Congress passed bill closing gun background check loophole

On December 19, 2007, the US Congress passed by voice vote the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, which closed a loophole that allowed Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho to purchase firearms despite a court order mandating his psychiatric treatment. The US House of Representatives approved the first version of the bill in June 2007, which subsequently passed the US Senate with amendments and was consolidated by the House on December 19, 2007. The legislation mandates improvements in state reporting to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), making record sharing automatic. The bill was signed into law by President George W. Bush on January 8, 2008. Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine had previously issued an executive order in April 2007 that closed the same reporting loophole in Virginia.

Learn more about the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings and the laws governing gun control from the JURIST news archive.

 

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