Skip to comments.Va. governor closes loophole that armed Tech gunman
Posted on 04/30/2007 10:08:12 AM PDT by bedolido
RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia's governor said Monday he has closed the loophole that allowed a mentally disturbed Virginia Tech student to acquire the guns he used to kill 32 classmates and faculty on April 16 in Blacksburg.
Gov. Timothy M. Kaine said he issued an executive order requiring immediately that the names of persons found dangerous and ordered to undergo involuntary mental health treatment be entered in a database barring the sale of firearms.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailypress.com ...
Dusts off hands, walks away smiling that he’s fixed it...Although I agree with what he did, we need to rethink the entire process for dealing with the mentally ill.
He’s a regular Johnny-on-the-Spot, isn’t he?
Said it before, say it again.
A few years back here in PA, a guy who was released from a mental hospital went on a shooting rampage.
How did he get the weapon? Easy, mail order from Cabellas.
Those black powder Colt replica revolvers do the job quit nicely, thank you.
Well, we’ve taken guns away from the mentally ill. No reason we can’t start taking them away from normal citizens now too. We’re all safe donchaknow.
Hey, slow down there! We can't take guns away from normal citizens--we've got to certify them crazy first!!
Seriously, how long before the divorce lawyers discover this?
Reminds me of a conversation I had with a street thug decades ago. At the time there was a fad of gangstas arming themselves with black powder revolvers since they could be bought by anyone. He said his crew got in a shootout with another crew across an intersection with a street light. They had to quit the gun battle when it got so smoky neither crew could see each other any more.
So much for the privacy of medical records. The ACLU will get right on the case—not.
Look at this:
It had to happen. A taxpayer-funded study by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Science Foundation (NIMH-NSF) announced last August  that adherents to conventional moral principles and limited government are mentally disturbed.
NIMH-NSF scholars from the Universities of Maryland, California at Berkeley, and Stanford attribute notions about morality and individualism to dogmatism and uncertainty avoidance. Social conservatives, in particular, were said to suffer from mental rigidity, a condition that, researchers assert, is probably hard-wired, condemning traditionalists to a lifelong, cognitive hell, with all the associated indicators for mental illness: decreased cognitive function, lowered self-esteem, fear, anger, pessimism, disgust, and contempt.
I can see where that would be a problem. Also, gangsta aren’t known to be real savvy with the finer points of weapons. Cleaning after that 5th shot isn’t something that’s “kewl”.
Ah, it’s The Eyebrow, come to save us all.
If you need a gun, then that means you are paranoid, which therefore means you must be crazy.
See, how simple that is!
How many mental wierdos DID NOT kill anyone, let alone 32 people? So why make a new law? Bad idea and I disagree with it.
If you really think that goverment can keep weapons out of criminal hands then think about prisons.
So what are you saying, Al, ban private ownership of cap and ball revolvers?
By the way, is that jerk who keeps trygin to extend Federal Firearms regulations to flintlocks from your district?
Perhaps he needs to be committed. You could kill more people with a car than with a cap and ball revolver.
How about the loophole that allows weapons for those here on a “student” visa?
Is it just me, or does this seem a bit off as well? Talk about your immigration and security problems...
Sorry, no right is infinite. You don’t have a right to own an atomic bomb. I don’t have a problem with restricting gun sales to the disastrously mentally ill. And no I don’t think the government can keep weapons out of all the wrong hands, but in this situation, government has to at least try. Adding these people to the database is not going to bring the Republic to its knees.
Oh dear me, I’m for unrestricted 2nd Amendment rights.
There are idiots in this state though, who really do try to run at black powder.
One was the goof ball Joe Ho AKA Joey Hoeffel. After this incident, he wanted to classify black powder in the same category as modern weapons, subject to the same restrictions.
Fortunately, he is no longer in office.
Who was on a student visa? As far as I know, those on student visas are not allowed to purchase fire arms.
Hoeffel is the guy.
In New Joisey, they had Governor Tom Kean Senior who, back in the 1970’s decided to protect the citizens - excuse me - subjects - of the People’s Republic of New Jersey by including flintlock pistols in the same category as .44 magnums.
No, they can’t. But legal permanent residents, such as Cho, can own firearms.
I don’t have a problem keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerously insane people like the character at Va Tech.
