"RICHMOND – Governor Timothy M. Kaine today issued Executive Order Number 50 instructing all executive branch agencies to immediately begin including the names of individuals found dangerous and ordered to undergo involuntary mental health treatment in the database accessed before the sale of firearms by licensed gun dealers to ineligible individuals. The order clarifies that there will be no distinction in reporting based on whether an individual is ordered to undergo inpatient or outpatient treatment.
“Our office was pleased to work with Governor Kaine to quickly remedy this apparent ‘disconnect’ between state and federal law,” Attorney General Bob McDonnell said. “With today’s action by the Governor, and additional solutions likely to be considered during Virginia’s next legislative session, Virginians can feel confident that all of us are working in a bipartisan and responsible way to promote public safety.”
Attorney General Bob McDonnell provided legal advice and research assistance to the Governor during a review of state laws affecting the purchase of firearms by those adjudicated mentally ill. The review was prompted by the April 16th tragedy on the campus of Virginia Tech.
Specifically, Governor Kaine is directing the Virginia State Police to request copies of orders both for involuntary inpatient and involuntary outpatient care from district courts. The Governor is instructing State Police to revise SP-237, the form by which they request such data, to explicitly reflect the addition of outpatient care. Finally, the Governor is directing State Police to include this information in the Central Criminal Records Exchange, the database checked prior to firearms sales, and to share the information with federal law enforcement agencies.
The Executive Order also directs the Virginia Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services to revise DMH 1006, the form by which it petitions for involuntary care, to reflect that both inpatient and outpatient involuntary care are to be reported to the Central Criminal Records Exchange." UPDATE: Bob Lewis story hits the national AP wire.
UPDATE #2- Bill Bolling responds:
"RICHMOND - Earlier today, Governor Tim Kaine announced that he had issued Executive Order 50, instructing all executive branch agencies to immediately begin including the names of individuals found dangerous and ordered to undergo involuntary mental health treatment in the database accessed before the sale of firearms by licensed gun dealers to ineligible individuals. In response to this announcement Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling issued the following statement:
“I applaud the Governor’s decision to close this obvious loophole in current state law by Executive Order. No one who has been determined by a responsible judicial authority to be mentally ill and a threat to themselves or others should be allowed to purchase a gun.
“Unfortunately, the recent tragic shootings at Virginia Tech vividly revealed that Virginia’s current laws in this regard are inadequate and must be revised. By requiring that this information be reported to the appropriate federal authorities, and included in the Central Criminal Records Exchange, we can lessen the chance of this happening again in the future.
“However, the ultimate solution to this problem must come in the form of legislation considered and approved by the General Assembly. I am currently working with the Division of Legislative Services to draft such legislation for consideration during the 2008 legislative session.”
In 2000 the great Delegate from Manasaas, Harry Parrish introduced this bill:
"Possession of firearms by persons voluntarily admitted to a mental institution.
Prohibits persons voluntarily admitted to a public mental health facility pursuant to
§ 37.1-65, or to a private mental health facility, from purchase, possession or
transportation of firearms. Under current law, this prohibition only applies
to persons involuntarily committed to such facilities."
Exactly the legal loophole that the killer at Virginia Tech used. Never again should a member of the legislature be allowed to claim that no one knew about this loophole. Harry Parrish is now deceased but this bill should serve as a reminder of his legacy.
While legislative action can not prevent every nutjob from doing something it can prevent them from doing it the easiest and most obvious way, and that can sometimes be enough to stop them. I really wish the public would stop allowing politicians to "scenario" their way out of every tragedy with "other" ways it could have happened if they had taken action. It's long past time for accountability.
So how did the Parrish bill to prevent all mental institution patients from buying guns do?
The only Democrat left in the General Assembly who cast the deciding vote to kill this bill- Johnny Joannou.
I can deal with his anti-tax votes and his rebel personality. I even like how Johnny takes on the arrogance of the Democratic Caucus. But this vote indicates that his public service is focused on what Johnny wants, not what his constituents in greater Portsmouth support. Someone has to be held accountable for the fact that this bill never became law, and it should be Johnny in the Democratic Primary on June 12th.
I'm very disappointed to say that supporters of Albert Pollard were cheating our first NLS poll of who people thought would win. Without saying how I could tell- I am very disappointed and hope these people are not affiliated with the campaign.
Until I can find a better polling system to stop this cheating there will not be any more NLS polls.
One of the most interesting Senate races this year is in the 28th Senate district currently held by John Chichester.
Conservatives rejoiced when Chichester retired and they recruited local GOP activist John Van Hoy into the race. Van Hoy got heavyweight backing from Bill Bolling and Jim Gilmore.
But locals did not rally behind Van Hoy, in fact I could not find a single current GOP elected official in this district that endorsed him. In Stafford almost all the endorsements went to Jon Myers, a young marine from Stafford. In addition a third Stafford conservative who lost a Board of Supervisors election recently jumped into the race named Joe Graziano.
After conservatives blocked an open primary from taking place on June 12th, the only Democrat with a chance of winning here, former Delegate Albert Pollard got into the race.
Then this week Richard Stuart, a former Commonwealth's Attorney from the Northern Neck announced his candidacy. He was immediately endorsed by Chichester and Speaker Bill Howell. Because of the GOP bent of both Stafford and the Northern Neck (NN) it is widely assumed that any Republican who can keep the NN close will win because Stafford will put them over the top. I think that's a reasonable assumption and why Howell endorsed Stuart as the State Senate is vulnerable to Democratic takeover this year, and this is the last election before redistricting. A Pollard win would lead to a lot more conservative Republicans potentially being ousted during redistricting so Howell is focused on that and not Stuart's credentials.
However Stuart immediately hit potholes, having been a contributer to Pollard when he was the Delegate, and for buying tickets to attend Mark Warner's inaugural ball. One local Republican announced an "investigation" of Stuart and his eligibility for the nomination, but since he works for a consulting company linked to another GOP candidate, I wouldn't take his allegation seriously.
Any GOP nominee has a chance here because of the bent of the district, but this wild battle is getting very personal and leaving an already vulnerable seat in more trouble. I'll have more on the specifics and some of the emails being exchanged among Republicans and CC'd to the press here soon.