Gun Control Bill Hits Road Block In Senate

October 17, 2007

A gun control bill that advocates say could have prevented the killings at Virginia Tech has hit a roadblock in the Senate.

The measure would provide money to states to ensure that they properly update the national database of those prohibited to purchase weapons. It has support from both handgun control groups and the National Rifle Association but Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York says his colleague, Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, has derailed any hopes of quick passage.

Under federal law, people with criminal records and those who have been judged mentally defective are generally barred from purchasing weapons, and their names are placed in a database.

Seung-Hui Cho had been deemed mentally defective and should have been in the database but Virginia authorities never added Cho's name and he bought two guns in the weeks before he killed 32 others and himself.

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