Air Force failed to report dozens of criminals to federal database

The service launched the review

Photo: The review of 60,000 cases dating back to 2002 has also revealed “several dozen” examples where the Air Force made the same mistake. | AP

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An Air Force review has identified several dozen instances in which it failed to share convictions of service members with a federal database used to help prevent criminals from purchasing firearms, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The service launched the review after Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman who killed 26 people at a rural Texas church earlier this month, was able to buy a firearm despite being convicted of domestic violence while serving in the Air Force.

The service admitted shortly after the shooting that its process to alert civilian authorities about crimes committed in uniform had failed in the Kelley case at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico.

But the review of 60,000 cases dating back to 2002 has also revealed “several dozen” examples where the Air Force made the same mistake, according to spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

The Kelley case "was not an isolated incident and similar reporting lapses occurred at other locations,” the Air Force said in a separate statement. “Although policies and procedures requiring reporting were in place, training and compliance measures were lacking.”

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