John Hinckley Jr., who will forever be linked to President Ronald Reagan through an assassination attempt at close range in March 1981, offered a stunning comment in a recent interview with ABC News.
"I think there are too many guns in America," said Hinckley, 67, who spoke to ABC's "Nightline" two weeks after being released from federal supervision — stemming from the shooting of President Reagan and three other men.
In the aftermath of his release, Hinckley has been on an "apology tour" of media outlets, taking full responsibility for his actions over 40 years ago and expressing remorse for the grief he brought to the victims' families and the entire country.
"I'm truly sorry. I really am," Hinckley told ABC News. "I'm not sure [the families] can forgive me, and I probably wouldn't even blame them."
And in a recent interview with CBS News, Hinckley admitted that the assassination attempt from 1981 "was planned," before adding that he now believes Reagan was a "nice man and a good president."
All four men initially survived the shooting, which took place March 30, 1981, outside the Washington Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C.
Reagan — who had just taken office two months earlier — was injured when a stray bullet ricocheted off the presidential motorcade and into his side. He was hospitalized for 12 days.
James Brady, Reagan's White House press secretary, suffered brain damage when he was shot in the head and had to use a wheelchair up until his death in 2014.
Police officer Thomas Delahanty developed permanent nerve damage to his left arm.
And Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was the first shooting victim to be discharged.
A year after the attack, Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity in a jury trial and ordered to be confined at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington under psychiatric care.
After leaving the hospital in 2016, Hinckley was placed into the care of his mother, amid heavy restrictions, including a prohibition from owning a gun or contacting any of his victims or their families.
And last September, a federal judge approved Hinckley's unconditional release, which took effect in mid-June.
In the present, Hinckley favors background checks and waiting periods for citizens to legally obtain a gun.
According to reports, Hinckley used a short-barreled .22-caliber revolver — or "Saturday night special" — in the assassination attempt, the same type of gun that had been exempt from the federal Gun Control Act of 1968.
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