On March 30, 1981, John W. Hinckley Jr. tried to assassinate former President Ronald Reagan in Washington D.C. Hinckley was immediately apprehended and put into jail, while Reagan was rushed to the hospital.
Reagan was shot one time in the lungs, while three other White House officials were also wounded, according to the HISTORY website. Reagan walked into the George Washington Hospital, as the wound was not severe at first.
Reagan went into a two-hour surgery and came out in stable condition. Two of the three White House officials recovered, while the third, James Brady, suffered from permanent brain damaged and later died.
The incident involving Brady sparked a movement to pass the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, also known as the Brady Bill, according to the HISTORY website.
The Brady Bill was put into effect on November 30, 1993 and requires sellers of firearms to do background checks on the buyers, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica website.
After previously being arrested for weapon charges in Tennessee, Hinckley was arrested for the assassination attempt, according to the HISTORY website. However, in 1982, the court found the Ardmore, Oklahoma native not guilty by reason of insanity.
Hinckley was diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder and claims he attempted the assassination for actress Jodie Foster, according to a New York Times article published in April 5, 1981. Clippings of the article can be found in the Texas Tech Southwest Collection.
“The letters to Miss Foster describe his fanaticized relationship with her and his need as reported in his final letter to effect, ‘this historical deed’ to kill the President,” according to the NYT article.
Hinckley was placed in the Saint Elizabeth’s psychiatric hospital in Washington D.C., according to the HISTORY website. He was released from the hospital on July 27, 2016.