This was only a matter of time . . . Cities sue Defense Department over reporting to federal background check database
The cities of New York, Philadelphia and San Francisco are suing the Department of Defense for failing to consistently report convictions to a federal database that is checked before firearms purchases.
The lawsuit follows a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, by a lone gunman identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley. Kelley’s 2012 court martial conviction for domestic assault while he was in the Air Force was not reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
What’s their motivation — never mind standing — for filing a suit over a crime that happened in Texas?
In court papers, the cities argue they are entitled to sue, since they “have governmental responsibilities, and conduct essential governmental activities that depend upon the integrity and completeness of the NICS.”
The cities are sure to argue that crimes have been committed in their jurisdictions by people who have legally purchased firearms because of the military’s failure to report their criminal records to the FBI’s NICS system. As The Hill reports, the reporting failures aren’t confined to the Air Force. In fact the records of the other branches of the service are far worse.
Earlier this month, the DOD inspector general reported that the Air Force failed to submit records in approximately 14 percent of its cases, the Navy and Marine Corps failed to submit records in 36 percent of cases and the Army neglected to submit records in 41 percent of cases.
For their part, the DOD is isn’t saying anything about the suit right now. They’re likely battening down the hatches, anticipating that more cities will jump on the bandwagon that New York, Philly and San Fran have gotten rolling.