Republicans push audit on guns and mental health

March 13, 2013|By Chris Megerian

SACRAMENTO -- State lawmakers Wednesday morning will discuss a Republican request for an audit of databases on mentally ill residents and gun ownership.

Severe mental health cases are supposed to be reported to law enforcement so disturbed people can be barred from owning guns. However, some GOP lawmakers are concerned that the information may not be relayed consistently. 

When issuing the request for an audit last month, Assemblyman Allan Mansoor (R-Costa Mesa) said in a statement that, "we need to be able to come together and ensure that those who are dangerous mentally ill individuals are not able to obtain or possess a firearm and potentially hurt themselves or others."

Concerns about mental health and gun ownership jumped in 2007 after the Virginia Tech shooting. The killer had been deemed a danger to himself by a judge, but he was still able to clear two background checks to buy guns.

The December shooting in Newton, Conn., has renewed the conversation. Previous reviews have found that some states don't submit records to a federal database, meaning the mentally ill can still get their hands on firearms.

The Republican lawmakers want an audit to determine whether that's also a problem in California. 

“It is troubling to think that dangerous mentally ill individuals who are prohibited from possessing a firearm may be able to obtain a gun because government officials are not doing their job as required by law,” said a statement from Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian (R-San Luis Obispo).


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