Wednesday 6 July 2022 07:54 PM John Hinckley Jr says 'mentally ill people should not have access to guns' trends now

Wednesday 6 July 2022 07:54 PM John Hinckley Jr says 'mentally ill people should not have access to guns' trends now
Wednesday 6 July 2022 07:54 PM John Hinckley Jr says 'mentally ill people should not have access to guns' trends now

Wednesday 6 July 2022 07:54 PM John Hinckley Jr says 'mentally ill people should not have access to guns' trends now

The man who was found not guilty by reason of insanity after he attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, and whose bullet struck him in the torso, has said that mentally ill people should not have access to guns. 

John Hinckley Jr., 67, who was freed from all court oversight last month after spending 30 years in a mental hospital, told Nightline on Tuesday that America has 'too many guns'. 

'I certainly don't think the mentally ill should have access to guns, that's kind of obvious,' he told journalist Juju Chang after she asked him about the Brady Law.

The Brady Law went into law in 1994, 13 years after Hinckley's assassination attempt. It mandated federal background checks and waiting periods for firearms purchases, especially for the mentally ill. 

The bill was named after Reagan's then-Press Secretary Jim 'the Bear' Brady, who was struck in the head by one of Hinckley's bullets. 

'Background checks are good, and waiting periods are good. The climate of the country is not good, it's not good to have so many guns,' Hinckley told Nightline.

When Chang told him during the interview that it was 'quite a statement' coming from him, Hinckley replied: 'Well, I hope it is.' 

John Hinckley Jr., 67, said there are 'too many guns in America' and said he thinks 'background checks and waiting periods are good' and that 'the climate of the country is not good, it's not good to have so many guns'. He spent 30 years in a mental hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity at trial. In June, he was freed from all court oversight

John Hinckley Jr., 67, said there are 'too many guns in America' and said he thinks 'background checks and waiting periods are good' and that 'the climate of the country is not good, it's not good to have so many guns'. He spent 30 years in a mental hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity at trial. In June, he was freed from all court oversight

On the day of the attempted assassination in 1981, Reagan happily waved to Americans as he headed toward his car outside the Washington hotel before the attack. A bullet struck the president and left him with severe internal bleeding

On the day of the attempted assassination in 1981, Reagan happily waved to Americans as he headed toward his car outside the Washington hotel before the attack. A bullet struck the president and left him with severe internal bleeding

Then-Press Secretary James Brady (pictured) was shot in the head and later died in 2014. His death was ruled a homicide from a gunshot wound and its consequences. Hinckley was not charged for it

Then-Press Secretary James Brady (pictured) was shot in the head and later died in 2014. His death was ruled a homicide from a gunshot wound and its consequences. Hinckley was not charged for it

A Secret Service agent and a police officer (pictured) were also injured. When Hinckley was asked about the Brady Law - named as the press secretary - he said he doesn't 'think the mentally ill should have access to guns'

A Secret Service agent and a police officer (pictured) were also injured. When Hinckley was asked about the Brady Law - named as the press secretary - he said he doesn't 'think the mentally ill should have access to guns' 

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The 67-year-old told Nightline that he was severely depressed when he decided to assassinate the president and had been estranged from his family. 

'It was in ways like a suicide attempt just saying, this is it. This is the end of my life,' he told Nightline. 

Hinckley was 25 and suffering from acute psychosis when he fired a .22 long rifle bullet that ricocheted off the presidential limousine and struck Reagan in the torso, puncturing a lung and causing serious internal bleeding outside a Washington hotel. 

The assassination attempt also paralyzed Brady, who died in 2014, and whose death was ruled a homicide from a gunshot wound and its consequences - Hinckley was not charged for it. He also wounded a police officer and a Secret Service agent.

Hinckley said he was desperate to impress actress Jodie Foster after seeing her in the 1976 movie Taxi Driver. 

At his trial, a jury found Hinckley not guilty by reason of insanity and he spent more than 30 years at a mental hospital in Washington. He left the hospital in 2016 to be taken care of by his mother and had been placed under heavy restrictions, such as not being able to own a gun and not be able to contact the victim's family or Foster. 

He told Nightline that being criminally insane is 'not incurable', and that he is now on antipsychotic medication and anti-anxiety medication. He also does not fear that he will relapse, saying 'I still take my meds'. 

Hinckly said that he prays for the Brady family nightly and hopes they have a good life, Nightline reported. 

'If I could take it back, I surely would,' he told Nightline.  

Hinckley was 25 and suffering from acute psychosis when he attempted to assassinate Reagan in 1981. 'If I could take it back, I surely would,' he told Nightline on Tuesday

Hinckley was 25 and suffering from acute psychosis when he attempted to assassinate Reagan in 1981. 'If I could take it back, I surely would,' he told Nightline on Tuesday 

Hinckley said he was trying to impress actress Jodie Foster (pictured in 1981) when he attempted to assassinate Reagan

Hinckley said he was trying to impress actress Jodie Foster (pictured in 1981) when he attempted to assassinate Reagan

Now, he's trying to change the public's perspective of him and wants to focus on his music and moving forward in life - despite some of Reagan's close confidants being reluctant to accept his apology. 

Reagan's daughter, Patti Davis, called Hinckley a 'narcissist' in a September op-ed, published in the Washington Post, and said she doesn't 'believe that John Hinckley feels remorse.' 

'I understand struggling for forgiveness, but it's like peering out from between the prison bars,' she wrote. She also said she feared he attempt to contact her once his restrictions were dropped. 

Hinckley insisted he was not the same person as the mentally ill man in 1981 and he has since been taking anti-anxiety and anti-psychotic medications and is in therapy. The would-be assassin told CBS Mornings he has been the 'most scrutinized person in the entire mental health system for 41 years.'

'I just have a great mindset now that I don't have the depression

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