U.S. military services collectively failed to submit reports on hundreds of qualifying court-martialed service-members to the FBI, a Monday Department of Defense Inspector General report examining procedures between 2015 and 2016 found.
The military is required by law to submit both fingerprint cards and “final disposition reports” to the FBI for certain court-martialed offenses. “Overall, of the 2,502 fingerprint cards required to be submitted, we identified 601 (24 percent) that were missing. Of 2,502 required final disposition reports required to be submitted, 780 (31 percent) were missing,” the damning report concludes for just a single calendar year.
The report follows the November deadly church massacre in Texas perpetrated by former Air Force enlisted-man Devin Kelley. Kelley was able to legally purchase firearms despite a court-martial for domestic violence, which the Air Force failed to submit to the FBI. The Air Force, however, appears to have one of the best reporting track records of the military services.
The Army had 262 (28 percent) missing fingerprint cards and 385 (41 percent) missing final disposition reports. The Navy had 197 (29 percent) missing fingerprint cards and 243 (36 percent) missing final disposition reports. The Marine Corps had 37 (29 percent) missing fingerprint cards and 46 (36 percent) missing final disposition reports. In the Air Force, we identified 105 (14 percent) missing fingerprint cards and 106 (14 percent) missing final disposition reports.
The report also recommended that every service conduct a comprehensive review all the way back to 1998. DOD IG admonished the services noting that it had conducted previous reviews in 1997 and 2015 warning of significant lapses in crime reporting to the FBI urging immediate action.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis ordered such an investigation and action immediately following the church shooting. A previous Daily Caller News Foundation review found that the FBI’s NICS system only has a single record from the Department of Defense on a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction.
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