Three cities sue DoD over background check failures
By Christen Smith
The Department of Defense has faced intense criticism since a former Airman opened fire inside a Texas church Nov. 5, killing 26 and wounding 20 others, with a rifle his assault convictions barred him from owning. (Photo: Nick Wagner/ Statesman.com via AP)
Three cities sued the Department of Defense this week for its repeated failure to report disqualifying service member records to federal authorities — a longstanding issue illuminated by the shooting at a Texas church last month.
New York City, Philadelphia and San Francisco filed a complaint Tuesday against the DoD for systemic breakdowns in reporting procedures dating back as far as 1997.
“For two decades, the Department of Defense was aware of the fact that it was failing to report unacceptably high numbers of disqualifying records to the FBI,” said Adam Skaggs, chief counsel for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in a press release Tuesday. “Just earlier this month, the Air Force Secretary and Acting Inspector General both told Congress these problems continue to this day.”
The legal challenge, backed by the Giffords Law Center, seeks an injunction and judicial oversight to mandate the department submit disqualifying criminal records to the databases feeding the National Instant Criminal Background Check System