Five years after Seung Hui Cho terrorized the Virginia Tech campus, taking 33 lives including his own, states are still failing to submit reports that could keep guns out of the hands of potentially violent people with documented mental illnesses, according to a report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. More than a year before he went on that rampage, Cho had been ordered by a judge to seek psychiatric treatment, which should have barred him from purchasing a gun. Unfortunately, the records were never submitted to the national background check system, and he legally purchased all the weapons used in the massacre.
Since then, Virginia has become a model for submitting mental health records to the national system. Nevada - not so much. The report ranked us with the lowest-performing states for submitted mental health records. Nevada has submitted 724 out of 21,870 records to the federal system, according to the group's research.
Of course, compared to some of our neighbors, we look downright diligent. Utah submitted 118 reports out of 23,000 and Idaho submitted none. Arizona shockingly did a slightly better job keeping guns away from dangerous people. Of course, that might have something to do with changes made after the Tucson shooting in 2011. The only thing keeping Nevada from acting may be the lack of a high-profile mass shooting.