Family That Lost Nine Members in Sutherland Springs Sues Federal Government for Negligence

Sutherland Springs Church Shooting Holcombe Family Sues Federal Government Air Force

courtesy Yahoo News

It seems like ages ago now. Last November, when a man walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas and murdered 26 people, he killed nine members of one family alone. And he bought the rifle he used legally, passing a background check that should have shown a history of domestic violence and a dishonorable discharge from the military. But that information was never reported to the FBI’s data base. Now . . .

Joe and Claryce Holcombe claim that the Air Force failed to report the gunman’s past convictions for domestic violence to a national crime database, which allowed him to purchase the weapons used to kill their family members. The Holcombes lost their son, grandson, 17-month-old great-granddaughter and six others in the November shooting.

And they’ve filed a suit against the federal government for negligence.

The Holcombes are one of several families who filed formal complaints against the federal government after the shooting. The government had six months to respond and offer a settlement. It did not, so the Holcombes have the right to sue under the Federal Tort Claims Act. The act allows citizens to seek damages in limited cases if they can prove direct negligence on the part of the government. …

In their lawsuit, the Holcombes name the Department of Defense, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and John F. Bash, a federal civil process clerk, as defendants. They are asking for $25 million in damages.

The Holcombes say that there’s no way to correct the mistake now, but they want to see the Air Force fix their system so it doesn’t happen again.

comments

  1. avatar Cruzo1981 says:

    I hope they win.

  2. avatar Sinjin Smythe says:

    Why? It wasn’t the feds or perps fault…it was the gun’s fault.

    1. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

      Why? Because the .gov doesn’t follow their own laws. Just a thought.

      1. avatar Felix says:

        Whooooosh……

        1. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

          Damn. I maintain that Sinjin Smythe changed all his wording after “why.” That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

      2. avatar Nigel the expat says:

        Guns ignore laws in their villainous lawlessness. Definitely the gun’s fault.

  3. avatar jug says:

    Me too!

    There, used in the right context!

  4. avatar Ragnarredbeard says:

    Good. The government needs to get a nice black eye. But what we also need is for the guy whose job it was to inform the FBI to get jacked up.

    1. avatar California Richard says:

      I don’t think the government cares. They’ll cough up the $25m and then some, because it’s your money they’re spending.

      1. avatar Toni says:

        solution to that problem. force the courts to demand that it comes out of the pockets of those in charge right the way through the chain of command and not out of what taxpayers have paid. if it bankrupts them so be it then for those in the army a dishonorable discharge and those in govt thrown out on their ass all with potential jail time for criminal negligence

  5. avatar New Continental Army says:

    Good. God speed to them. It’s time the government starts to pay up for its incompetence. If only the lawsuit could be used to force those in charge to pay out of their own salaries….

    1. avatar Toni says:

      it could be if enough people turned up to the court armed and refused to let the judge leave till he did do that.

  6. avatar Chris says:

    Right, because taking $25 million dollars from tax payers is going to right some sort of wrong. For argument’s sake even if they won, this won’t teach them anything because the federal government gets their money from public sources; it’s not like somebody, somewhere is going to see anything less than what he takes home every two weeks.

    I’m fine with suing for damages, I understand that burying people is expensive but the Air Force and the rest of the stooges at the top aren’t going to “fix” anything because they’re useless, they’re worse than useless and at the end of the day, nobody is left to take responsibility when the shit hits the fan.

    1. avatar 41mag says:

      Bingo.

    2. avatar California Richard says:

      “…. it’s not like somebody, somewhere is going to see anything less than what he takes home every two weeks….”

      News flash: YOU and I are that “somebody”. That’s our tax dollars.

    3. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

      Do you actually think that lawsuits have no real value? I don’t know where to begin. We have initiated a state lawsuit that could have nationwide ramifications. We have initiated two lawsuits against the Michigan State Police over about $40 million dollars of potential fraud regarding gun owners. We have initiated a lawsuit against the Department of Health and Human Services because they are trying to keep foster kids from gun owners.

      It goes on and on. Know how big our group is? About 400 people.

      Know what our win rate in is court so far? I think it is 100%.

      Stop whining on TTAG. Start being part of the solution.

    4. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

      Then the Air force should give them an F16. That way, it actually does cost them something.

    5. avatar Ed Schrade says:

      There should be jail time included for the pentagon big shots over the air force.

  7. avatar Rocketman says:

    I believe that there is a law on the books somewhere that you can’t sue the government WITHOUT THE GOVERNMENT’S PERMISSION.
    Yes, I know that’s a total crock but we no longer have a government in this country that in any way responsible to the citizenry. Soon as I can I’m leaving the country.

    1. avatar New Continental Army says:

      … where you gonna go where the government doesn’t have more power than here? For all it’s faults, sadly, the US government is still held in check fairly well compared to just about any other country in the world.

