U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-11th

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-11th.

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly is sponsoring a bipartisan bill to keep military service members with felony-level domestic violence convictions from purchasing firearms. 

The bill, known as the Safe Homefront Act, aims to strengthen Department of Defense policies regarding the reporting of domestic violence convictions and military protective orders to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. 

Mass shooter Devin Kelley, a member of the U.S. Air Force, shot and killed 27 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017. He had multiple domestic violence charges that should have disqualified him from purchasing the firearms he used in the massacre, but the U.S. Air Force failed to submit his fingerprints and General Court Martial Conviction to the FBI. 

Conolly’s bill, which is co-sponsored by two Republicans -- Rep. Peter King, R-NY, and Rep. Mike Turner R-Ohio -- would solidify into law the reporting of these types of convictions.

“Abuse is abuse, and no perpetrator of domestic violence– be they military or civilian – should be able to easily pass a background check and legally purchase a gun,” Connolly, D-11th, said in a press release“The Safe Homefront Act will help protect victims of domestic abuse by reforming how the military handles domestic violence incidents, starting by compelling the Department of Defense to fully comply with existing statutory prohibitions on access to firearms. As we saw all too tragically in Sutherland Springs, the consequences of inaction are devastating to families and our military communities.”

The Department of Defense has not consistently reported servicemembers with domestic violence convictions who are prohibited from purchasing firearms to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, according to a 2019 report from the Department of Defense Inspector General. 

According to the report, about four out of five incidents of domestic violence are not properly reported to the FBI, and “military service law enforcement organizations did not consistently comply with DoD policies when responding to nonsexual domestic violence incidents with adult victims.”

The legislation has been endorsed by the Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Futures Without Violence, Protect Our Defenders and the Service Women’s Action Network.

Don Christensen, president of Protect Our Defenders, a national organization dedicated to ending the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military, said the Department of Defense had “failed to ensure domestic violence court-martial convictions are properly reported as required by law.” 

“…The Pentagon is still failing to notify civilian authorities of convictions that would keep domestic abusers from purchasing firearms. The horrific church shootings committed by Devin Kelley were a direct consequence of the military's dereliction,” Christensen said. 

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(3) comments

Omarndc72

Another goodball. Hey dummy how about a bill to get rid of gang members and illegals commiting crime of the streets.

cultured2014

so one guy slips through cracks and now all the sudden there needs to be a widely impacting law that will do nothing other than make our service members seem like scapegoats or miscreants. connolly is anti-military

ccw

Let's see if I have this right. Three Clinton Obama era representatives put their heads together and come up with a sure fire way to solve a bunch of problems. They decided to use the Air Force to bash the Department of Defense's failure to notify the FBI of a sure fire way to finally get rid of the NRA and those omnipresent pesky Second Amendment rights.



Not mentioned is any possibility that the FBI didn't notice the IG report because they were too busy making sure Hillary Clinton didn't end up in jail, then trying everything in the books to destroy President Trump, plus slapping the Border Patrol around for resisting their efforts to set all of the illegal immigrants free while throughout all of it also protecting their own hind quarters from being bitten.



They decided to call their solution the Safe Homefront Act because naming it more appropriately like “This is how we thank our military members for their service!” might offend too many of the voters in an election year.

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