Military rushed to add 4,000 to gun ban list – CNN – CNN.com – CNN

The gunman in the Sutherland Springs massacre had been kicked out of the military for assaulting his wife. By federal law, that should have prevented the shooter from purchasing his semiautomatic rifle, but the US Air Force later admitted it had not submitted his records to the FBI’s background check system. In the months since, the US Department of Defense has scrambled to ensure all of its branches have properly updated the FBI’s system to track personnel kicked out of the military who are barred from owning firearms. That push, a CNN review has found, has uncovered a backlog so significant that the FBI’s tally of dishonorably discharged former service members has ballooned by 4,284 names in just three months, a 38% leap. The FBI figures track the reasons civilians and ex-military personnel are barred from owning guns. The agency separately quantifies dishonorable discharges, which includes personnel convicted by a general court-martial. Other types of military dismissals that could legally stop someone from owning a gun are not broken out from the civilian population in the FBI data. Since 2015, the number of people barred from owning firearms because they were dishonorably discharged had hovered at about 11,000, according to FBI statistics published online. That number suddenly jumped to 14,825 last November, then to 15,583 in December. It now stands at 15,597. The Defense Department has not yet publicly acknowledged that the military has vastly expanded its submissions since the shooting. The belatedly filed reports mean that, for an unknown period, more than 4,000 people had the opportunity to buy guns from dealers while they should have been legally barred from it. “I’m encouraged that they’re trying to hurry up and get through this backlog. But it was a failure of duty and responsibility to not report these people

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