Georgia Gun Proposal Could Close Legal Loophole

ATLANTA (AP) — A proposal to change Georgia’s gun laws would close one loophole potentially allowing mentally ill people to purchase firearms.

Still, state judges are concerned the proposal could open another gap allowing mentally ill people to carry guns.

Federal law prohibits anyone deemed mentally deficient or committed to receive mental health care from buying or keeping a gun. Federal officials use mental health records complied by states to determine whether sales should be permitted.

However, Georgia only tracks records of people who are involuntary hospitalized. It does not track people forced to get out-patient care. That means a database check might not stop someone who is receiving out-patient care from buying a gun.

The new plan would force courts to report all involuntary treatment orders, regardless of where the treatment happens.

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