Newtown Commission Final Report Backs Mental Health, Gun Measures


A Connecticut commission named in response to the 2012 Newtown school massacre says in its final report that schools must work with community mental health providers to increase the array of services to troubled children, and to get treatment to the children sooner, the Hartford Courant reports. The panel called for more guidance counselors, social workers, psychologists, and other health professionals, and says they should be available after school and on Saturdays as well. The commission said Connecticut should develop programs that help the entire state recover from mass tragedies, both in the immediate aftermath and over the long haul. The effort would involve counselors and focus on ensuring that the communities bearing the heaviest impact receive consistent, sustained help.

In the gun control arena, the commission supports establishing a statewide “suitability screening process” for people seeking gun permits. Up to this point, there has been tension over suitability standards between local police chiefs, who issue permits, and the state Firearms Review Board, which reviews denials and in many cases overturns them. The commission expressed support for the proposals of a national group, the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy. The measures include prohibiting individuals from purchasing or possessing firearms after a short-term involuntary hospitalization, if they have been convicted of a violent misdemeanor, are the subject of a temporary domestic violence restraining order or have been convicted of drunken driving two or more times in five years.

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