Nicholas Johnson was quoted in a WBUR article about flaws in regulatory compliance vis-à-vis gun laws.
In 2012, after Devin P. Kelley was convicted of domestic violence by a military court, Holloman Air Force Base failed to input that conviction into a federal database used for gun-purchase background checks.
The oversight enabled Kelley to buy multiple weapons from licensed gun dealers, which the ATF says were found at the scene after he killed 26 people at a Texas church.
Nicholas Johnson, a law professor at Fordham University who specializes in gun laws, says that’s an issue with regulatory compliance in general. He compares it to environmental regulations that are violated with no consequence until someone files a lawsuit.
“It’s a ‘who’s watching the watchers’ kind of issue,” he says. “There’s no oversight over the Air Force or over the FBI that demands that these regulatory obligations are actually followed through with.”