Updates to our Terms of Use

We are updating our Terms of Use. Please carefully review the updated Terms before proceeding to our website.

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Three Cities Sue Defense Dep’t Over Gun-Check System Failures

The cities say many service members who are disqualified from gun ownership haven't been reported to the national background check system.

(CN) -- Three of the nation's largest cities sued the Defense Department Tuesday, saying many service members who are disqualified from gun ownership haven't been reported to the national background check system.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Virginia, New York City, San Francisco and Philadelphia claim the Pentagon failed to report significant numbers of disqualifying records to the FBI's national background check system for gun licensing and sales.

That failure is blamed for allowing Devin Kelley, a former Air Force member who was convicted of domestic assault,  to buy a high-powered rifle and shoot 26 people to death Nov. 5 in a Texas church.

“This failure on behalf of the Department of Defense has led to the loss of innocent lives by putting guns in the hands of criminals and those who wish to cause immeasurable harm,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a written statement.

The mayor said the cities are suing to demand the Defense Department “comply with the law and repair their drastically flawed system.”

Local law enforcement officials rely on the FBI's database to conduct background checks on gun permit applications and to monitor purchases. The lawsuit says it must be up to date.

The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment on  Tuesday.

Categories / Government

Subscribe to Closing Arguments

Sign up for new weekly newsletter Closing Arguments to get the latest about ongoing trials, major litigation and hot cases and rulings in courthouses around the U.S. and the world.

Loading...