Medical Groups Oppose Obama On Mental Health Data, Gun Background Checks


An Obama administration proposal to speed the flow of mental-health records into the national gun background-check database is being opposed by medical groups and state authorities, threatening another element of the flagging effort to strengthen federal gun controls after the Newtown shootings, the Wall Street Journal reports. The debate involves a plan by the Department of Health and Human Services to amend a federal privacy rule. The amendment would expressly allow state mental-health authorities to transmit records of anyone who has been declared mentally unfit by a court or other authority to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, maintained by the FBI. The National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors told HHS last week that the proposal would only serve “to exacerbate the stigma faced by people with mental illnesses and could potentially have a significant chilling effect” on their resolve to seek help. The American Psychiatric Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Psychological Association expressed similar reservations in separate letters.

Comments are closed.