A state task force is calling for a change in Rhode Island law, saying the state should contribute mental health records to a national background check database called NICS. The firearms safety task force says Rhode Island should provide records only in limited cases in which a person is involuntarily committed by the courts and poses a significant risk of violence.
Records would not be submitted for people determined to pose only a low risk of violence. And the task force says the state should avoid providing any specific information about a patient's diagnosis.
The panel was convened in the days following the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. that killed 20 elementary school students and six teachers. Members of the panel say it's clear Rhode Island should do more to keep guns out of the hands of people with severe mental illness.