Law & psychiatry: Gun laws and mental illness: how sensible are the current restrictions?

Journal Article (Journal Article)

This column describes federal and state laws to restrict access to firearms among people with mental illness. The contribution to public safety of these laws is likely to be small because only 3%-5% of violent acts are attributable to serious mental illness, and most do not involve guns. The categories of persons with mental illnesses targeted by the laws may not be at higher risk of violence than other subgroups in this population. The laws may deter people from seeking treatment for fear of losing the right to possess firearms and may reinforce stereotypes of persons with mental illnesses as dangerous.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Appelbaum, PS; Swanson, JW

Published Date

  • July 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 61 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 652 - 654

PubMed ID

  • 20591996

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1557-9700

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1176/ps.2010.61.7.652


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States