Will gun laws hurt the mentally ill?

When Governor Andrew Cuomo put his name to the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (Safe) Act, just a month after the mass shooting at Newtown, Connecticut, he told supporters that the bill’s mental health provisions lay at the core of the legislation.
The act includes, among its various controls on gun ownership, something called a “mental health alert”, which requires mental health professionals to report patients who they believe pose a threat to themselves or others.
“People who are mentally ill should not have access to guns,” Gov Cuomo said. “That’s common sense.”
Hard to argue with that. Mental illness has clearly been at the centre of some of the country’s most notorious mass shootings. But could the new law have an unintended consequence: making it harder for the mentally ill to seek help?
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