US Military Adds Over 5,000 People to Gun Ban List following Texas Church Massacre

The DoD is adding names to the prohibited persons list in the wake of the November shooting in Sutherland Springs, TX.(Photo: NBC News)

Since the Texas church massacre last November, the U.S. Department of Defense has added 4,000 dishonorably discharged former members of the military to the NICS prohibited persons list, according to a CNN report.

The DOD hasn’t admitted that these additions to the gun ban list were driven by the Texas massacre, but it’s no secret that all branches of the military have been scrambling to get through their backlogs of prohibited persons.

“I’m encouraged that they’re trying to hurry up and get through this backlog. But it was a failure of duty and responsibility to not report these people to the federal database. I’m highly disappointed,” said US Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Virginia), a former Navy SEAL now working on the “Fix NICS” bill.

The Texas church massacre was carried out by a former member of the Air Force who had been kicked out of the military for assaulting his wife. Under current federal law, he should have been banned from purchasing a firearm. But because the Air Force had failed to report him to the FBI, he was able to purchase a firearm anyway.

Since the November shooting, the number of individuals prohibited from owning a firearm due to dishonorable discharge has jumped from around 11,000 to 15,597, according to CNN. Prior to November that number had remained around 11,000 since 2016.

The Air Force, the Navy, and the Marine Corps admitted to CNN that they have been combing through their records to ensure they have reported all prohibited individuals.

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“We are in the process of conducting a thorough review of past cases to ensure that any prior failures to report are rectified and the appropriate information is provided to the FBI,” said Capt. Christopher R. Harrison, a spokesman for the Marines. He said the Marine Corps was planning changes that would “increase the speed and efficacy of reporting.”

The FBI has not said whether the Texas shooting was responsible for the spike in dishonorable discharge reports.

“The NICS Section does not speculate on changes in statistics,” FBI spokesman Stephen G. Fischer told CNN.

The National Instance Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was mandated by the Brady Law in 1993 and launched by the FBI in 1998. Every time an individual purchases a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer, the FBI cross-references that person’s name with a list of people who have been prohibited from owning a firearm for a variety of reasons, including being dishonorably discharged from the military.

The system relies on federal records as well as voluntarily submitted records from state and local law enforcement agencies and all branches of the military.

The “Fix NICS” bill currently under consideration in the US Congress would, among other things, require federal agencies to verify twice a year that they have submitted the names of all prohibited persons to the FBI.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Ed February 19, 2018, 9:31 am

    I would just like to point out that there have been several shootings committed by people reported to the FBI.

  • Benedict J. Straka Sr February 17, 2018, 8:51 am

    Three questions to ask gun grabbers: Q1. If guns are the problem, how do guns select their victims? Q2. If guns are the
    problem, how do they get to the crime scene?. Q3. If guns are the problem, why are they not given their miranda rights,
    and assigned a public defender?.

  • Leonard Feinman February 16, 2018, 6:02 pm

    For many people like me, the army made me the man I am today. I was a high school drop-out and had no future. I had not lived with the family since I was 15 years old and was as undisciplined as any juvenile could be.
    Somehow, with no more money in my pockets, I had to find a safe place, and I joined the army. Suddenly, I was Green. I had to make sure my personal area was clean, my uniform straight, and learned to march. They insisted I get my GED and even got me started in college. I made rank quickly, (thanks to Vietnam) and had good duty.
    But I also saw others, also “misfits” like myself. But they would not change, or fall in line. Guys went AWOL. Some guys would try to be tough bullies, and others stayed out of their way. They were bullies who never seemed to have left high school. And, many were discharged.
    Some people will always fail, while others will find a way. But the military was a sort of filter for life. We were constantly being reviewed, in some way. The military should not be an option, but a national duty, for every young person. As they travel through their service time, experts can pick out potential problems, that will manifest themselves later in life.
    So, begin observation in youth, have more observation in the military, and make sure all agencies report negative things for closer scrutiny.
    The military shapes so many people for life. They have an obligation to note personality changes and pass on that information if anything noteworthy emerges. Most of us are proud of our service, but we all knew there were troublemakers among us.

  • American USMC February 16, 2018, 1:21 pm

    Semper Fi

  • Chad from Ahwatukee February 16, 2018, 11:51 am

    My brother was working security at Paramount Building in Times Square when incident occurred where driver ran over pedestrians last May. He’s retired police officer and assisted victims. Driver was dishonorably discharged from US Navy because of problems. Think it’s a good policy to give people with problems less ways to hurt people. Unfortunately it just may just slow some people down. In both situations there were red flags on individuals mental issues and apparently no help was offered or suggested to them. Let’s continue to create awareness so we can help with problems and not have to deal with symptoms.. By the way I was on that sidewalk visiting with my brother 72 hours prior and but for the grace of God could have been us run over.

  • Irish-7 February 16, 2018, 11:01 am

    I’ve had a concealed carry permit for 30+ years. I did not bring my gun into church until the Sunday after 9/11/2001. I was appalled by this heinous crime in Texas. I hope that other concealed carriers will now remained armed at religious services.

  • joefoam February 16, 2018, 9:55 am

    Oops, we let another bunch of homicidal maniacs loose on the general public. Our bad. So did anyone at the DOD get called out for the murders commited by these folks? They probably got a promotion. I’d be willing to bet that the people really responsible, not some lowly peon, will never be held accountable for this, they never are.

  • LG February 16, 2018, 5:10 am

    Perhaps a doct and esteemed gentleman could explain ignorant and naive poor lil me WHY when Bobby the Butcher. butchers his family with his mighty knives, when the driver runs his car or lorry in a crowd, or when a pilot goes bonzo and run his planes into a mountain, no one blame the knife, no one blame the car, no one blames the aircraft. But when a “defective” shoot a crowd with a gun, now they blame the gun. Perhaps they also blame the bottle for the driving winos and alcoholiques . And every time it’s the same routine by the degenerate and decadent parents : HE WAS A GOOD BOY !!!! NO!!! NO!!! NOOOOOO!!! he is a good boy now!!!
    Anyway evryone knows the answer but no one dares proclaim it LOUD and CLEAR> 1- INSTRUCT CHILDREN in a ferm stern system , teach them respect to the other students and the parents. Show extreme respect to Law Enforcement and cooperate.
    ROTC must be made mandatory in order to graduate. bullies, violent elememts will be trained violently. We need to organize a Foreign Legion in the style of the French Foreign Legion. Those who cannot or may not or will not see the light in school will be give the choice in the joint or 5 years in the Legion. In the 200 years+ in the Legion there has never been a court martial reserved for graves and serious offenses. It is mysterious coincidence that those exposed to a court martial are not very lucky chaps, most fall from the wall, many have accidents at the shooting range on parachute jumps. That would also solve the problem of those DACA chaps 5 years under the Kepi Blanc of course in combat zones.

    In the meanwhile, on expand the gun free zones the teachers and school personnel support those gun free zones ferociously making the task of those mentally defective animals much easier.
    There are many methods used by various gouvernments that guaranteed practicaly that none of those exactions could happen/

  • Blue Dog February 15, 2018, 3:17 pm

    Good! Even the most ardent of opponents to additional gun violence legislation consistently say that the current system needs to be fixed and this sounds like it is something to start fixing a broken system. Short of a complete overhaul, this is a good first step.

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