A mentally ill man who shot three people at a music festival in the Pacific Northwest last week had obtained his weapon with a valid concealed weapon permit. A bullet from his Glock 19 handgun hit three victims last Saturday while Grainger was fighting another man. The bullet passed through a man's nose, another's wrist, finally ending up in a woman's leg.
22-year-old Clinton C. Grainger suffers from anxiety and schizophrenia and has been receiving treatment for a meth addiction since he was 18. Grainger's issues did show up as disqualifying conditions when he applied for a gun permit in January 2007. A mental illness diagnosis alone is not enough to restrict a citizen's right to bear arms under Washington state and US federal law.
To find out what federal law is regarding mental illness and gun permits, read more.
Federal law requires that an individual be involuntarily committed to a mental institution, found not guilty by insanity, or deemed by a judge as a "mental defective" and a danger to himself or others, before second amendment rights are restricted. Nevertheless, it appears that if background checks were more sophisticated, at least Grainger's narcotic addiction would have prevented him from obtaining the permit. Yet, as with the shooting tragedy at Virginia Tech, crucial disqualifying information located in different systems were not properly shared.
Are nominal and negligent background checks to blame for victims' injuries? Should we make it harder for those with a mental health diagnosis to obtain a gun? Considering that many Americans are treated for anxiety and depression, what mental illness should cause a citizen to lose the right to bear arms?