"We need to get to the bottom of this case specifically, and every service needs to investigate to determine if there are systemic issues that result in failure to report information on violent crimes, particularly domestic violence cases, to the FBI and the [National Crime Information Center] database," Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said in a statement Monday.
Reed, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, added "all necessary steps should be taken, administratively and legislatively, to ensure that such a failure does not happen again.”
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., issued a similar plea as her Democratic colleague and fellow member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
"No excuse for this," Gillibrand wrote on social media. "I'm calling on the Department of Defense to audit old case files to prevent this deadly error from happening again."
No excuse for this. I'm calling on the Department of Defense to audit old case files to prevent this deadly error from happening again. https://t.co/J9i7o9N15W— Kirsten Gillibrand (@SenGillibrand) November 7, 2017
Former Airman Devin P. Kelley opened fire during a service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Nov. 5, killing 26 parishioners between the ages of 18 months and 77 years old.
Federal law should have prevented the 26-year-old attacker, who was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene, from buying a gun after he was convicted by a general court martial in 2012 on two counts of domestic assault against his wife and stepson.
But due to an bureaucratic error, neither his arrest nor conviction were submitted to the FBI for inclusion in the NCIC database, the Air Force admitted Monday.
The Air Force has already announced it will conduct a review of the matter.