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Virginia governor may close gun loophole after VA Tech shootings

[JURIST] Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine [official website] said during a Tuesday radio interview that he may be able to issue an executive order to close the loophole [JURIST report] that allowed Virgina Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho to purchase a firearm despite having been ordered [text] to receive psychiatric treatment by a Virginia court in 2005. A federal law [18 USC 922 (g)(4), text] prohibits persons "who have been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution" from possessing or receiving "any firearm or ammunition," but the Virginia reporting law only requires submission of records of persons who have been "involuntarily committed" or ruled mentally "incapacitated."

Legislation seeking to improve enforcement [HR 297 backgrounder] of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) [FBI backgrounder] has been introduced in the House of Representatives in the past three terms, but never became law. AP has more.

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About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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