14 Nov

The loophole that let the church shooter buy a gun — and the bill that aims to close it

Just days after the mass murder in a Texas church Sunday, Sens. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., introduced legislation to “close the background check loophole exploited by the Sutherland Springs, Texas, shooter.”

The Flake-Heinrich proposal has already received some initial pushback from conservatives who argue that it was simply the Air Force’s error, not a major loophole, that allowed Kelley to slip through the cracks.

But Gary Barthel, a retired U.S. Marine and attorney at the Military Law Center in San Diego who’s written about the implications of the Lautenberg Amendment on members of the military, told Yahoo News that he thinks adding a specific category for domestic violence to Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which broadly covers assault, is “a good idea.”

Read the full article by Caitlin Dickson of Yahoo! News.

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06 Nov

‘Domestic situation’ linked to Texas church massacre

Military legal experts say Devin Kelley should have been barred from owning a firearm under federal laws since he was convicted in a general court-martial, the most serious form of military tribunal.

When Jim Michaels of USA Today reported the breaking news, he turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

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07 Nov

Defense Department Has Reported Only One Domestic Abuser To Federal Gun Database

The Department of Defense has only one active domestic violence case reported to the federal gun database, despite laws requiring the military to report such criminals so that they can be prevented from purchasing guns—a failure that might have prevented Sunday’s mass shooting by a former soldier.

When Newsweek’s Melina Delkic investigated the story, she turned to civilian military attorney LtCol Gary S. Barthel, USMC, Retired.

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07 Nov

Sutherland Springs shooter’s gun purchases raise questions

As the investigation continues into the deadly shooting at a Sutherland Springs church, questions are swirling about how the gunman, Devin Kelley, was able to legally purchase multiple firearms.

When KVUE reporter Michael Perchick went looking for answers, he turned to the expert – Military Law Center’s LtCol Gary S. Barthel, USMC, Retired.

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07 Nov

Air Force admits it failed to report Texas shooter’s conviction for abuse

In the developing case of the shooting massacre that killed at least 26 at a small church in Texas Sunday, one thing is now undoubtedly clear: The suspected gunman, Devin Kelley, should not have been allowed to obtain a gun.

When Yahoo News Reporter Caitlin Dickson investigated the breaking news, she turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

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09 Oct

Bergdahl to plead guilty to desertion, misbehavior before the enemy

The Associated Press has learned Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy rather than face trial for leaving his Afghanistan post.

When Jim Michaels of USA Today reported the breaking news, he turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

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13 Jul

Sailor who hid during massive man-overboard search now in San Diego awaiting possible charges

A U.S. sailor who sparked a 50-hour man-overboard search off Japan — only to be found hiding on his ship — is now in San Diego awaiting the results of an investigation and possible charges.

When Jeanette Steele of The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the breaking news, she turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

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12 Jun

New Legislation targets ‘Revenge Porn’

After recent allegations in which active-duty and former Marines and other service members were discovered sharing compromising photos of female troops along with derogatory commentary, new legislation would make it a specific crime under the military code to commit “revenge porn.”

When Jeanette Steele of The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the breaking news, she turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

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08 Jun

U.S. Navy bans alcohol in Japan after crime spree

The U.S. Navy imposed a total ban on alcohol consumption in Japan on Monday, June 6th, ordering all 18,000 American sailors confined to their bases for non-essential activities to thwart a string of crimes that has provoked outrage among Japanese.

When the USA Today’s Kirk Spitzer and Jim Michaels reported the breaking news, they turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

The sweep of the no-drinking order appears unprecedented because it applies country-wide and restricts where sailors can go on- and off-base, said Gary Barthel, a retired Marine Corps attorney.

“I’ve never seen that done before,” he said. “I’ve seen where they put certain bars or certain establishments off-limits.”

Such a ban is difficult to enforce but can act as a deterrent. The Navy uses shore patrol personnel to keep an eye on off-duty sailors to ensure they are following orders. They can bring a sailor back to base to face discipline if found violating orders.

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12 May

Military Diversity: The Crusade to Accept Transgender Servicemembers

Although Department of Defense regulations prohibit transgender individuals from joining the military, there are an estimated 15,500 transgender servicemembers currently serving in the U.S. military. Since the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” did not apply to the transgender community, the Department of Defense has recently taken steps to begin accepting transgender individuals into the military. History has shown that although Department of Defense policies are usually on the frontline in promoting diversity, the transition has not always been expeditious or simple.

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