The aftermath of a mass shooting incident is terrible. The friends and loved ones of victims are left to grieve, survivors face a long recovery from their injuries, and first responders are left to process images of human carnage that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.
Time seems to stand still for those who are connected to the tragedy, but the legal system continues to move forward in search of justice.
In addition to the criminal implications (when the shooter is arrested alive), there are civil issues of liability for entities whose negligence may have contributed to the shooting.
According to a Reuters report, the U.S. Air Force may be facing such liability after a former service member killed 26 people and injured 20 more at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
The potential liability for the Air Force stems from their failure to enter pertinent information into a federal database that is used for conducting criminal background checks on prospective gun owners. The shooter had been convicted of assaulting his then-wife and child in 2012, which rendered him unable to legally own and possess a firearm.
While no lawsuits have been filed at this time, suing the Air Force is an option for survivors and loved ones of the dead as they seek to put their lives back together after last week’s tragic shooting.
The Air Force will not be able to claim immunity from such suits and, according to Reuters, legal experts assert that potential plaintiffs have a strong case.