How easy could it have been for Seung-Hui Cho to purchase a handgun?
Law enforcement officials tell ABC News they found a receipt for the purchase of a gun from a orthern Virginia gun store in a backpack carried by Cho, the Virginia Tech student who police say opened fire on the campus, killing 32 and the himself.
ABC's Jason Ryan and Jack Date reported:
"Legal resident aliens [like Cho] may purchase firearms in the state of Virginia. They must, however, provide additional identification to prove they are a resident of the state. Otherwise resident aliens are treated the same as citizens with regard to gun purchases."
ABC's Brian Ross reported:
"[Cho Seung-hui] bought his first gun, a 9 mm handgun, on March 13 and his second weapon, a 22 mm handgun, within the last week, law enforcement officials tell ABCNEWS.com."
"This was no spur-of-the-moment crime. He's been thinking about this since at least the time he bought the first gun," said former FBI agent Brad Garrett, an ABC News consultant."
Under Virginia law, state residents can only buy one handgun in any 30-day period, suggesting Cho had bought his second weapon after April 13, or sometime over the weekend.
It is not clear yet whether the gun connected to the receipt was used in the shooting.
However, gun control advocates generally give Virginia poor marks for its gun laws. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence gives Virginia's legislation a C-minus.
Among the deficiencies the campaign cites:
No requirement for gun safety training
No child safety lock requirement.
No background checks for gun shows and other secondary market sales.
No pre-sale ballistic fingerprinting requirement.
A study conducted by The Americans for Gun Safety Foundation of gun sales nationwide in the 1990s said the percentage of guns sold in Virginia that were subsequently used in crimes was among the highest in the nation.
Gun advocates dispute these kind of studies citing among other things, the fact that the guns used in crimes could have been stolen.