CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

"Domestic Abusers Are Barred From Gun Ownership, but Often Escape the Law"

From The New York Times:

[A] large percentage of the perpetrators of mass shootings and other violent crimes have had run-ins with the law over spousal abuse — and have had little problem acquiring deadly arsenals. On Sunday, Devin P. Kelley joined that fraternity, gunning down 26 people at a church in Texas with an AR-15 military-style rifle that he bought two years after the Air Force convicted him of beating his wife and breaking his young stepson’s skull.

. . .

Mr. Kelley’s apparent breach of the background check system may show once again that the computerized program is only as good as the data that is put into it. The mass carnage in 2007 at Virginia Tech brought attention to the system’s flaws after it was revealed that the gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, had been ordered by a court into mental health treatment, but that court order had not been forwarded to the background check database, a failure that may have allowed him to purchase his arsenal.

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