As it happens, the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations did not enter the felonies into the database, and so Kelley cleared an FBI background check when he purchased an AR-556, which he then used to kill 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A 1996 law on the books prevents those who engage in domestic and child abuse from buying firearms.
For some legal experts, this seems like a clear-cut case of negligence.
While negligence lawsuits against the government don’t usually work if harm comes from policy decisions or discretionary decisions, this case is different. The Air Force was mandated by law to enter database information, and the service did not do so.
First, those with standing would have to bring an administrative claim against the Air Force before it can move to a Texas federal court.
The Air Force could likely try and settle as soon as possible, according to Christensen.
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