Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna wants to tighten Washington’s law restricting firearm access of those who have been committed for mental-health reasons, reports the Seattle Times. McKenna wants legislators to align Washington’s law with wth more-restrictive federal law. In April, Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho was able to obtain a gun because a court order requiring him to get mental treatment had not been reported to state or federal databases.
McKenna says Washington is one of four states that regularly report mental-health commitments to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. “We are not perfect,” he said, adding the state needs to get better and faster at submitting the information. Court clerks often fail to submit letters to the state Department of Licensing’s “gun file,” which keeps track of people who are ineligible to buy guns. King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said people who are involuntarily committed for two weeks may be stable enough to be released, but that doesn’t make them stable enough for the “awesome responsibility” of owning a firearm.