Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine issued an executive order Monday closing the loophole that allowed Virginia Tech gunman Seung-Hui Cho to purchase a firearm despite having been ordered to receive psychiatric treatment by a Virginia court in 2005. The executive order amends Virginia law so that any person who has received involuntary outpatient or inpatient mental health care will be prohibited from purchasing a firearm by having their name and record placed in a database.
Previously, only those receiving inpatient mental health care were to be listed in the database, which allowed Seung-Hui Cho to bypass the screening process. A federal law prohibits persons "who have been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution" from possessing or receiving "any firearm or ammunition."
Legislation to improve enforcement of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has been introduced in the House of Representatives the past three terms, but has never become law.