Medical groups voice doubts over changes to gun background checks

BMJ 2013; 346 doi: (Published 17 June 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f3941
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Some US medical groups are concerned that changes in the rules governing the reporting of patients with mental illness to the national gun background check system may undermine the doctor-patient relationship and unfairly stigmatize patients with mental health problems.

In January, in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 school children and six adults dead, President Barack Obama issued 23 executive orders directing federal agencies to take action to reduce gun violence.

One of the orders called on federal agencies to reduce any legal barriers that may be preventing states from reporting the names of people who are prohibited by law from possessing guns, in particular any barriers …

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