What Happens When A Mentally Ill Person Tries To Buy A Gun

Mar 30, 2015 at 3:03 PM ET

Poor mental health and easy access to firearms can be a deadly combination.

Even after the tragedies in Orlando, San Bernardino, and far too many other places, both federal and state laws can be surprisingly permissive when it comes to allowing people with a history of mental illness to purchase a weapon—particularly if the dealer behind the counter is liberal with their interpretation.

Working with Samantha—a young woman who has been undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder and been institutionalized twice with a history of mania, delusions and hallucinations—Vocativ’s video team tested the limits of one gun store.