(Reposted from ObamaMedia)
On Thursday’s Steve Harvey Show Obama called for laws preventing the mentally ill from purchasing guns:
“If we know that he got mental health services, then there should be some way of preventing somebody like that from buying any kind of weapon,” Obama said.
The New York Times today reports that that Federal law already bans such purchases–but the state of Virginia has apparently failed to comply with the law.
Federal law prohibits anyone who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective,” as well as those who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility, from purchasing a gun….
Most states do not follow the letter of the federal law when it comes to the mental health provisions, said Ron Honberg, legal director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an advocacy group.
“I suspect if we look at all the requirements that exist for the states, there’s probably a whole lot of them that don’t implement them,” he said, explaining the gap often comes from a lack of resources but also because no one is enforcing them. “When something like this happens, then people start to pay attention to this.”
Representative Carolyn McCarthy, a New York Democrat, has been pushing a bill that would require states to automate their criminal history records so that computer databases used to conduct background checks on gun buyers are more complete. The bill would also require states to submit their mental health records to their background check systems and give them money to allow them to do so.