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Resource Document on Risk-Based Gun Removal Laws

Approved by the Joint Reference Committee, June 2018

  • 2018

In 2014, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) published a “Resource Document on Access to Firearms by People with Mental Disorders,”1 which addressed the complex relationship between firearms, mental illness, suicide, and violence. The document highlighted the limitations of existing legislative strategies, such as the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), in combating the problems of gun-related suicide and violence in the United States. It noted that registries like NICS can be helpful in some situations, but they are minimally effective in identifying people at acute risk of harm to self or others. In addition, they can unfairly stigmatize individuals with mental illness.

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