In the wake of the deadly Lafayette, Louisiana, movie-theater shooting spree, Gov. Bobby Jindal — a National Rifle Association favorite who is seeking the Republican nomination for president — is calling for tougher gun laws.
On CBS' "Face the Nation"
on Sunday, Jindal said states should look to Louisiana as a beacon when it comes to ensuring that people with a history of mental illness and/or criminal records are reported to the appropriate authorities.
"In Louisiana, we toughened our laws a couple of years ago," Jindal said, according to The New York Times.
"If he had been involuntarily committed here, if he had tried to buy that gun here, he wouldn’t have been allowed to do that.
"Look, every time this happens, it seems like the person has a history of mental illness. We need to make sure the systems we have in place actually work."
John Russell Houser, a 59-year-old drifter with a history of mental illness — he was involuntarily committed in Georgia in 2008 after his family reported he was threatening them and making "ominous statements," according to The Associated Press
— opened fire during a showing of the movie "Trainwreck" on Thursday night, killing two people and injuring nine others before killing himself.
In the 2008 incident, Houser’s family told a judge that Houser had a history of bipolar disorder.
"His wife removed his guns and together, the family persuaded a judge to issue a protective order keeping him away once he left the hospital," the AP reported.
"At that point, court officials should have reported Houser's involuntary mental commitment to the Georgia database that feeds the FBI's background check system, which provides for a delay of up to three days when records suggest a buyer may be ineligible."
Yet, Houser legally purchased a Hi-Point .40-caliber handgun in a Phenix City, Alabama, pawnshop last year despite having been denied a concealed weapons permit in 2006 because he had been charged with domestic violence and soliciting arson, according to the Times.
There are "lingering questions" about gaps in the federal database used to perform background checks on gun buyers, The Washington Post
It’s "unclear" if Georgia gave notification of Houser’s involuntary hospitalization, according to MSNBC
, something that would have been sent to the FBI database, which is reviewed by each state during a background check.
Jindal, who has an A+ rating with the NRA, said that "every state should strengthen their laws."
"Every state should make sure this information is being reported in the background system," he said. "We need to make sure that background system is working. Absolutely, in this instance, this man never should have been able to buy a gun."
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