Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Mental Health Privacy and Guns

According to a story in the New York Times, Congress is, unsurprisingly, looking at revising mental health privacy laws in the wake of the Virginia Tech shooting.

New York Times(By Michael Luo)

"Momentum is building in Congress behind a measure that would push states to report their mental health records to the federal database used to conduct background checks on gun buyers.

But a thicket of obstacles, most notably state privacy laws, have thwarted repeated efforts to improve the reporting of such records in the past and are likely to complicate this latest effort, even after the worst mass shooting in United States history at Virginia Tech last month.

Federal law prohibits anyone who has been adjudicated as a “mental defective,” as well as anyone involuntarily committed to a mental institution, from buying a firearm. But only 22 states now submit any mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, against which all would-be gun purchasers must be checked. "



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