But what MOST people don’t know is that the majority of mentally ill people in this country are NOT insane wackos who want to blow other people away. Most of them are harmless, more afraid of other people than anything else, and more of a threat to themselves than to you or me.
Its just the homicidal wack jobs that make the headlines - not the ones starving to death alone under railroad and highway bridges.
Do you really think it will do much good?
So you make it harder to get black powder guns. So instead the criminal makes a simple, but effective bomb. Or they buy firearms from an individual that doesn't know they are mentally ill. Or the get themselves a really big knife and find an area with lots of victims that are poorly equipped to fight back or get away. Or the simply steal firearms.
If a person is willing to commit mass murder, there isn't much you can really do to keep them from acquiring weapons for the task.
It doesn't take significantly more skill to make a simple bomb and camouflage it so that it won't appear out of place than it does to order a black powder revolver from Cabellas.
We don't need more restrictions that don't really do anything. They just give people a false sense of security and allow useless politicians to act like they are doing something constructive when what they are really doing is slowly taking away our ability to defend ourselves one small step at a time.
It's pretty obvious that Liberals think that anyone that doesn't conform to their socialist (if not communist) world view is mentally ill.
There is no scientific basis for determining mental health in most cases. It is something the define as they go along, and stepping outside a court appointed counselor's realm of acceptable thoughts and opinions is enough to get your constitutional rights revoked for life.
What about the "loophole" that disarmed the victimes on the VA tech campus. Did the a$$hole close THAT "loophole"
None of that stuff sounds like actual scientific lingo. Sounds like a bunch of illiterate amateurs getting ready to file a grievance at the workplace.
He THINKS he did, but did he check with his HIPAA lawyers about it? HIPAA is a federal law that presumes to protect against disclosure of medical (inc. psychiatric) data. (All it really does IMO is generate a ton of paperwork and unintended consequences, but that’s a whole other topic.)
Now can he find a way to keep the nut jobs from getting a gun from friends and neighbors or stealing one or using an axe? From our anti-death penalty governor...problem solved!
Excuse me, can you read or are you deliberatly confusing this?
Where do I say that I want regulations?
Slow down, READ CARFULLY. You will see that your are off in the ozone here.
Just one more duckbite.
He is overreacting on a feelgoodism.
One little step at a time. Incremental rights encroachment.
Let's define: mentally ill. Someone who is mildly depressed is mentally ill. They do get over it & return to their former selves. Are they now blackballed from getting a CCW?
How about a heart attack victim....they get better, but can they still legally drive? Couldn't it happen again?
Just playing devils advocate here.
Zackly. Circular logic will soon rule the day.
What about a law requiring the family be made aware of emotional problems their child is having.
He banned gun-free zones?
How long until people that are sent to marriage counselors,or anger management training are considered to have had "involuntary mental health" treatment?
This is a VERY slippery slope they are on.
What about putting in a good involuntary committment law? This guy should never have been out in public.
Most of our major mass killings have been committed by mentally ill young people who for one reason or another could not be committed under their state’s laws. Well, other than those committed by Muslims - but then, that’s a form of mental illness, too, because it legitimizes hatred and the killing of people outside of your cult.
You didn't make any suggestions about doing something about it. It has just been my experience that when someone points out a way to avoid restrictions, without explicitly saying that the restrictions are in general pointless, that they are pointing out what they consider a loophole that they think needs plugged.
Slow down, READ CARFULLY. You will see that your are off in the ozone here.
I reread what you wrote, and don't think I really jumped to an unreasonable conclusion on what you were saying, and it appears that Zulu read it the to mean the same thing that I did.
Maybe you should slow down and WRITE CARFULLY if you don't wish to be misunderstood. :)
Attorney General Bob McDonnell worked with him on this:
COMMONWEALTH of VIRGINIA
Office of the Attorney General
For Release: April 30, 2007
GOVERNOR KAINE ISSUES EXECUTIVE ORDER EXPANDING BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR GUN PURCHASES
Attorney General McDonnell Provides Legal Advice for Expedited Solution
~ Database to include involuntary outpatient mental health treatment ~
RICHMOND Governor Timothy M. Kaine today issued Executive Order Number 50 instructing all executive branch agencies to immediately begin including the names of individuals found dangerous and ordered to undergo involuntary mental health treatment in the database accessed before the sale of firearms by licensed gun dealers to ineligible individuals. The order clarifies that there will be no distinction in reporting based on whether an individual is ordered to undergo inpatient or outpatient treatment.
