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VT Gun law fallout

I may have spoke too soon. Here’s comes the first wave:

US Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and US Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) said Sunday they will push legislation in the US Congress that would mandate that states improve their system for reporting mental health records of gun purchasers to the federal databases for background checks in the wake of last Monday’s shootings at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute that left 33 people dead. US Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) , chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also said Sunday he will hold hearings to consider the issue of guns following the tragedy at Virginia Tech.

My understanding is that as of now, most states have minimal requirements for getting said info into the NICS and 20 or so states have no requirement at all. Depending on how said legislation is drafted, I may not be a fan. After all, medical records should be private. So we can have abortions. Or something. And, of course, if said reporting includes those not convicted/committed with due process, it’s quite a slippery slope. The LAPD, for example, has been known to assume that because a person is suspected of a crime and is in possession of a gun (though said gun had nothing to do with said crime and was at the suspect’s home) that person must require a psychiatric evaluation. So, said person loses their right to arms without due process. Or, taken to an extreme, a judge can just decide you’re mentally defective, etc.

There’s also the issue that, like a lot of other gun control pipe dreams, that the feds hand down an unfunded mandate and the states tell them to give them money or get bent.

And, honestly, I don’t think anyone wants Carolyn “I don’t know what it is but I want to ban it” McCarthy making laws about something she knows nothing about. The article concludes with:

Overall, members of Congress do not seem particularly keen to amend existing gun control legislation, though there has been some support for streamlining state and federal laws regarding whether and how someone with a history of mental illness can purchase firearms.

Yeah, pretty much.

6 Responses to “VT Gun law fallout”

  1. Snowflakes in Hell » NICS Improvements Says:

    […] to SayUncle, Charles Schumer and Carolyn McCarthy have re-introduced the NICS Improvement bill.  To be honest, I don’t really oppose the idea of improving NICS records, […]

  2. Sebastian Says:

    I think we should get them to throw in a repeal of the Hughes Amendment or other such awful gun control law in exchange for this. I see no reason to give Chucky Schumer and Carolyn McCarthy any free hand to go back and claim to their constituents that they are effective at keeping guns out of the hands of those dangerous red staters. Make them give us something in return.

  3. Metulj Says:

    Medical records: Adjudicated as mentally unstable (or however it is termed) isn’t a medical diagnosis, it’s a legal proceeding and isn’t private. Beyond the up or down nature of the adjudication, medical records, including mental health should be protected. Thin line…

  4. SayUncle Says:

    Thin line

    Ayup. It’s mentally defective, btw. I would assume (and hope) that somewhere there is a standard based on a medical diagnosis.

  5. Earl Harding Says:

    There is also new language in the bill for correcting information that is in error. This is a step forward in many ways.

    Sebastian had it right when he said that gun laws are not going to go away. Overall I see the NICS bill as mostly neutral. The scope for abuse of the mental health issue is there, but states like CA & MA have their own state laws that have already caused institutional abuse of power.

    I see this bill as basically neutral. Mental health is better reported and a better machanism for correcting errors about a person goes in too.

    Let’s see what comes out of committee, just like HR1022.

  6. straightarrow Says:

    BIDS would be a better system.

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