In Any Way, Shape, or Form? What Qualifies as 'Any Court' Under the Gun Control Act? [November 14, 2017]   [open pdf - 369KB]

"The mass shooting that took place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas has raised questions about whether a required background check should have blocked the assailant, Devin P. Kelley, from purchasing the semi-automatic rifle. [...] Preliminary reports reveal that Kelley may have been barred from purchasing and possessing a firearm for two possible reasons related to criminal activity: (1) a felony conviction and/or (2) a domestic violence conviction. This speculation is based on reports that Kelley, while serving in the U.S. Air Force, had been convicted of crimes related to domestic abuse against his wife and stepchild, yet those convictions never made it into the FBI's firearm background check database, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a body of criminal law applicable to members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Created by Congress through its Article I, Section 8 war powers, UCMJ crimes are tried in military tribunals called 'courts-martial.' Because Kelley was convicted by a court-martial, it is necessary to determine whether convictions from those courts qualify to create a firearm disability under the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA), as amended."

Report Number:
CRS Legal Sidebar, November 14, 2017
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Media Type:
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