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Comment & Response
July 3, 2013

Mental Illness and Gun Control—Reply

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA. 2013;310(1):98-99. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.7354

In Reply The Maryland Task Force to Study Access of Individuals with Mental Illness to Regulated Firearms1 began its painstaking work long before the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. I did not mean to imply that the Task Force’s report was a hasty reaction to that particular event.

I do think the group’s work was crisis driven and thus bore opportunity and risk. The 2012 legislation that established the Task Force had been previously introduced early in 2011, with a policy note referring to “Recent fatal shootings … by persons with histories of mental instability … who were able to legally purchase and possess firearms.”2 At the time, the nation’s media were consumed with the story of a psychotic young man named Jared Loughner.