The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Politics

January 26, 2013

Mental health concerns cloud gun control effort in Maryland

(Continued)

As of 2011, Maryland had reported only the roughly 3,000 who had been charged with crimes but deemed incompetent to stand trial or not criminally responsible for their actions. It had not reported 42,000 who had been committed for more than 30 consecutive days. That data is accessible only by the state police when a gun purchase is attempted within Maryland.

Sharfstein said it was unclear how many people the new requirements would restrict from purchasing a firearm but estimated that it would be in the "thousands."

Combined with the other aspects of the governor's plan, such as the strict licensing requirement, O'Malley said he believes that the mental health provisions would go a long way toward preventing another mass shooting.

"We can prevent another Newtown," he said as he announced his gun-control package this month. Referring specifically to his mental health plan, he said, "Never again should we say, 'If only we knew then.' "

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