David Kelley's domestic violence conviction should have been enough to prevent him from legally buying a firearm. But the Air Force never submitted his conviction to the FBI.
Tiffany Teasdale-Causer, co-owner of Lynnwood Gun on Highway 99 told KIRO 7 that if
the FBI doesn't get the information then even the strongest gun laws won't work. And the same thing could happen in Washington state.
Teasdale-Causer showed KIRO 7 the kind of weapon Devin Patrick Kelley used to shoot scores of people at this small Texas church.
"So the kind of weapon that he had was the Ruger AR 556," Teasdale-Causer said, "We have it here in gray."
Teasdale-Causer says it doesn't take great expertise to use the weapon.
"It's an easy weapon to use," she said. "And anybody can really use it," said Teasdale-Causer. "It's meant for anybody to be able to use it."
But to legally buy the weapon, Kelley and anyone else would have to fill out a federal form for an FBI background check. The form specifically asks whether the potential buyer has been convicted of domestic violence.
When asked whether Kelley would be able to get the same gun in Washington state, Teasdale-Causer said,
“That's kind of a Catch-22. So in Washington State, I'm not sure about how Texas is, but in Washington State, if they're convicted of a misdemeanor of domestic violence, if they do not get fingerprinted when they are convicted, they are not put into the system within the FBI."
That is not the only potential loophole.
"There's a lot of people that get involved in this and it could be a simple clerical mistake," Teasdale-Causer said. "Could be the system went down when it needed to be updated and somehow it was lost in a file."
Teasdale-Causer insists that if the information is in the system, the system works. If not, what happened in Texas could also happen here.
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