Abbott mistaken about whether background checks would have made a difference in Sutherland Springs

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27, 2022

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS — Texas Gov. Abbott just concluded a press conference  on the Uvalde school shooting massacre where he yet again spread misinformation. Gov. Abbott suggested that background checks don’t work and pointed to the Sutherland Springs Shooting in Texas as an example. That’s not true and Gov. Abbott needs to correct the record. Again. The Federal Judge issued a verdict in the Sutherland Springs case specifically finding that Background checks not only work to prevent gun violence but that had they been implemented properly, the Sutherland Springs Church shooting would’ve been prevented. We call on Gov. Abbott correct his error. Immediately.

 

Here is what the Court held:

The Court concludes that the Government failed to exercise reasonable care in its undertaking to submit criminal history to the FBI. The Government's failure to exercise reasonable care increased the risk of physical harm to the general public, including Plaintiffs. And its failure proximately caused the deaths and injuries of Plaintiffs at the Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church on November 5, 2017.

In fact, the Court found that the only reason for the shooting was the Government’s failure:

As a result, the Government's expert conceded that the "only reason" Kelley was able to acquire the firearms used in the shooting was the Air Force's failure to submit his criminal history. Trial Tr. 1347:21--1348:1 (Donohue.)

“As a matter of fact and proven in our case and others, background checks properly administered would have prevented the Sutherland Springs Church Shooting, the Parkland School Shooting, and the Charleston South Carolina church shooting.”                                                                  

 – Jamal Alsaffar

 

###

 

All media inquiries can be sent to lead attorney for the Sutherland Springs families, Jamal Alsaffar (jalsaffar@nationaltriallaw.com), Whitehurst Harkness Brees Cheng Alsaffar Higginbotham & Jacob PLLC.