reports would have defused this ticking time bomb?
Who thinks submitting required reports would have defused this ticking time bomb?

U.S.A. -( “The DoD Office of Inspector General (OIG) investigated the circumstances surrounding the United States Air Force’s (USAF) failure to submit Devin Patrick Kelley’s criminal history information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for inclusion in its databases,” a redacted December report advises. “Because his fingerprints were not submitted to the FBI CJIS Division, Kelley was able to purchase firearms, which he used to kill 26 people at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on November 5, 2017.”

Those failures were summarized:

“DoD policy required the submission of Kelley’s fingerprints to the FBI at several points. The first time that the USAF should have submitted his fingerprint cards to the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division was after probable cause was determined in an investigation by the AFOSI Detachment 225 that Kelley assaulted his stepson and [first wife] Tessa Kelley. Additionally, a final disposition report should have been submitted to the FBI at the conclusion of Kelley’s court-martial. The USAF was also required to submit to the FBI Kelley’s fingerprints at other times, including when Kelley entered post-trial confinement following his court-martial.”

The bottom line:

“As a result of the investigations, Kelley was convicted by General Court-Martial of an assault on both his wife and stepson, which is reportable to the FBI in accordance with DoD policy. This conviction should have prevented Kelley from purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer.”

“From a licensed firearms dealer” is the crux. Anyone who believes a determined individual can’t obtain a firearm from other sources needs to explain recent headlines from Baltimore or Chicago.

The inescapable truth is anyone who can’t be trusted with a gun can’t be trusted without a custodian. There are plenty of other ways to mass kill. As long as those who do evil walk among us, they will find a way. Remember that mass killings that racked up the highest death tolls, 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing and the Happyland Dance Club fire, were all committed without guns.

While some are learning details of what a violent misfit the killer was from the IG report, there’s really not much new in it, at least for AmmoLand readers. Regulars will recall an exclusive from last May featuring the transcript of Kelley’s court-martial obtained after first filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the Air Force, and then filing a lawsuit to get them to comply. You’ll find many of the details contained in this new report were made public over half-a-year ago.

What reporting failures acting as catalysts for “Fix NICS” and other legislation fail to account for is that ultimately, being a “prohibited person” cannot stop anyone so inclined from obtaining a gun. No so-called “commonsense gun safety laws” or record reporting enhancements can change that reality.

The way the citizen disarmament lobby processes and spins that is to demand “universal background checks,” that is, to end private transfers. Aside from the fact that no less an authority than the National Institute of Justice admits “Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration” (which would still only impact the ‘law-abiding”), experience shows us every time gun-grabbers get “concessions,” they always move on to the next set of infringement demands.

In this case, they change the focus and ensure an important takeaway from the Sutherland Springs story remains ignored by the general public:

Armed citizens, one with a so-called “assault rifle,” exchanged fire with and chased the killer down.

About David Codrea:David Codrea

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.

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Elmergilio Ybalez

A determined killer, if legally barred from acquiring gun from a licensed dealer, has all the ingenity to purchase one from the black market.


Yes.. Means, opportunity, intent. Those are the three necessary elements for any such crime. If the last two are in the evil heart of the perpetrator, the first WILL be found or improvised. Those crazies who killed three thousand people in NewYork some ten plus years ago did not have access to a nuke. So they improvised. For the price of some training and a few cheap dollar box cutters, they “bought” four airplanes and just used those. A killer wanting to kill a bunch of folks in a church or theatre, if he’s got half a brain in his… Read more »

willy d



willie d Thank you and I hope you and yours have a Merry Christmas and a good New Year. Best regards.


He may have been a threat anyway!
No excuse!
They want law abiding citizens like us to surrender our FREEDOMS and LIBERTIES anyway!
Are you willing to give up your guns, anyway?
I’m not, and never will!
I’d rather die a free man with my gun, than to live in TYRANY!

willy d

; 100% right I remember those days, going to school for the rifle team practice, or taking it to school to go to a friends house after school to go target practice or rabbit hunting, so now don’t even think about taking a small pocket knife to school let alone any kind of a gun !!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks Bill Gates !!!!!!!!!!!! We have all of these non-violent video games !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And to think that Politicians call A/R’s scary guns, remember to be P/C and don’t upset anyone or offend anyone !!!!!!!!!!!!!


