Okla. psychologists concerned about new NY gun law
Lawmakers are looking at New York when it comes to preventing mass shootings.
The state passed stricter gun laws Tuesday, regulating the number of bullets and banning some assault weapons.
One provision in their law takes on mental health and that’s concerning to some local health professionals.
Guns usually aren’t on Psychologist Stewart Beasley’s mind when patients are telling him troubles and thoughts, until now.
In Oklahoma, it’s up to doctors to decide if they need to alert police to the threat.
In New York, psychologists are now required to report threats, aiming to prevent shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary.
Police could take patients’ gun permits or guns if needed, posing problems for therapists.
“If they feel as if willy nilly you’re going to release information to the police, their gong to be very reluctant to talk about things,” Dr. Beasley said.
While some say steps need to be taken in the mental health arena to keep violent attacks from happening in our schools and in our communities, others say more laws infringe on rights.
“I don’t like people having guns taken from them, but at the same token someone who has a mentality, ‘I’m going to go shoot 18 people,’ doesn’t need to have a gun,” Dwight Butler said.
Regardless, Dr. Beasley said focusing on mental illness alone won’t prevent gun violence.
“In many cases it’s not a matter of mental illness. It’s a matter of long-term developmental issues that come out in the form of impulsive behavior,” Dr. Beasley said.
While legislatures battle out who gets to the guns, he hopes it opens discussion to improve treatment for mental health.
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