AUSTIN, TX – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton applauds the Texas Supreme Court’s decision to shield Sports and Outdoors Academy from liability in the devastating Sutherland Springs Church shooting in 2017. Under Federal Law on the Protection of the Legal Trade in Arms Act (PLCAA), neither the Academy nor any other retail establishment that sells firearms can be sued for damages in tragedies like the Sutherland Springs shooting.
The Academy followed the law when the shooter, Devin Kelley, purchased the rifle in 2016 from a store in San Antonio. The store followed federal requirements including a background check when Kelley presented a license and an out-of-state address. Although Kelley was barred from purchasing due to domestic violence charges and a dishonorable discharge from the Air Force, this information had not been reported to the system when the store performed the background check. A separate lawsuit against the Air Force for failing to collect, process and report this information remains pending in federal court.
âThere are no words to describe the tragedy that struck the small town of Sutherland Springs in November 2017 and the irreversible damage to families and communities in this region. This opinion does not take away their grief, âsaid Attorney General Paxton. “However, holding the Academy accountable for this devastation while following federal law in this sale would not solve the problem. I will be watching to see how the federal courts deal with the Air Force’s shortcomings in this case. “