Delaware Governor Jack Markell recently passed House Bill 28, which requires state agencies to provide more information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check
System to determine whether a buyer is eligible to purchase a gun. Before the bill was ratified, the state was not obligated to submit certain information to the database, such as whether a person has a history of mental illness. However, under the new background investigation
measures, facts such as this will be required to be reported in order to help the state comply with a federal law that bans those who have been committed to mental institutions from owning a gun. The bill, which was sponsored by Representative Valerie Longhurst, a Democrat from Bear, was inspired by the Virginia Tech shooting spree carried out by Seung-Hui Cho in April 2007. Cho had a history of depression and was diagnosed with a rare anxiety disorder called selective mutism as a child. In 2005, Virginia's New River Valley Community Services Board recommended that he be hospitalized, The New York Times reported shortly after the massacre. "I'm confident that these measures will cumulatively make a difference in our communities," Markell said in a statement.