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Tipsheet

Fatal Failure of Government Just Cost the Biden Admin $145 Million

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

As anti-gun advocates continue to say that more laws must be passed in order to prevent violent criminals from carrying out attacks with firearms, the Biden administration just proved yet again that failures of government are a greater threat than the Second Amendment. 

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On Wednesday, the Department of Justice announced that it had reached a $144.5 million civil settlement in principle for the deadly 2017 assault on First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that saw the assailant murder 26 worshippers and injure 22 more. 

The settlement, which remains tentative for now pending final court approval, "will resolve claims by more than 75 plaintiffs" arising from the tragedy, according to the Department of Justice.

"Plaintiffs’ claims alleged that the Air Force was negligent when it failed to transmit to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) information about the shooter that would have prevented him from purchasing guns from a federally licensed firearms dealer," the DOJ explained. "A federal district court in Texas concluded that the United States was liable for damages caused by the shooting," leading to the tentative settlement that will resolve the pending appeals.

So, it was a failure of government that — despite the Biden administration demanding more laws and restrictions on firearms that punish millions of law-abiding gun owners and do nothing to dissuade criminals from breaking yet another law in their commission of other crimes — allowed someone who shouldn't have been able to purchase a firearm to do so. 

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In the Sutherland Springs tragedy, the government neglected to use the laws, regulations, and systems already on the books which apparently allowed the assailant to obtain a firearm used in the deadly attack on worshippers. Yet Americans are expected to trust the government to protect them and allow them to pass even more firearm laws that the government might also fail to enforce in an effective manner? What good is another regulation or law when the existing ones are already failing due to government negligence?

Whether or not this settlement means that the government will learn its lesson and fully use the regulations and laws in place that are supposed to prevent people who are deemed ineligible to possess firearms from having them remains to be seen, but it seems unlikely. 

The Sutherland Springs tragedy and the DOJ's resulting settlement is another example showing why Americans can't rely on the government to protect them against those who break the law or slip through the cracks due to abject failure to utilize existing laws.

The Department of Justice maintains that "NICS plays a critical role in combatting gun violence," except when the government fails to use it, as it did in the Sutherland Springs case. Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta claimed that the DOJ "continues to work actively to combat gun violence as part of its comprehensive violent crime reduction strategy."

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Perhaps if the Biden DOJ was focused more on ensuring systems such as NICS are being used to their fullest and stopping illegal firearms and the criminals that use them to assault Americans from streaming across the open border — rather than going after parents at school board meetings — Gupta and the DOJ's words would mean more. 

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