Washington, DC—Applauding the Obama Administration’s executive actions related to mental health and firearm access, the executive director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund), Josh Horwitz, issued the following statement welcoming the President’s action directing the Department of Justice to clarify what it means to be committed to a mental health institution and directing the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure patient privacy while providing the background check system with relevant information:
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence commends the administration for taking these important steps to ensure that guns don’t end up in the hands of those at an elevated risk of harm to self or others, and we are proud that today’s first executive action—clarifying what it means to be “committed to a mental institution”—was recommended last month by the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, a team of leading public and mental health experts Policy, which we helped to organize.
The action to ensure patient privacy while also clarifying that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act is not a barrier to the states putting adjudications related to federal mental health disqualifiers into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System will go a long way to increasing public safety.
However, there is still much work ahead to make sure guns are not accessible to people who are at a high risk of violence, and we call, not only on the administration and Congress, but also on state legislatures and governors, to pursue evidence-based policy changes to help stop gun violence.
Last month, the Ed Fund, as a part of a consortium of the nation’s leading researchers, practitioners and advocates in gun violence prevention and mental and public health, released a report, Guns, Public Health and Mental Illness: An Evidence-Based Approach for Federal Policy, detailing evidence-based federal policy recommendations. The Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy released it following their report outlining recommendations for state policy. Both reports can be found online at www.efsgv2018.wpengine.com.
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence was founded in 1978 as a 501(c)(3) affiliate organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The Ed Fund has engaged in a number of successful public education campaigns over the years aimed at reducing gun death and injury.
The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) is the 501(c)(3) sister organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The organization has engaged in a number of successful public education campaigns over the years aimed at reducing gun death and injury. The Ed Fund can be found on Twitter.