BELLEVUE, WA – Wednesday’s announcement by the Biden Justice Department that it has “reached a $144 million agreement in principle” to settle civil lawsuits stemming from the 2017 mass shooting at a Texas church is one more black mark in Joe Biden’s long record of failed gun control policies, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

The killer, Devin Patrick Kelley, pleaded guilty to domestic violence and was subsequently dismissed from the U.S. Air Force in 2014 with a bad conduct discharge. Yet, in April 2016, he bought the rifle used in the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas after lying on the federal background check Form 4473 about his conviction while in the Air Force in 2012. An investigation revealed the Air Force failed to notify the National Instant Check System of Kelley’s guilty plea, which would have disqualified him from buying or owning firearms.

“All of this occurred during the Obama-Biden administration, ironically when Biden was in charge of a task force which was supposed to provide proposals to reform gun laws,” noted CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “It was Biden’s responsibility as Barack Obama’s ‘gun czar’ to prevent this sort of thing. Now, more than ten years later, we’re learning that Joe Biden couldn’t even do that job right, and the taxpayers will ultimately be paying $144 million for this.

“Although the crime occurred after Obama and Biden left office,” he continued, “they have to own this tragedy because the Kelley case, the Air Force foul-up and the subsequent gun purchases all happened on their watch.

“Americans are suffering from Biden’s incompetence as president,” Gottlieb stated, “and gun owners have become whipping boys because the Texas killer was repeatedly able to slip through the system like the president slips up repeatedly during speeches, and even while climbing the steps to Air Force One.

“The blood in Texas is on the hands of Joe Biden and Barack Obama, just as sure as the settlement will be at the expense of the taxpayers,” Gottlieb added. “Now we’re supposed to admonish Congress for not moving ahead on Biden’s gun prohibition agenda. We’re tired of paying the price for his failures, and we should not be expected to sacrifice our rights just so he can claim some make-believe victory against crime.”