Wednesday, April 18, 2007

VT Killer Lied to Buy Gun

ABC News reports that a Virginia court had found that the Virginia Tech killer was mentally ill and potentially dangerous in 2005, and that the state then let him go.

Question 12 f on the Treasury form that the killer had to certify in order to purchase at least one of his guns last month asks,

"Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes being adjudicated incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?"
"No" is the only acceptable answer for that question on that form. Leaving it blank or answering "Yes" will result in a turndown. It should also result in prosecution for illegally attempting to purchase a firearm, a felony, but it almost never does. The Clinton administration bragged about the thousands of illegal purchases, but said nothing about any prosecutions of those felons.

The area just above the signature on Form 4473 reads in part, in bold:
  • I certify that the above answers are true and correct.
  • I understand that making any false oral or written statement… with respect to this transaction… is a crime punishable as a felony.

While earthly felonies no longer trouble this murderer, there may be lessons to learn here. Most shooters will not object to including notice of mental health commitments to the existing instantaneous criminal checks accomplished before a purchase.

But I bet others will.

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