(National Sentinel) Crime & Punishment: Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz told Fox News Tuesday night that federal legislation he co-sponsored in 2013 would have sent church shooter Devin Patrick Kelley to prison, thereby denying him the chance to kill 26 people on Sunday, but Democrats filibustered it.
“Democrats filibustered the legislation that would have resulted in this shooter being in federal prison,” Cruz said on “Fox News @ Night.” “Instead of murdering those innocents in that Texas church.”
The legislation, which Cruz filed after the Sandy Hook shooting, would not have introduced any new restrictions on access to guns. However, it would have required that federal court information regarding convictions for certain crimes that disqualify persons from owning weapons be made available to the FBI’s background check database.
Also, the legislation would have created a “Cruz Task Force” that would oversee prosecution of Americans who cannot pass criminal background checks.ckground checks.
Cruz insisted that his bill, which was killed by a Democratic-led filibuster in 2013, would have prevented Sunday’s church shooting.
“There were a couple elements of that legislation that were critical: One, it mandated that federal agencies, including the Air Force, report to the [NICS] because that was a problem back then,” he said.
“But, two, and this is an even more critical piece… when he went into Academy to buy this — these weapons — he lied on the forms,” Cruz added.
“That is a felony to lie on those forms,” he continued. “The Obama administration didn’t prosecute those cases. In 2010, 48,000 felons and fugitives lied and illegally tried to purchase guns. They prosecuted only 44 of them.”
Those two incidents alone — the court martial and the crime — are disqualifying factors for gun ownership. But the Air Force failed to report Kelley’s conviction to the FBI as it is required to do, thus allowing the killer to purchase guns illegally, including the AR-15-style rifle he used to kill dozens of worshippers at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday.
“Under federal law, it was illegal for this individual to purchase a firearm. He had a conviction for a crime that’s punishable by more than a year in prison, and he had a conviction for multiple domestic violence crimes,” Cruz said. “Both of those, it’s already ineligible.”
He also said that the Air Force’s mishandling of Kelley’s conviction was not isolated.
“That’s an endemic problem. It’s a problem with the federal government. It’s a problem with the states,” he said. “And so, when he went in to buy the guns, they ran the background check, and they didn’t find it because it wasn’t in the database.”
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