New Fed Gun Law Inspired by Virginia Tech Massacre
Congress makes it harder for mentally ill to buy guns
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2007 3:15 AM CST
Members of the Virginia Tech Marching Band embrace after a dedication ceremony for the memorial of the victims of April 16,2007 shooting on the drillfield at the school in Blacksburg, Va., Sunday, Aug....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – New gun control legislation designed to keep weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill was passed by the Senate yesterday. The rare event of congressional action on gun control—and even rarer bipartisan agreement—was triggered by the Virginia Tech massacre last April. The bill, which strengthens background checks, passed the House in June.

The legislation provides financial incentives for states to put mental health and criminal records into the federal  database used for background checks on gun buyers. "Nothing can bring back the lives tragically lost at Virginia Tech, but the bill we pass today may help prevent similar tragedies in the future," said one lawmaker.