President Trump’s nominee to lead the military health system said Tuesday he thinks it is “insane” for civilians to be able to purchase semi-automatic rifles like the one a gunman used to kill 26 people at a Texas church.
Dean Winslow, a professor at Stanford University and retired Air Force colonel, made his remarks during his confirmation hearing in front of the Senate Armed Service committee, according to the Washington Examiner.
“I may get in trouble with other members of the committee just say how insane it is that in the United States of America a civilian can go out and buy a semi-automatic like an AR-15, which apparently was the weapon that was used,” Winslow said. “I think that's an issue not as much for this committee, but elsewhere.”
Winslow was responding to a question from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., who asked whether service members with domestic violence convictions, such as Devin Patrick Kelley, should receive a dishonorable discharge or bad conduct discharge from the military.
Kelley used a Ruger AR-55 rifle to kill 26 and wound more than a dozen at the First Baptist Church in Sunderland Springs on Sunday, police said.
The Air Force said Monday it failed to enter Kelley’s conviction for choking and kicking his wife and striking his young stepson hard enough to fracture his skill into a federal database. It could have prevented him from purchasing the firearm he used in Sunday’s massacre.
“It’s a combination of laziness and people being overworked,” a former Air Force Office of Special Investigations agent told Fox News.
The Air Force is required by the Pentagon to report the info. The Lautenberg Amendment, enacted by Congress in 1996, helps prohibit people convicted of domestic violence from purchasing firearms.
Kelley's case "should have been reported and put in the database and that's why we've launched this complete wide full-scale review," Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson told "Fox & Friends."
Fox News' Greg Norman and Lucas Tomlinson and the Associated Press contributed to this report.