Some mental health experts worry about gun control proposals

Jan 11, 2013

It was no surprise that Gov. Andrew Cuomo's State of the State address focused on the issue of gun control in New York. Following several tragedies in recent months, Cuomo put forward a list of proposed laws to tighten gun control. But one part of the proposal in particular may prove controversial.

The governor's proposed gun control measures include putting more of the onus on mental health professionals to report high-risk individuals.

That has professor of law at University of Buffalo Charles Ewing worried.

"I'm a lawyer and a psychologist and I think that it's truly misguided to think that this is a mental health problem. This isn't a mental health problem, this is a gun problem."

Ewing says it would be very difficult for mental health professionals to identify potentially dangerous individuals, and the process would severely undermine the privacy and rights of patients.

Ewing is supportive of the other proposed reforms, but believes that amendments that put the responsibility on the mental health system should be strongly opposed.

Other proposals from Cuomo include implementing a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines, a single license standard across the state for background checks, and closing the loophole on private sales.