Joe Biden: Virginia Tech Shooting May Have Been Prevented by Conducting a Mental Capacity Check

Vice President Joe Biden gestures during a round table discussion on gun violence at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. The panelists included officials who worked on the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings. Credit: AP

Following a Friday roundtable discussion on gun control in Richmond, Vice President Joe Biden said a mental health check on gun sales could have averted the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting.

The roundtable discussion included experts with the gun control commission that met after the university shooting. Biden said the group had reached a “pretty broad consensus” over what criteria should prevent someone from buying a gun, including “mental capacity.”

“One of the problems that was pointed out here was that there was an adjudication of the young man that committed the crime at Virginia Tech, and yet he was able to go out and purchase two weapons,” Biden said.

ABC News has more details on the shooting:

In April 2007 student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 at the Blacksburg, Va., campus using two handguns. Cho had purchased the weapons legally, but subsequent investigations following the deaths found Cho had a well-documented history of mental health issues. At the time the Virginia Tech shooting was the largest such incident in U.S. history, but was surpassed in 2012 by the theater shooting in Aurora, Colo.

The vice president also said convicted felons and those found guilty of domestic abuse should not be able to own guns.

President Obama last week proposed new gun control measures, including universal background checks and a ban on semi-automatic rifles and high capacity magazines.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Democrats on Thursday reintroduced a ban on “assault weapons.” Under the legislation, more than 150 weapons would be banned, including pistols and shotguns.

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