After Newtown, Tackling Mental Health And Gun Violence
In the year since the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., Massachusetts lawmakers have pushed for a number of gun regulations meant to keep guns out of the hands of violent people.
Among the proposals, some lawmakers are pushing for the state to submit certain mental health records to a federal background check database. Another would require anyone applying for a gun license to sign a waiver disclosing their mental health providers over the previous 20 years.
But mental health advocates worry the proposals are too broad and wrongly stigmatize mental illness. A special task force appointed by House Speaker Robert DeLeo is holding its final meeting this Friday, and will likely make its recommendations in the next month.
David Linsky, state Representative (D-Natick) and lead sponsor of legislation tightening the state’s gun laws. Among the changes, the bill would require people applying for a firearms license in Massachusetts disclose all of their mental health providers over the last 20 years.
Bill Fisher, professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at The University of Massachusetts Lowell and Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
Tim O’Leary, deputy director of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health.
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