Alabama reports only a tiny fraction of mental health commitments to a national database, reports the Mobile Register. Federal authorities and gun control advocates contend that thousands of potentially unstable mental patients have easy access to guns because Alabama’s reporting law is so narrow. There are 179 people from Alabama listed on the database with involuntary commitments. The state Department of Mental Health says 4,000 people every year get involuntarily committed to mental facilities.
“This isn’t mental health in the abstract,” said Doug Pennington of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “The state of Alabama should not be finding ways to keep people out of the (database) system. The state should be finding ways to put them in.”