Wednesday, The House of Representatives voted to close a loophole in gun control laws that allowed the Virginia Tech gunman to buy firearms even though he had a commitment to a mental hospital in his past. The Senate is likely to follow suit, marking the
The bill is being hailed by some as a landmark agreement between the NRA and gun control advocates would provide money for states to update the national database that gun dealers use for background checks on prospective buyers. The update would add more criminal records and mental health information to the database.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a law in America if there wasn’t a group angry about it. Gun Owners of America, opposed the measure. Erich Pratt, the organization’s communications director, said it forces “honest, law-abiding people to have to prove their innocence to a bureaucrat before they exercise their constitutional rights.”
Normally I’m a pretty staunch supporter of the amendment that protects us from having to incriminate ourselves, but proving we’ve never been diagnosed as clinically insane in order to own a weapon is one caveat I can live with.
The bill provides a right of appeal to those who believe they are unfairly included in the database, which is maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That provision was a particular concern of the NRA.
Most feel that the only way this actually becomes law is if the bill passes through the Senate without a large amount of amendments, something the Senate hasn’t had happen very often lately. It’s going to be up to the Senators to realize that while this legislation is not the cure-all it’s a step in the right direction, and needs to become law.