A state lawmaker wants to close a loophole that could allow the mentally ill to purchase a handgun in Wisconsin.
Federal law prohibits the sale of handguns to anyone who has been involuntarily committed for mental health reasons, but State Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) says Wisconsin is not enforcing the rule. That's because a state law has never been passed requiring the state to pass on that information to a federal database used for background checks. Darling is introducing a bill that would close the loophole.
The River Hills Republican says the cost should not be a burden to the state, since reporting the information just adds an extra step to the process. She says the state already collects the information when a court handles mental health cases, so it shouldn't be difficult or costly to share that information with federal authorities.
The loophole was exposed after the Virginia Tech massacre , where the shooter had a history of mental illness but was still able to buy a handgun. Only 23 states currently comply with the federal law.