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Preventing Dangerous Mentally Ill Individuals from Obtaining and Retaining Guns: New York’s SAFE Act

24 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2015 Last revised: 4 Nov 2016

James Jacobs

New York University School of Law

Zoe Fuhr

New York University School of Law

Date Written: October 8, 2015

Abstract

This article closely examines one facet of New York State's 2013 comprehensive gun control law that was passed in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Among other things, the "Safe Act" requires that medical care professionals report to the state the names of patients whom they believe likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others. Those who are reported are disqualified from owning or possessing a firearm for five years. If they have a firearms license, it will be revoked. If they have a firearm, it must be relinquished. The reporting requirement law has been strenuously criticized by mental health and veterans advocates as well as by civil liberties groups. The article assesses the criticisms and the reporting requirement's likelihood of preventing future massacres like Sandy Hook.

Suggested Citation

Jacobs, James and Fuhr, Zoe, Preventing Dangerous Mentally Ill Individuals from Obtaining and Retaining Guns: New York’s SAFE Act (October 8, 2015). Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, Forthcoming; NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 15-42. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2671410

James Jacobs (Contact Author)

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Zoe Fuhr

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

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