18 April 2007

Gun Law Enforcement

I've noted previously at this blog that it is illegal to sell a gun to someone who has been an inpatient for a mental health problem, something true in the case of Mr. Cho. This happened because, while records of these admissions are supposed to get into the gun law database, they don't (citing this source):

Mental Health: 33 states keep no mental health disqualifying records and no state supplies mental health disqualifying records to NICS. The General Accounting Office (GAO) estimates that 2.7 million mental illness records should be in the NICS databases, but less than 100,000 records are available (nearly all from VA mental hospitals). States have supplied only 41 mental health records to NICS. Combined with the federal records, the GAO estimates that only 8.6% of the records of those disqualified from buying a firearm for mental health reasons are accessible on the NICS database.

Legislation pending to deal with this problem includes the NICS Improvement Act of 2007, which has languished in Congress, despite minimal opposition (even the NRA has endorsed many versions of this act and perhaps even the current one), for about six years.

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