US House closes gun background check loophole Gabriel Haboubi at 2:22 PM ET
[JURIST] The US House of Representatives Wednesday passed the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 [HR 2640 materials], which closes a loophole [JURIST report] that allowed Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho [Wikipedia profile] to purchase firearms despite a court order [text] mandating psychiatric treatment. The bill mandates improvements in state reporting to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) [FBI backgrounder], making record sharing automatic. It also allocates $250 million for states to make improvements, and imposes benchmarks for states to improve their systems. If states fail to meet those benchmarks, the legislation would withhold federal funds from the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 [42 USC 3756 text]. The bill must still be approved by the Senate and signed by the president before becoming law.
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