Army may issue tighter gun rules after Fort Hood shooting
WASHINGTON D.C. — The U.S. Army general who investigated the 2014 Fort Hood shooting recommended in his final report issued Friday that the Army consider requiring soldiers to register their personally owned weapons with their command.
The report also concluded that there were “no clear warning signs” to indicate that Specialist Ivan Lopez would go on a rampage on the base, killing three soldiers and wounding 12 before taking his own life.
The gun registration recommendation comes in light of the fact that Lopez had purchased two weapons for his personal use ahead of the shooting, one of which was used in his April 2014 spree. The military has sporadically tried, unsuccessfully, to tighten its gun regulations.
“This impacts a commander’s ability to maintain situational awareness over a service member and their actions involving a firearm that could be concealed and brought onto the installation for unauthorized purposes,” according to the report. “In the absence of a system capable of identifying [Lopez] as a threat, and because the unit was unaware and unable to address the variety of stressors in [Lopez’s] life, Fort Hood was not able to prevent the shooting.”
While lead investigator Lt. Gen. Joseph Martinez concluded that no “single event or stressor, in isolation, was the cause of the shooting,” but that an investigation into Lopez’s background revealed “several factors that may have contributed to the soldier’s state of mind.”
Two of Lopez’s close family members had recently died, he was dealing with financial difficulties and was being treated for medical conditions.
Additionally, the report cited “significant turnover in leadership” which may have burdened commanders who may not have had “adequate time to train, mentor and lead” new soldiers to the base, like Lopez.
The 2014 shooting was the second shooting spree to occur on the Fort Hood military base. Maj. Nidal Hasan went on a shooting rampage at the base in 2009.