Psychiatrists and others often suggest that if stricter standards for background checks are required to purchase firearms, it will deter those with mental illness from seeking treatment. However, McGinty has turned up no research supporting that position. “That’s a bit of a surprise,” she told Psychiatric News. But measuring treatment avoidance is difficult, because it is hard to identify people who do not seek care.
“Policies [on gun restrictions] targeting people with mental illness have simply sprung up, but we have little information about them or if they work,” said McGinty. “We need a comprehensive approach that looks at a broad range of risk factors.”
To read more about mental illness and firearms policies, see Psychiatric News here and here.
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