Our office was pleased to work with Governor Kaine to quickly remedy this apparent disconnect between state and federal law, Attorney General Bob McDonnell said. With todays action by the Governor, and additional solutions likely to be considered during Virginias next legislative session, Virginians can feel confident that all of us are working in a bipartisan and responsible way to promote public safety.
Attorney General Bob McDonnell provided legal advice and research assistance to the Governor during a review of state laws affecting the purchase of firearms by those adjudicated mentally ill. The review was prompted by the April 16th tragedy on the campus of Virginia Tech.
Specifically, Governor Kaine is directing the Virginia State Police to request copies of orders both for involuntary inpatient and involuntary outpatient care from district courts. The Governor is instructing State Police to revise SP-237, the form by which they request such data, to explicitly reflect the addition of outpatient care. Finally, the Governor is directing State Police to include this information in the Central Criminal Records Exchange, the database checked prior to firearms sales, and to share the information with federal law enforcement agencies.
The Executive Order also directs the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services to revise DMH 1006, the form by which it petitions for involuntary care, to reflect that both inpatient and outpatient involuntary care are to be reported to the Central Criminal Records Exchange.
“The database used to scrutinize the histories of those purchasing guns should include any determination that someone is mentally ill and so dangerous to himself or others as to warrant involuntary treatment. The key factor should be the danger finding, and not whether the judicially-mandated treatment is performed in an institution or on an outpatient basis, Governor Kaine said. The 2008 General Assembly may determine whether any of the relevant laws need to be changed, but after careful review, I have chosen to provide clarity on how the existing law should be enforced by law enforcement and mental health agencies.”
In 2005, the General Assembly amended certain statutes by which courts are authorized to order involuntary mental health treatment. One change altered Va. Code Section 37.2-819, the statute requiring reporting of mental health adjudications to the Central Criminal Records Exchange. Previous language required reporting an adjudication that a person was mentally ill and a danger to himself or others only if that person was then committed to a hospital. The 2005 change broadened the language to require such a report if the person was admitted to a facility. There are several reasonable interpretations of the phrase admission to a facility, since the term facility is defined expansively as any state or licensed hospital, training center, psychiatric hospital, or other type of residential or outpatient mental health or mental retardation facility.
After reviewing current practice among courts in the Commonwealth, the Governor believes it is important to standardize practices by reporting any involuntary treatment order, whether for inpatient or outpatient services, into the central database.
Currently, only 22 states, including Virginia, submit any mental health information at all to the federal database: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. Nearly half of the reports submitted nationally on mentally ill people have been submitted by Virginia: of the almost 165,800 people reported nationally, about 80,500 were submitted by Virginia, according to State Police.
Twenty-eight states do not submit any information at all about mental condition to federal authorities, according to the FBI. Governor Kaine and Attorney General McDonnell have pledged to urge their counterparts across the nation to participate through their memberships in the National Governors Association and the National Association of Attorneys General, respectively.
Relevant Code Provisions
37.2-819 - Order of involuntary admission forwarded to CCRE; firearm background check.
The clerk shall certify and forward forthwith to the Central Criminal Records Exchange, on a form provided by the Exchange, a copy of any order for involuntary admission to a facility. The copy of the form and the order shall be kept confidential in a separate file and used only to determine a person’s eligibility to possess, purchase, or transfer a firearm.
“Facility” means a state or licensed hospital, training center, psychiatric hospital, or other type of residential or outpatient mental health or mental retardation facility. When modified by the word “state,” “facility” means a state hospital or training center operated by the Department, including the buildings and land associated with it.
18.2-308.2:2 (B)(1) - Criminal history record information check required for the transfer of certain firearms.
Upon receipt of the request for a criminal history record information check, the State Police shall (1) review its criminal history record information to determine if the buyer or transferee is prohibited from possessing or transporting a firearm by state or federal law, (2) inform the dealer if its record indicates that the buyer or transferee is so prohibited, and (3) provide the dealer with a unique reference number for that inquiry.
NUMBER FIFTY (2007)
REPORTING CRITICAL SAFETY DATA
TO THE CENTRAL CRIMINAL RECORDS EXCHANGE
Importance of the Issue
In the aftermath of the murders and injuries on the campus of Virginia Tech on April 16, 2007, and in order to promote the safety of the residents of our Commonwealth, it is imperative that we take steps to make sure that laws affecting the purchase of firearms by persons with mental illness adjudicated by a court are carefully reviewed.
