Legislation passed after the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting was supposed to ensure that people with a record of severe mental illness couldn't purchase guns. But many states are not submitting the requested information.
Anybody who has been involuntarily committed or been ruled mentally incompetent by a court is banned from buying a gun and should be listed in the national background check database. But the Virginia Tech shooter's name wasn't. The tragedy showed that mental health records in the National Instant Criminal Background Check system, NICS, are spotty.
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