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Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guns And The Role Of Mental Health Professionals

In this photo made with a fisheye lens, customers line up at the gun counter at Duke's Sport Shop on Tuesday in New Castle, Pa. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

In this photo made with a fisheye lens, customers line up at the gun counter at Duke’s Sport Shop on Tuesday in New Castle, Pa. (Keith Srakocic/AP)

Part of President Barack Obama’s $500 million plan to reduce gun violence calls for improving mental health services and removing barriers in federal law that limit how much information mental health professionals can share about potentially dangerous people.

Under current federal law, it’s illegal to sell a gun to someone with a history of mental illness, but information about mental health isn’t shared in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

A new measure passed yesterday in New York state would require mental health professionals to report any patients deemed likely to hurt themselves or others. The patient would be reported to state officials and be prevented from buying weapons.

Guest:

  • Dr. Steven Dubovsky, chair of the Department of Psychiatry at State University of New York at Buffalo.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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