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Panel on mentally ill gun access releases report

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 2, 2013 at 3:42 pm •  Published: January 2, 2013

If the judge determines the firearms should remain confiscated, the person's name would be included on a registry of people prohibited from possessing, buying or attempting to purchase a firearm. Otherwise, the firearms would be immediately returned.

The task force also is recommending action be taken to prevent a person from buying firearms if a substantiated threat is found in the case of someone who does not have immediate access to them. A law enforcement officer would have to send a written statement to the appropriate court and the Maryland State Police Firearms Enforcement Section. A judge also would have to review that statement within 14 days.

The recommendations noted that state law does not currently require reporting of threats to law enforcement. The task force is recommending that mandated reporting should apply to psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians and social workers. The report also said it should apply to addiction treatment counselors, educators, case managers and probation agents.

The panel also is recommending that law enforcement officers should receive greater training about how to recognize and interact with individuals with mental illness and encouraged local jurisdictions to create crisis intervention teams to prepare for emergencies related to mentally ill individuals.