(National Sentinel)Â Crime & Punishment: Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz toldÂ 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.
â€œDemocrats filibustered the legislation that would have resulted in this shooter being in federal prison,â€ Cruz said on â€œFox News @ Night.â€ â€œInstead of murdering those innocents in that Texas church.â€
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 wasÂ killed by a Democratic-led filibuster in 2013, would have prevented Sundayâ€™s church shooting.
â€œThere 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,â€ he said.
â€œBut, two, and this is an even more critical pieceâ€¦ when he went into Academy to buy this â€” these weapons â€” he lied on the forms,â€ Cruz added.
â€œThat is a felony to lie on those forms,â€ he continued. â€œThe Obama administration didnâ€™t prosecute those cases. In 2010, 48,000 felons and fugitives lied and illegally tried to purchase guns. They prosecuted only 44 of them.â€
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.
â€œUnder federal law, it was illegal for this individual to purchase a firearm. He had a conviction for a crimeÂ thatâ€™s punishable by more than a year in prison, and he had a conviction for multiple domestic violence crimes,â€ Cruz said. â€œBoth of those, itâ€™s already ineligible.â€
He also said thatÂ the Air Forceâ€™s mishandling of Kelleyâ€™s conviction was not isolated.
â€œThatâ€™s an endemic problem. Itâ€™s a problem with the federal government. Itâ€™s a problem with the states,â€ he said. â€œAnd so, when he went in to buy the guns, they ran the background check, and they didnâ€™t find it because it wasnâ€™t in the database.â€
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