Written by Whitney Wetzel
Last updated on December 17, 2012 @ 7:42PM
Created on December 17, 2012 @ 7:01PM
In light of Connecticut's elementary school shooting, the debate about stricter gun laws is starting to get heated. But instead of tackling whether or not we should alter our second amendment rights. 5 News met one mother who says stronger controls on background checks is the key.
5 News spoke with one mother whose son is schizophrenic and bi-polar. When he was diagnosed, she was told his disorders would be on record, and he would never be able to purchase a firearm. However, he ended up buying one pretty easily.
After Cheryl Baker found out her son did have a gun, she was able to take it away from him and explain why he should not have one. She said thankfully they have a close relationship, and she always keeps a watchful eye on what he's doing, otherwise something bad could've happened.
But Baker said she was upset that a better background check wasn't done to keep her son from buying that gun. She felt disappointed in the system and said tougher laws on that issue could help stop another mass shooting.
Right now, possession of a firearm by the mentally ill is regulated by both state and federal laws. Federal law states that under 18 U.S.C. § 922(d),
it is unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person “has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution.”
Some police officers said for parents who have children, with or without a mental illness, it's important especially for the younger ones to keep guns and ammunition somewhere far out of their reach. Once they begin to get older, parents should start teaching your kids to respect guns, and if they ever see one, not to touch it and go get an adult instead.
Police also said you can look into buying gun locks and trigger guards at any local sporting goods store.
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Dec 21, 2012 at 6:14 AM
No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed, and love of power. – P. J. O'Rourke (1992)
Dec 18, 2012 at 2:07 PM
It is against the law for a person with a mental defect to obtain a firearm. Federal, State and local law would have to have the Doctor or mental health facility report all finding to the proper agency. This would then violate patient confidence laws. We as a Nation need better mental health practices. We need better turn around on doctors appointments and also more family insights into the patient being questioned. Most mentally challenged patients are very smart and intelligent. Most have poor coping skills, but they know the general answers to a lot of the question asked, such as are you a threat to yourself or someone else. Our mental health issues in West Virginia as I am sure else where also is severly lacking. Please start with one comment and keep the public aware of the obsticles a family faces when trying to get help for a child or older family member. 8 weeks is a long time when someone is suffering from a mental problem.