Houser never involuntarily committed or blocked from buying gun
ATLANTA - Monday night, it became clear why Lafayette movie theater shooter John Houser was able to buy the gun used to kill two people and wound nine others: he was never involuntarily committed to a mental institution, thus making him eligible to purchase a firearm.
Yahoo! posted through a news wire service, no order was given. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said it never received such an order for John Houser.
Houser purchased the gun used in the deadly mass shooting last week from a pawn shop in Alabama last year. Immediately after the shooting, there was confusion about how he was able to buy the weapon, since Houser has a record of problems.
Houser's family obtained a protective order against him in 2008. The family's lawyer said Houser was committed involuntarily to a hospital for mental health treatment by Carroll County Probate Judge Betty Cason. But, Cason clarified that Monday in an interview with the Associated Press.
Cason said her 2008 order only authorized deputies to detain Houser, against his will if necessary, and take him for a mental health evaluation near his home in another county.
Involuntary commitments obligate authorities to inform state and federal databases meant to keep firearms from people with serious mental illnesses.
In Louisiana, Senators Neil Riser and Francis Thompson successfully passed a law requiring the state to participate. To date, the Louisiana Supreme Court said it has reported 1,707 cases since the law was passed.
"We are pleased Louisiana now has a law on the books requiring courts to submit these records and would encourage other states to pass strong mental health reporting laws like ours. The law allows for courts to retroactively report mental health adjudications and we are in the process of verifying with the courts and agencies that they are properly complying with the law," Governor Bobby Jindal's office said in a statement.
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