New Gun Bill Passed

Today the House passed what could become the first new major federal gun control law in over a decade.

The bill would improve how states report mental health and criminal records to the national database used to screen gun buyers.

"There's a place on the form for a background check. That asks if you've ever been in a mental institution or if you're mentally defective. Of course if somebody answers it no, we don't know. I mean, we're not psychiatrists," Lufkin gun shop owner Bill Pate told us.

The change comes after the Virginia Tech shooter was able to buy two handguns despite having previous mental health problems.

Some lawmakers believe if Virginia state officials would have checked the shooter's record more carefully, the killings could have been prevented.

"They can go to jail for lying on the form. That's why if the NICS background check included the mentally ill , well then they would catch it and end it right there," Pate said.

East Texas gun shop owners think the bill is a good idea, but they know it won't stop guns from sometimes falling into the wrong hands.

"He could've still bought a gun off the street and done the same thing. He actually just did it legally as far as legally goes. But he could've bought the gun anywhere and done the same thing," pate told us.

The bill now moves on to the U.S. Senate.