http://www.wavy.com/Global/story.asp?S=6446185&nav=23iiRICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- Governor Tim Kaine said today he has closed the loophole that allowed a mentally disturbed Virginia Tech student to buy the guns he used to kill 32 classmates and faculty two weeks ago.
Kaine says he issued an executive order today 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.
Seung-Hui Cho (sun-wee joh) had been ordered by a court to undergo psychiatric counseling after he was ruled to present a danger to himself.
But because Cho was treated as an outpatient and never committed to a mental health hospital, the court finding never made it into the database that federal law requires gun dealers to check before selling a firearm.
The law prohibits selling firearms to people judged to have mental disabilities.
According to the governor's office, Kaine is directing the Virginia State Police to request copies of orders both for involuntary inpatient and involuntary outpatient care from district courts.
And he's instructing state police to revise the paperwork they use to request such data -- to add outpatient care.
Kaine also is directing state police to include that 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 governor's executive order also directs the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services to revise the form it uses to petition for involuntary care. The change would reflect that both inpatient and outpatient involuntary care are to be reported to the Central Criminal Records Exchange.