White House Proposes New Gun Rules For Mentally Ill

The White House announced two new proposals to keep guns out of the hands of people deemed mentally ill.
Posted at 9:43 PM, Jan 03, 2014

The White House proposed two new regulations Friday in an attempt to strengthen background checks and keep guns out of the hands of people with mental health issues. 

The Department of Justice proposes adding "inpatient" and "outpatient" forcible commitments to mental health records, clarifying who is and isn't prohibited from owning a gun. (Via CNN)

In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services, headed by Kathleen Sebelius, proposes a rule change to allow medical organizations to more easily report limited health information to the federal background check system. (Via The Miami Herald)

The White House said in a statement, "Too many Americans have been severely injured or lost their lives as a result of gun violence. ... In some cases when persons with a mental illness do not receive the treatment they need, the result can be tragedies such as homicide or suicide."

Friday's announcement comes nearly a year after President Obama announced 23 executive actions to ban certain firearms and increase background checks on the heels of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting. (Via ABC)

According to The Wall Street Journal, the administration's efforts sputtered in 2013 when the Senate failed to pass a proposed change to expand background checks. 

The paper reports, "​In the absence of any new legislation, the White House has been limited to taking executive actions to enact more modest changes to background checks and other firearms regulations." 

One New York Times reporter told MSNBC the new proposals don't exactly bode well for the Obama Administration in it's fight to enact gun law changes. 

"They haven't given up, but essentially, the fact that these are regulations shows that they continue to see no hope for legislation." (Via MSNBC)

Politico adds the rules will go into effect after a 60-day comment period, which begins Tuesday, followed by a period in which agencies can review the comments and issue a final rule.