Senate Could Look At Background Checks For Military Contractors

Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, told reporters Tuesday that his committee could evaluate the background check procedures for military contractors in response to Monday’s Washington, D.C., Navy Yard shootings.

The alleged shooter, Aaron Alexis, was a military contractor and former member of the Navy reserve. According to reports, his military contractor status gave him access to the building where the shooting occurred. Prior to Monday’s shooting, Alexis had been arrested for multiple gun-related incidents and been treated for mental illness.

“I think there’s a real interest in making sure we’re focusing on background checks for contractors, those who are working for contractors,” Carper told reporters. “To make sure they’re being diligent, asking the right questions and getting the right answers.”

“When you look at the troubled history of the shooter in this case, it causes me to ask some questions: Were we aware of this? Whoever did the background check, were they aware of the earlier arrests, the charges? I’m not sure that they were. So we’re going to drill down on this.”

The committee may end up holdings hearings on the issue, Carper said.

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