Evil/crazy with murderous intent—impossible to stop. Relatively easy though to stop YOU from going down to your local gun shop and procuring your weapon of choice. Just a couple of more “Common Sense” guns laws and they’re there.

Jim L

What part of just “knowing” who ‘might’ be a danger to themselves or others is going to STOP anyone bent on KILLING somebody? That is the entire fallacy, and “feel good” bandaid that goes by the name “Background Check!” The question FEW, if any, are asking is: “What Has Changed in America” over the past fifty-odd years, that we now have kids killing kids by the thousands? America has been an ARMED society from the jump! Fifty years ago HS students rode school buses carrying their .22 rifles for that day’s practice at school – NOBODY, bus drivers, other kids,… Read more »


Universal background checks are just another money wasting attempt to disarm us. Just like the current system there are many that fall through the cracks and some are singled out for no reason. If it is run by the government you know it will be flawed. There will be a large black market and hand made guns if this takes place. They are just too dumb to realize this.


All far too true. And yes, this clown is one of those who oughtn’t be left to roam about inpollite society sans custodian. Does anyone else rememer that this guy bashed his SON”S head so hard his skull was fractured? And they ONLY called that “assault”? How aobut attempted murder? THAT should have put him behind bars for a while. So some Air Force desk jockey forgot (on three separate occasions, as pointed out clearly above) to file the report with FBI. Theyshould have filed his fingerprints, but also the charges. WHAT sanctions have been brought against the three individuals… Read more »


The federal government has zero accountability that’s #1 issue. They cry for more budget rather than take responsibility for their failures. The reality is the leadership in the fed is crooked as the pigs pecker, self enriching from tax dollars and failing to deliver accountability. It’s like a vacuum whereas all the high level leadership swallows our tax dollars and their mission is to not serve and honor the oath they swore, but rather meet expectations or barely so. Everything from Department of Education to Department of Veterans Affairs is swindling American tax dollars and delivering little more that bureaucracy.… Read more »

Robert Messmer

Sorry but to get the attention of the military you need to start at the top and work down. So in this case the Chief of Staff for the Air Force needed to be put in prison. THAT would get their attention and as we all know the proverbial feces obeys gravity.

Wayne Clark

Well, at least the DoD, Air Force & the FBI are off the hook. Now, if we could just convince illegal arms dealers to run a background check on all the disqualified gun buyers they deal with, this Universal thing might just work!
Sorry kids…I’ll have to run a background check on you before I can pass my guns (that are somewhere in the river after my canoe flipped over) when I die. I hope I can make it long enough to get the approval.

Wallace Freeman

With ANY law or government program one is abdicating personal responsibility to the government to do what the Supreme Court has realized and ruled the government has neither the ability nor responsibility to do and that is to protect you from those who would do you harm. “Nothing in the language of the Due Process Clause itself requires the State to protect the life, liberty, and property of its citizens against invasion by private actors, even where such aid may be necessary to secure life, liberty, or property interests of which the government itself may not deprive the individual” without… Read more »

willy d

With all of the gun grabber nonsense, I wonder if after they get their way if they are going to come after us as to what time and how much SHIT we are going to DEPOSIT !!!!!!!! It still boils down to who in their great society has or will drop the ball the next, this has been brought out on numerous times that people have warned people in charge and nothing or little has been done in many cases, Military, Local Police, and FBI, have all dropped the ball, then they try to pass the blame on somebody else… Read more »


The truth does not matter to the gun grabbers.

Wild Bill

Congress specifically excluded a background check in private collection sales so that a guy could give a gun to his son, sell a gun to a neighbor, or pass on his guns to his children when he died. We have forgotten those reasons, and the gun haters are trying to take that incremental step, now.


And the politicians and ant-gun groups are screaming for ‘universal background checks’, which would be administered by another inept gov’t agency.