Proposed gun control plan means changes for mental health patients


President Obama’s gun control plan is making changes to more than just background checks.   A big part of his plan is a major change with mental health records.

Doctor Hassan Jafary is the Psychiatrist at Beckley Psychiatric Services. He has been researching President Obama’s proposal since the announcement. He says that he supports the second amendment, but realizes that new gun control actions may need to be taken. 

“It’s the second amendment, people have a right, but certain people who have mental illness or have a criminal background, they will always have some issue with it, and we have many examples in the past,” says Jafary. 

He says many examples of problems with gun ownership have come from people with substance abuse issues. A problem that often stems from mental illness. Under the proposed $500-million legislation, people with those issues would have better access to treatment. 

While Dr. Jafary says that this legislation could be good, he also says that it won’t come without it’s side effects, saying, “If you have the law that you have to have a mental background check, then the people will hesitate to get the mental health help because they’re going to say if I go to the doctors, he’s going to give my information to- my information will be in the hands of the FBI and they will never give me a gun so I can’t go for hunting or other problems.”

Ronnie Wood, president of Flat Top Arms, says despite the current background checks that people under-go before buying a gun, something more needs to be done. Wood says, “there has to be a place that it gets reported and recorded and then that made available in a reasonable amount of time.”

According to the White House website, a rule is being finalized to remove barriers such as HIPAA  that prevent states from reporting specific mental health issues to stop someone from buying a gun. 

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