Yet another case of incomplete recordkeeping. After the Virginia Tech shooting, tougher reporting requirements were put in place by Congress in 2007 to record “Mental Defective/Committed” individuals in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database.
“The General Accounting Office estimates that the number of records is less than half the number as qualifying for inclusion onto the list. They GAO believes at least an additional 1.5 million records are missing from the file, and says that millions more records for various other types of prohibited purchasers are also unaccounted for.”
“Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged shooter of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and others, fits the profile to be denied gun ownership under federal law. He has a documented history of drug abuse, including a 2007 arrest on drug charges. But like Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho, Loughner was able to slip through the cracks and purchase a gun because of missing records in the background-check system that federally-licensed gun dealers consult before selling a weapon.”