The General Assembly will determine during its 2008 session what legislative changes are appropriate in this regard. In the meantime, however, it is important that we take appropriate administrative steps to bring greater clarity to how existing laws governing the purchase of firearms by those who have been ordered to receive involuntary treatment for mental illness by a court are to be interpreted by the executive branch.
Such steps should include reporting to relevant databases all mental health adjudications that determine a person is mentally ill and a danger to himself or others, and thereby required to receive mental health treatment, whether on an inpatient or outpatient basis. The full inclusion of such adjudications in state and federal databases would bar such an individual from gun purchases until such time as his or her right to purchase firearms is restored by a court.
In 2005, the General Assembly amended certain statutes by which courts are authorized to order involuntary mental health treatment. One such change altered Va. Code Section 37.2-819, the statute requiring reporting of mental health adjudications to the Central Criminal Records Exchange. Previous language required reporting an adjudication that a person was mentally ill and a danger to himself or others only if that person was then committed to a hospital. The 2005 change broadened the language to require such a report if the person was admitted to a facility. There are several reasonable interpretations of the phrase admission to a facility, since the term facility is defined expansively as any state or licensed hospital, training center, psychiatric hospital, or other type of residential or outpatient mental health or mental retardation facility.
After review of the statutes and the practices among Virginia courts, I believe it is appropriate for all agencies to report any mental health adjudications leading to involuntary treatment, premised upon a danger finding, whether or not such treatment is to be received in an inpatient or outpatient setting.
Direction to Executive Branch Employees
I therefore direct that all executive branch employees consider any involuntary treatment order pursuant to §37.2-817, whether inpatient or outpatient, to be an admission to a facility for purposes of §37.2-819, using the definition of facility cited above from §37.2-100. This includes, without limitation, a direction that forms, announcements, training, and executive branch procedures affected hereby be revised accordingly.
I further direct the Virginia State Police to request copies of orders both for involuntary inpatient and involuntary outpatient care from the appropriate district courts, and to revise SP-237, the form by which they request such orders. The State Police shall include such orders in the Central Criminal Records Exchange and share such data as appropriate with federal law enforcement agencies. Pursuant to its duties under Section 18.2-308.2:2, the State Police shall report to the requesting firearms dealer any person who has been ordered by the court to receive such involuntary inpatient or outpatient mental health care as described herein and such person shall be prohibited from purchasing a firearm from that dealer until that persons firearms rights have been restored.
I further direct the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services to revise DMH 1006, the form by which it petitions for involuntary care, to reflect that both inpatient and outpatient involuntary care are to be reported to the Central Criminal Records Exchange.
Effective Date of the Executive Order
This executive order shall become effective upon its signing and shall remain in full force and effect unless amended or rescinded by further executive order.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 30th day of April 2007.
Yes, they can. They are ‘non immigrant aliens’ and have to produce a hunting license to purchase ‘sporting’ firearms (whatever those are.)
If someone would pose an unacceptable danger to society if not forbidden from purchasing a firearm, that person would pose an unacceptable danger to society, period.
If someone's condition is sufficiently dangerous to justify keeping him locked up, fine. No guns for him. But I don't see anything good about expanding the state's authority to disarm people for whom it has not accepted absolute responsibility (e.g. felons in prison, committed mental patients, etc.)
Some examples of nutnicks who have done bad things:
Gamil al-Battuti flew EgyptAir Flight 990 into the Atlantic Ocean. No accounts of his life indicate that he was a member of the Happy Jihad Suicide Club, which means he purposefully crashed the plane for other reasons.
Andrew Goldstein stopped taking his meds and pushed Kendra Webdale in front of a subway train. Webdale died.
Julio Perez pushed Edgar Rivera n front of another subway train. Rivera lived, but he lost both legs.
Julio Gonzalez' lawyers tried to argue insanity when he was tried for murdering 87 people at the Happyland Social Club fire, but the court was not persuaded. Gonzalez was one of the many rejects from the Mariel boatlift.
Scott Harlan Thorpe killed three people because he was convicned that his psychaiatrist conspired with the FBI and the manager of a local restaurant to poison his food. He was nuts.
