Va gov: Navy Yard shouldn't provoke new gun limits - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Va gov: Navy Yard shouldn't provoke new gun limits

Posted: Updated:
  • Continuing Coverage of the Navy Yard ShootingMore>>

  • Remembrance ceremony marks anniversary of Navy Yard shooting

    Remembrance ceremony marks anniversary of Navy Yard shooting

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:10 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:10:46 GMT
    Survivors and families of those killed in the Washington Navy Yard shootings gathered for a remembrance ceremony Tuesday morning, one year after the shootings that killed 12 victims
    Survivors and families of those killed in the Washington Navy Yard shootings gathered for a remembrance ceremony Tuesday morning, one year after the shootings that killed 12 victims
  • One year later: Family of Navy Yard shooting victim still coping with devastating loss

    One year later: Family of Navy Yard shooting victim still coping with devastating loss

    Monday, September 15 2014 9:51 PM EDT2014-09-16 01:51:04 GMT
    Tuesday will mark one year since the deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Twelve civilian workers were killed by a military contractor at Building 197 on September 16. One of the victims killed in the shooting was Kathy Gaarde. She was a loving wife and a devoted mother, and like 11 other people that day, she simply went to work at the Navy Yard.
    Tuesday will mark one year since the deadly shooting at the Washington Navy Yard. Twelve civilian workers were killed by a military contractor at Building 197 on September 16. One of the victims killed in the shooting was Kathy Gaarde. She was a loving wife and a devoted mother, and like 11 other people that day, she simply went to work at the Navy Yard.
  • US Park Police reveal new details in Navy Yard shooting

    US Park Police reveal new details in Navy Yard shooting

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:57 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:57:05 GMT
    When Aaron Alexis went on his rampage inside Building 197 last September 16th, U.S. Park Police played a vital role in bringing the gunfire to a stop -- saving a woman's life and providing crucial intelligence from the air. A year later, four officers are telling their stories and the incredible way in which they obtained the first description of the gunman.
    When Aaron Alexis went on his rampage inside Building 197 last September 16th, U.S. Park Police played a vital role in bringing the gunfire to a stop -- saving a woman's life and providing crucial intelligence from the air. A year later, four officers are telling their stories and the incredible way in which they obtained the first description of the gunman.
RICHMOND, Va. -

Even though the weapon used to carry out last week's Washington Navy Yard bloodshed was bought in Virginia, Gov. Bob McDonnell says that's no reason to tighten the state's firearms access laws, including requiring longer gun purchase waiting periods.

In his monthly call-in show on Washington's WTOP radio, McDonnell said there will be a full examination of state laws, including mental health evaluation procedures, after Aaron Alexis killed 12 people at the Navy Yard. Alexis was killed by law enforcement.

"I've yet to see any conclusive data that suggests that a waiting period would work. We have an instant background check in Virginia. We are one of the first states to have that some 20 years or so ago," the pro-gun Republican governor said on Tuesday morning's program.

Yet Alexis passed a criminal background check and bought the gun in Virginia despite a history of violent outbursts. It was also revealed that he had told police he was hearing voices and that he was being treated by the Veterans Administration for serious mental problems.

It's not the first time a mentally troubled person with a history of violence has been able to circumvent background check watch lists and legally buy a weapon later used to carry out a mass killing.

Seung-Hui Cho carried out the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at Virginia Tech in April 2007 with handguns he acquired in Virginia.

He bought one online from a Wisconsin dealer and picked it up in February 2007 at a Blacksburg pawn shop, and he bought another in March from a Roanoke gun dealer. Cho had been adjudicated a threat to himself because of his mental illness. That distinction would have stopped his gun purchase under a 1968 federal law had Cho not lied on forms he had to fill out before the purchase that asked if he had ever been found mentally defective.

The next winter, Virginia's General Assembly tightened its mental health reporting requirements. It also prompted Congress in 2007 to pass legislation that required states to submit the records or risk losing up to 5 percent of the federal funding they receive to fight crime.

"We have significant and thorough disqualifications for mental health reasons in the database in Virginia now. All these things, I think, ought to be properly looked at," he said.

Yet it didn't stop Alexis despite his substantial history of mental health issues. He bought the shotgun used in the Sept. 16 attack just two days before the rampage.

McDonnell said Wednesday that it was "simplistic" to say that a waiting period would have stopped the violence.

The discussion, he said, always boils down to a clash between security versus freedom.

"We try not to favor prior restraint, whether it's speech or conduct in America," he said.

Later, a caller who identified herself only as Bridget challenged McDonnell on his contention that the focus should be on greater mental health services, asking how he would make them affordable to low-income people given his opposition to federal health care reforms. McDonnell responded by noting modest increases in Virginia spending for mental health along with transportation and education funding during his term, then quickly segued into a lecture on runaway federal debt now at $17 trillion.

By BOB LEWIS, AP Political Writer


Powered by WorldNow

WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
485 S. Highland St.
Memphis, TN 38111

Main Station: (901) 320-1313
Newsroom: (901) 320-1340

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices