New proposal focuses on mental health for gun owners - KCTV5

New proposal focuses on mental health for gun owners

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It could become harder for you, or someone you know to buy a gun because President Barack Obama wants to make background checks tougher for gun buyers.

After Congress failed to pass legislation tightening background checks on gun sales, Obama is once again pushing the issue. This time his focus is on mental health.

Gun owners firing off a few rounds at the range inside Olathe-based OMB Guns say they are not the criminally insane menaces background checks are supposed to block from getting weapons.

"I don't have a problem with background checks at all. We should know the person is safe and should be able to carry a gun," said Brandon Verhulst.

The Obama Administration agrees and this month the president moved one step closer to tightening background checks with two key measures. One would flag potential gun buyers who were committed to mental institutions. The other is calling attention to those considered dangerous because of a mental defect.

"The Obama Administration is trying to issue some executive actions or regulations that would clarify exactly who fits into those categories and make the system work better," said Allen Rustrun, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

But Brian Holmes with OMB Guns isn't sold on the new strategy gun control supporters believe would curb mass shootings.

"It's very heavily legislated, and I don't see where any more bans or restrictions put by the government are going to keep that from happening," he said.

Son gun rights supporters, like Holmes, worry the new executive orders would violate privacy laws, but legal experts say federal statutes already require states to disclose that information anyway.

That's likely to come under review as the orders are looked over.

So far there has been little push back on the approach from Second Amendment groups and the National Rifle Association. There's no word yet on when the measures will be introduced.

This isn't the first time Obama used executive actions relating to guns. Last year he issued 25 executive orders to tighten rules for gun ownership.

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