Obama Gun Rules Free Doctors to Report Mentally Ill

Health care providers can now report patients to FBI without repercussions
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2016 6:56 AM CST
Updated Jan 5, 2016 7:00 AM CST
Group Affected by Obama's Gun Rules: Mentally Ill
   (Lynn Hey/News & Record via AP)

President Obama is announcing tighter gun rules Tuesday via executive action, with expanded background checks part of the initiative. Here's a look at related coverage:

  • One new rule makes it easier for doctors and other authorities to report mentally ill people to the FBI's background check system. The shift makes clear that those who do won't run afoul of privacy laws. What gets passed along: Only a person's name, and the entity that made the ruling, reports the Hill. What doesn't, per the rule: "Underlying diagnoses, treatment records, and other identifiable health information."

  • The rules will not require that every single gun sale be subject to a federal background check, reports USA Today. But they will tighten up some areas regarding private sales. For example, those who sell guns over the Internet must now conduct checks "if they are 'engaged in the business' of selling guns, not just a hobbyist."
  • The FBI is hiring some 230 more people to run background checks, making for a 50% increase in such staffing, notes Vox.
  • All this talk of new rules, along with the San Bernardino attack, combined to make December one of the biggest months for gun sales in the last two decades. The New York Times has the graphics and stats.
  • On a similar note, the stocks of gun makers are surging, notes Politico.
(More President Obama stories.)

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