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Reagan gunman's extended visit plea

Lawyers for the man who shot US president Ronald Reagan in 1981 are to ask a judge to let him spend more time away from a mental hospital with the aim of eventually allowing him to live outside the facility full-time.

John Hinckley, who was found by a jury to be insane when he shot and wounded Mr Reagan, has for years been able to spend days at his mother's home in Virginia.

On Thursday, a judge in Washington will begin hearing arguments that Hinckley should be allowed additional visits of 17 and 24 days.

A court document says Washington's St Elizabeth's Hospital also wants the ability to decide if he should live away from the facility full-time.

Government lawyers oppose the plan, calling it "premature and ill-conceived".

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