    2. avatar Danny L Griffin says:

      That’s not to say this lawsuit won’t go through.

    3. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

      Rocketman: Why can’t you go now? I left for 5.5 years a while back and rather than say ‘someday when the stars align and the moon is blue’, I just did it. If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say they were fed up and leaving but they never left, I’d have a lot of dimes;-)

      1. avatar Gun Free School Zones are a crime against humanity says:

        Where did you go for 5.5 years and was your life improved by the move?

  8. avatar former water walker says:

    Hope they win…but they won’t. Besides it’s the air force who effed up.

  9. avatar Craig in IA says:

    Win or lose, it will not bring back those killed in this shooting spree and there’ll be no justice since those who failed to act won’t be charged, procsecuted or charged with crimes of ommission or in the least, being an accessory after the fact. That might change things in the longer run but as we’ve seen in most cases of mass shootings or bombings/acts of terror- the governmental agencies usually had these people on their radar for quite a while yet did nothing to protect those they are sworn to. You could actually make that case against all of the “sactuary” cities. Laws mean nothing if there is no enforcement, and in enforcement there have to be actual, human individuals charged and convicted. Law suits make for headlines but little will come of it and likely the BS news agencies won’t report on them, anyway.

  10. avatar neiowa says:

    The murderer was discharged from the Air Farce in Jan2013 for actions in 2011/2012. That is Obumer’s reign (and AF Sec Michael B. Donley). Sue those SOBs.

  11. avatar ironicatbest says:

    Not going to happen. The government is never negligent. They’d have better luck with suing the firearms manufacture, probably even get the steadfast and earnest governments help on that.

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    The Pulse families are suing the Orlando cops who waited outside for the killing to stop and the wounded to die.

    Neither suit will succeed. I’m astonished that some people actually believe that the G is supposed to help them. Get it through your heads — the government only helps itself.

  13. avatar Hannibal says:

    I’d love to see some accountability down to the individual people that were directly responsible for making this shit work and let it go through.

    Or, if there are no such people, the nitwits that didn’t assign anyone who had such direct responsibility.

    None of that will happen, sadly. Same old story. A report will eventually be issues, suggests made for ‘improvement’ and it will repeat when more people die.

  14. avatar John in AK says:

    As usual, there is a ‘catch’ to all of this.

    If we accept that Government has the right to require every prospective firearms purchaser to submit to a background check before that purchase is allowed, we tacitly agree with the entire concept of ‘background checks’ as NOT being an infringement on the 2nd Amendment; Therefore, we are humbly agreeing to meekly submit to that infringement, and abandon the ‘high ground’ without a fight.

    If we accept that, if Government CAN require us to submit to a ‘background check’ before THEY approve our purchase or transfer at the commercial retail level, we also accept that Government can require a ‘background check’ on ALL firearms purchases and transfers, commercial or private, should it so choose, as that would be no more of an infringement in any real degree.

    By railing at Government, after we have agreed that they can require such a background check, when it fails to enter the appropriate information that would have prevented a commercial retail sale to a person who WOULD have been Prohibited if the information had been available, we are tacitly agreeing with the Disarmists that Universal Background Checks are a really, REALLY good idea and should be the Law of the Land, if Government would just do its job correctly.

    We are also falling into the trap of falling in step with the Disarmists who gloss over the fact that, if The Monster had been denied a retail commercial sale due to an ACCURATE background check, he would have been somehow unable to purchase/borrow/steal a firearm from another source that did NOT require a background check. Therefore, if an ‘accurate’ background check is a panacea for the prevention of the Unworthy from obtaining a firearm at the commercial retail level, it would be even MORE of a panacea if applied ‘Universally.’

    Be careful what you wish for.

    1. avatar Al Wayskary says:

      That ship has sailed, and it’s not returning to the harbor.

      I see the main benefit of this law suit as bringing public attention to the fallacy behind gun purchase restrictions. In order for them to be effective, you must assume that: 1, Bureaucrats will do their jobs correctly; 2, psychology is sufficiently precise to predict who is actually dangerous; 3, dangerous people won’t find another way to be dangerous. This law suit serves to falsify the first requisite.

  15. avatar little horn says:

    about time they put the blame where it lies.

  16. avatar Marshall says:

    Where do you buy these guns that just jump up, load themselves, drive themselves to wherever and start firing upon people,??? People kill people you bunch of dumb ass’s. If there had been 1 trained person with a firearm in the congregation, I doubt near as many would have got killed. Stand up like an American and deal with people. Take the guns away from one’s who abide by the law is stupid. Criminals will be the only ones with guns,, damn you’ll are smart. By the way the right to own a gun is to fight a corrupt government,, so why do you think the government wants to take the guns away. Wake up. Americans (so called) don’t have balls anymore. Yes, I said it. God Bless America and those who have and do fight for our freedom.

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