Forget these individuals for a moment, there are plenty more of them. We are not serving the mentally ill population by neglecting them in the name of civil liberies. We are leaving them to rot in psychotic states because we have taken the idea of civil liberties past the point of common sense.
So, depression isn't a mental illness?
If you read my post I asked to "define mental illness", as that is a very broad brush and can be anything from depression to schizophrenia.
A green card holder is a resident alien. Green Card Test: An alien is a U.S. resident if the individual is a Lawful Permanent Resident under the immigration law of the United States at any time during the calendar year. This is known as the green card test because these aliens generally hold immigration Form I-551 (also known as a green card).
The green card is an immigration form. A green card holder is considered a lawful permanent resident of the United States. They are substantially different than an international student who is on an F-1 or J-1 status and cannot purchase a weapon. However, if you will check:
http://www.atf.gov/pub/qtrly_bulletins/vol1_qb2002/subpartc.pdf you will see that for gun shows and other activities, such as hunting (Canadians generally), they may apply for an import license. However, Cho was not in a non-immigrant classification, nor did he import, he purchased it.
Mentally ill and mentally incompetent are radically different terms. Depression and PTSD by themselves are mental illnesses, but the patients do not present a danger to himself or others. They are not mentally incompetent. There may be other things going on that do present dangers, but many mental conditions by themselves are not dangerous.
The much overused ADHD is a mental illness. No one suggests that a person with ADHD is dangerous. Retardation or Autism may make a person mentally incompetent. A mildly retarded person may be able to funstion with some assistance. A severely retarded person can’t enter into contracts because he can’t understand them.
A person with advanced Alzheimer’s disease is often adjuged mentally incompetent. Their minds are gone.
Arguing that no one should restrict the rights of those adjudged mentally incompetent becasue it will affect the mentally ill is a chimera. I’m not suggesting such a thing. I am saying that we are not addressing the problems of mentally incompetent persons and this is one of the ways it shows.
Answer R1 and R2 adress these questions on the BATFE FAQ page.
'Sporting firearm' and 'sporting purpose' are two of the most obnoxious federal government terms I know. A non immigrant alien can bring a firearm into this country for a competition, but if it breaks, he can't get another one unless he buys a hunting license.
Yes, but these are exceptions that will be dealt with on a case by case basis. The easiest way to change this is by working within the state where a person resides to change the regulations for issuing hunting licenses. In general if a student does not hold a hunting license, then they will be unable to obtain a gun. This is states’ rights issues pure and simple. The hunting license appears to be the loophole here.
R1) May nonimmigrant aliens legally in the United States purchase or possess firearms and ammunition while in the United States?
Nonimmigrant aliens generally are prohibited from possessing or receiving (purchasing) firearms and ammunition in the United States.
There are exceptions to this general prohibition. The exceptions are as follows:
nonimmigrant aliens who possess a valid (unexpired) hunting license or permit lawfully issued by a State in the United States;
nonimmigrant aliens entering the United States to participate in a competitive target shooting event or to display firearms at a sports or hunting trade show sponsored by a national, State, or local firearms trade organization devoted to the collection, competitive use or other sporting use of firearms;
certain diplomats, if the firearms are for official duties;
officials of foreign governments, if the firearms are for official duties, or distinguished foreign visitors so designated by the U.S. State Department;
foreign law enforcement officers of friendly foreign governments entering the United States on official law enforcement business; and
persons who have received a waiver from the prohibition from the U.S. Attorney General.
Significantly, even if a nonimmigrant alien falls within one of these exceptions, the nonimmigrant alien CANNOT purchase a firearm from a Federal firearms licensee (FFL) unless he or she (1) has an alien number or admission number from the Department of Homeland Security (formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service) AND (2) can provide the FFL with documentation showing that he or she has resided in a State within the United States for 90 consecutive days immediately prior to the firearms transaction.
[18 U.S.C. 922(g)(5)(b) and 922(y), 27 CFR 478.124, ATF Rul. 2004-1]
The ‘sporting firearm’ exemption is not a case by case rule. The hunting license requirement is a blanket rule. I’ve had plenty of customers on work and student visas, buy a hunting license and you can buy the gun. There’s a space to record the license number on the 4473.
The waiver from the State Department is a case by case procedure, but a person would be silly to spend months applying for such a thing when he could just buy a non resident small game tag for fifty bucks and he’s good.
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