Catholic Bishops Weigh in on State Gun Control Law and Mentally Ill

New York Catholic leaders, who lead the state’s extensive Catholic social serices infrastructure, have weighed in on how the state’s new NY SAFE Act, which attempts to curb gun control, will influence mental health professionals.

According to Albany’s Times New Union,

The previous standard required mental health providers to report an individual who posed an “imminent threat” to himself or others. The NY SAFE Act, however, requires reporting if a patient “is likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.”

That determination could lead local officials to confiscate firearms owned by the person whose mental status is questioned, as well as to suspend a pistol permit until he or she is given a clean bill of health.

“Providers fear that this lower standard will discourage individuals from getting the help they need, out of fear of being reported,” reads the policy proposal sheet released by the state Catholic Conference. “Without mental health services, a mentally ill person with violent tendencies may not get the medication or therapy he or she needs that would prevent such incidents in the first place.

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