Lawmakers raced to propose tougher gun control laws following the Virginia Tech and Montreal school shootings, but each has drawn criticism — and not just from the usual suspects.
New rules in Virginia forestall people who have been referred for mental health counseling from buying a gun. The rules are meant to close a “loophole” in the law that let Seung-Hui Cho buy his weapons.
But mental health advocates worry it stigmatizes all mentally ill people as violent instead of dealing with a lack of state- run mental health treatment programs.
Pennsylvania lawmakers are looking at tightening state gun laws but aren’t likely to pass restrictions like Virginia’s.
An aide to the governor points out that the man who killed five girls in an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County last year had no history of mental illness, and the state could not have stopped him from buying a gun.
After last September’s gun rampage in Dawson College, Canada’s Liberals want to drastically limit access to firearms by forcing gun owners to leave their weapons in shooting clubs.
Critics say such a cache would be irresistible to burglars and expensive to protect.
“Quebec to propose tougher gun control bill”
CTV.ca, May 7, 2007
“New rules on gun-sale checks”
Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA), May 10, 2007
“Pa. unlikely to follow Va. on mental health gun restriction”
Associated Press, May 6, 2007