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Flake, Heinrich Announce Bill About Domestic Abusers With Guns. Is That Even LEGAL?
Once again, a Flake turns out to be the reasonable one
We learned Tuesday that the Air Force screwed the pooch and failed to report the Texas church shooter's domestic violence conviction to the FBI, which meant that he never turned up in background checks when he bought guns. Now Senators Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) plan to introduce legislation that would require the military to get its act together and report convictions by military courts on misdemeanor charges for domestic violence to the database used for background checks, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System -- and to prevent anyone convicted of domestic violence from buying a gun.
(Yes, we already have the "Lautenberg Amendment"; did you know these loons are constantly trying to repeal it? In addition, there are a few problems with it, which is why states are constantly trying to strengthen it: "Domestic violence" is defined as against a spouse or someone with whom you have a child, so there's what they call the "boyfriend loophole"; some states are trying to apply it to stalking offenses as well; and while the Lautenberg Amendment may not let you buy more guns, it doesn't do anything about the guns you already own.)
Flake announced the plan on Twitter Tuesday, as one does:
The No Gun Laws Ever Work crowd immediately scoffed that since the Lautenberg Amendment already bars those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, why is Flake bothering with more laws, when he should be, we dunno, arming more church congregations? Among the scoffers who scoffed was the son of the president, who is A Idiot:
Haw Haw! Gotcha! It's already the law, dummy, and see what good that did? Flake replied, well, you see, since the Air Force and other branches of the military have been spotty in compliance and reporting, that's the sort of thing we can actually address with legislation:
OH YEAH? shot back the Very Smart Son, with a Laws Don't Work sneer: Laws don't work because lazy US Senators fail to enforce them!!!!
Got it? Gun laws don't work, and shame on someone who isn't in law enforcement for not enforcing those laws!
Flake didn't reply to that one, apparently because he hates America and doesn't realize that laws never accomplish anything -- probably a bias one picks up as a legislator. Haw Haw, next he'll propose a law making MURDER illegal (summary of 26 actual Twitter replies).
Now, it's true that the Pentagon does have a regulation directing the services to report such convictions to the NICS database, but it's not actually encoded as law, and it's clearly not being followed, as a "source close to Flake" (let's just assume it was Flake) told CNN:
Currently, the military is not reporting misdemeanors of domestic violence to NICS, the database utilized for firearms background checks, and it's not clear that they can under current law. Their bill will permanently close this loophole, which was exploited by the shooter in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
As we noted yesterday, military courts don't use the categories of “felony” or “misdemeanor” in the first place, and many times, the NICS is notified only of convictions punished with a dishonorable discharge, not the less severe bad conduct discharge given to shooter Devin Kelley. So no, Flake and Heinrich aren't just reinventing the wheel with "another useless gun law" -- they're taking action to make sure the existing law works the way it's supposed to.
We also learned Tuesday that Kelley's 2014 domestic violence conviction wasn't the only disturbing event in his past: He escaped from a mental health facility in 2012. And why was he in a mental health facility? Oh, just one of those things: He'd been caught trying to hide guns on an Air Force base and "attempting to carry out death threats" he'd made against his superior officers:
[A police report] said officers with the El Paso, Texas, police were dispatched to a bus terminal after Devin P. Kelley‘s escape from a behavioral facility about seven miles away in New Mexico. Officers wrote they were told Kelley, who intended to take a bus out of the state, “was a danger to himself and others” at the time and noted that he “was also facing military criminal charges.”
This incident occurred the same year that Kelley was court-martialed. He was charged with abusing his wife and her son between April 2011 and April 2012 and then sentenced in November 2012, according to Air Force documents.
Don't know why they even bothered picking him up. It's not like laws do anything.