‘Texas shooter passed background check,’ gun store claims

A sporting goods chain has confirmed that it sold two firearms to the man who shot up a church in a tiny South Texas community, killing 26 people.


Image: Devin Kelley

In a statement posted on the company’s social media, Katy, Texas-based Academy Sports & Outdoors confirmed that Devin Patrick Kelley bought the weapons from two different San Antonio stores, one in 2016 and one in 2017.

The company also confirmed that the sales were cleared by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

The company extended condolences to the victims and their families and said it was cooperating with investigators.

The Air Force says it failed to report the Texas church shooter’s domestic violence conviction to the FBI as required by Pentagon rules to run background check requests from gun dealers before a sale. Information about such convictions is supposed to be submitted to the FBI for inclusion in the National Criminal Information Center database.

Devin Kelly was convicted five years ago by a general court-martial on two charges of domestic assault against his wife and stepson.

It is illegal under federal law to sell or give a gun to someone who been convicted of a crime involving domestic violence against a spouse or child.

“The Air Force has launched a review of how the service handled the criminal records of former Airman Devin P. Kelley following his 2012 domestic violence conviction,” said Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

It released Kelley’s general court-martial order, saying that Kelley struck the child “on the head and body with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm” on or about June 16, 2011, as well as striking the child on other instances between April and June.

Despite his conviction, which resulted in his “bad conduct” discharge from the military, Kelley was able to twice buys guns at the Academy Sports + Outdoors chain’s San Antonio outlet since last year, the store said in a statement.


“We have not seen a problem from the Department of Defense in the past. We know that the reporting of dishonorable discharges to the system is apparently quite robust,” said Jonas Oransky, deputy legal director at the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.

It was possible the department had failed to report other kinds of required information to the database, he said.

“They should have reported that into the system and that record should have been sitting there when he tried to buy a gun in Texas,” Oransky said in a phone interview.

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