Publication Date: 
Monday, June 6, 2016
Publication Title: 
Health Affairs

This article examines gun-related suicide and violent crime rates in people with serious mental illnesses, and whether legal restrictions on firearm sales to people with a history of mental health adjudication effectively prevent gun violence.

The study finds that 62 percent of violent gun crime arrests and 28 percent of gun suicides involved individuals who were not legally permitted to have a gun at that time.

The study examined nearly 82,000 adults diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depressive disorder who were receiving services in the public behavioral health systems Miami-Dade and Pinellas counties, Florida.

The researchers suggest that prohibiting gun possession for people involuntarily detained in short-term holds, at least temporarily, is a feasible policy reform that does not unduly infringe on Second Amendment rights—and it could save lives.

Also view: Short-Term Emergency Commitment Laws Map