This is a blog for the Mental Health Policy Class at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work.

January 13, 2008

Bush signs new gun bill

President Bush signed legislation on Tuesday aimed at preventing the severely mentally ill from buying guns, in a rare bipartisan agreement with the Democratic-led Congress after the bloody Virginia Tech shooting.
The bill authorizes up to $1.3 billion in grant money for states to improve their ability to track and report individuals who shouldn't qualify to buy a gun legally, including those involuntarily confined by a mental institution. Much of the money, to be spent over five years, would be used to increase state feeds to a national system used to run background checks on gun purchases.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been a psychologist for 30 years , No one thinks privacy is more important than me. Assurances of medical confidentiality are safe enough with these processes. Unless your diagnosis includes symptoms of paranoia , privacy shouldn't be a concern for anyone ,the background check will come back yes or no as it does now without saying why .
For half of the last 30 years I have also been an elected municipal official ,wearing either hat this is long overdue and very necessary ,anyone who believes otherwise just hasn't been in the field working with real severely ill patients.
As a city official I was able to become very involved with the National League of Cities (NLC) organization eventually being appointed to the policy committee which deals with this issue . After 7or 8 years I was able to convience the NLC to add the implementation of the mental illness part of the Brady bill to the NLC national policy platform in Dec. 2006.
That of course helped but didn't do much untel the VT incident. Our nation , sadly ,has almost always been reactive instead of proactive on almost any policy issue you could think of. Tom