DENVER – Defense Secretary James Mattis has ordered the Inspector General for the Department of Defense to conduct a review of what missteps led to Devin Kelley being able to purchase weapons after an assault conviction while in the military, while some congressmen from Colorado are calling for him to conduct a full review of the reporting system.
On Tuesday, Sen. Michael Bennet (D), and Reps. Ed Perlmutter (D) and Mike Coffman (R) called for the Department of Defense to conduct a full review of the reporting procedures to the National Crime Information Center.
Their calls came after the U.S. Air Force admitted Monday it failed to properly report Kelley’s domestic violence conviction to NCIC, which later allowed him to legally purchase the weapons he’s accused of using to kill 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday. The Department of Defense requires that domestic violence and assault convictions such as Kelley’s be reported to NCIC.
The Department of Defense said this week its inspector general “will also review relevant policies and procedures to ensure records from other cases across DoD have been reported correctly.” The Associated Press reports that the Pentagon has known about some of the lapses for 20 years.
Coffman, who chairs the House Military Personnel Subcommittee, said he was “committed” to working with the inspector general to address the reporting issues, “and ensure every branch of our military is reporting as required.”
Bennet similarly called for a “complete review of records” on Twitter, and wrote a letter to Mattis this week asking the Pentagon find out if “any regulatory or statutory changes are required in order to comply with federal law” regarding to program, according to The Denver Post.
Perlmutter said: “I’m asking DOD to conduct an immediate and thorough review of their reporting procedures to the NCIC database.”
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Tuesday he was working on a bill that would shore up the reporting rules.
Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and her chief of staff will direct the review of the handling of Kelley’s records, and the inspector general will handle the determination over whether Kelley’s conviction was properly entered into NCIC, the Defense Department said Monday.