U.S. Senator announces bill to strengthen background checks - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

U.S. Senator announces bill to strengthen background checks

John Cornyn (Source: Via U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's Office) John Cornyn (Source: Via U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's Office)
WASHINGTON D.C. (KLTV) -

Following a  shooting at a south Texas church that left 26 people dead, a U.S. senator announced planned legislation to strengthen the country's background check system.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, announced the plans Tuesday on the Senate floor.

The legislation incentivizes federal agencies, including the military, to upload the already-required criminal conviction records into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

"No community finds it easy to deal with unexpected heartbreaking losses like this," Cornyn said. "But the fact that this crime involves so many tightly-knit friends and neighbors and occurred in a house of worship on a Sunday morning and harmed so many innocent children makes the task much, much harder. As each new detail emerges from what is still an ongoing investigation, we need to study the whole puzzle, ask ourselves how did this happen, why so many lives were lost and what if anything could have been done to prevent it."

Cornyn also discussed the gunman's background.

Authorities say Devin Patrick Kelley was able to buy weapons because the Air Force did not report his domestic violence conviction to the federal database.

The Associated Press reports that federal officials said Monday that the Air Force didn't submit Kelley's criminal history, despite being required to do so by Pentagon rules.

"We know, for example, that the gunman was court-martialed by the Air Force and convicted of serious domestic abuse, fracturing the skull of his own (step)son,” Cornyn said. 

The senator called the information critically important.

“Because there was no record of it, he was able to lie his way into getting these firearms. This is very clearly a problem, and the Air Force has now admitted that Kelley's conviction should have barred him from ever purchasing or possessing firearms," Cornyn said.

An Air Force spokeswoman says the service is reviewing their handling of Kelley's case.

“I plan to introduce legislation, and I’d be happy to work with my colleague from Connecticut, to ensure that all federal departments and agencies, including the Department of Defense, upload the required conviction records into the national database," the senator said.

Copyright 2017 KLTV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Wienerland announces closure

    Wienerland announces closure

    Sunday, August 19 2018 11:18 AM EDT2018-08-19 15:18:29 GMT
    Wienerland has closed its restaurant doors in Tyler. Though the main store will no longer be open, the "Wienie Wagon" will still be serving food. The Wiene Wagon can be found around town and is also available to rent. Copyright 2018 KLTV. All Rights Reserved.More >>
    Wienerland has closed its restaurant doors in Tyler. Though the main store will no longer be open, the "Wienie Wagon" will still be serving food. The Wiene Wagon can be found around town and is also available to rent. Copyright 2018 KLTV. All Rights Reserved.More >>
  • Dollar General hosts job fair

    Dollar General hosts job fair

    Saturday, August 18 2018 11:10 PM EDT2018-08-19 03:10:05 GMT
    There was a big turn-out at career day in Longview, as thousands are seeking job opportunities. At Maude Cobb activity center in Longview. thousands attended to apply for positions with Dollar General's distribution center. The new center in Longview is expected to create approximately 4-hundred new jobs. Around 7-thousand people applied today. When fully operational, the facility is expected to supply products to approximately 1-thousand Dollar General stores throughout Texas and...More >>
    There was a big turn-out at career day in Longview, as thousands are seeking job opportunities. At Maude Cobb activity center in Longview. thousands attended to apply for positions with Dollar General's distribution center. The new center in Longview is expected to create approximately 4-hundred new jobs. Around 7-thousand people applied today. When fully operational, the facility is expected to supply products to approximately 1-thousand Dollar General stores throughout Texas and...More >>
  • Hit and run driver surrenders to authorities

    Hit and run driver surrenders to authorities

    Saturday, August 18 2018 10:53 PM EDT2018-08-19 02:53:25 GMT

    The search for a hit and run driver, who left the scene after injuring a pedestrian, is over. Kilgore police say May 23rd a driver hit a jogger around the 28-hundred block of Greenhill's drive, causing serious injuries to the jogger. The driver then sped away. Investigators say that driver has now come forward, turning himself in. The jogger is now undergoing physical therapy. Copyright 2018 KLTV. All rights reserved.

    More >>

    The search for a hit and run driver, who left the scene after injuring a pedestrian, is over. Kilgore police say May 23rd a driver hit a jogger around the 28-hundred block of Greenhill's drive, causing serious injuries to the jogger. The driver then sped away. Investigators say that driver has now come forward, turning himself in. The jogger is now undergoing physical therap

    More >>
Powered by Frankly