After the mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, it was discovered that not every agency, mainly the different branches of the military, were not required to report certain information to federal authorities that would be entered into the national database used for federal firearm background checks. The Air Force had not notified federal authorities about the shooter when he was convicted and discharged for the service, allowing him to lie on the federal form and purchase the guns he used.
A bipartisan group of senators have introduced a bill that would close that loophole, but requiring the military to regularly report all pertinent information to federal authorities to enter into the database to prevent similar tragedies from happening again.
(The Guardian) – Ten years ago, after a mass shooting that could have been prevented, Congress passed a bipartisan law to fix America’s gun background check system. A decade later, a bipartisan group of senators is introducing new legislation to try to fix it again.
The gun legislation the senators announced on Thursday morning would not require a background check on every single gun sale, despite new polling data showing that 95% of Americans – a record high – support these universal background checks.
Instead, the compromise legislation would simply add new accountability measures to make sure states and federal agencies are entering the proper records into the background check system.
For years, the federal database that is supposed to stop dangerous people from buying guns has been undermined by missing records. At least three of America’s most high-profile mass shooters were legally barred from buying guns, but were able to purchase them anyway because of the federal system’s failures. Among them was the gunman who murdered 26 people in a Texas church this month…
No one can say for certain that had the Air Force reported the necessary information that it would have prevented the mass shooting at the church. Yes, it would have prevented him from legally purchasing those guns, but no one can say if he would have turned to other means to obtain guns like the shooter in Rancho Tehama did in making one gun himself then finding a way to obtain two handguns registered to other people.