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NY Senator Set to Introduce Gun Bill in Wake of Arizona Shootings

Monday, January 17, 2011

In the wake of the shootings in Arizona, a New York senator plans to introduce a bill Monday that would keep guns out of the hands of people suffering from mental illness.

Sen. Eric Adams of Brooklyn, a retired NYPD Captain, said his bill would require law enforcement agencies to conduct a mental hygiene check whenever a permit is renewed.

Adams said only applicants for new gun permits are reviewed to determine if they have a history of mental illness. 

"If you're taken to the hospital because you're a violent EDP (emotionally disturbed person), you're not arrested, and there's no check that's carried out to see if you're a handgun holder," he said. "These people slip through the cracks."

Adams spoke immediately after a candlelight vigil Sunday at Brooklyn's Grand Army Plaza, held in honor of the Arizona shooting victims. Also standing with him in the frigid weather was Council Member Letitia James.

The bill, he said, would be introduced Monday, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He's hoping legislators across the country will embrace similar measures.

"There are many individuals who carry guns, use it for the wrong reason, and guns [are] attractive to people who do have some mental issues," he said.

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