Gun policy and serious mental illness: Priorities for future research and policy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: In response to recent mass shootings, policy makers have proposed multiple policies to prevent persons with serious mental illness from having guns. The political debate about these proposals is often uninformed by research. To address this gap, this review article summarizes the research related to gun restriction policies that focus on serious mental illness. Methods: Gun restriction policies were identified by researching the THOMAS legislative database, state legislative databases, prior review articles, and the news media. PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases were searched for publications between 1970 and 2013 that addressed the relationship between serious mental illness and violence, the effectiveness of gun policies focused on serious mental illness, the potential for such policies to exacerbate negative public attitudes, and the potential for gun restriction policies to deter mental health treatment seeking. Results: Limited research suggests that federal law restricting gun possession by persons with serious mental illness may prevent gun violence from this population. Promotion of policies to prevent persons with serious mental illness from having guns does not seem to exacerbate negative public attitudes toward this group. Little is known about how restricting gun possession among persons with serious mental illness affects suicide risk or mental health treatment seeking. Conclusions: Future studies should examine how gun restriction policies for serious mental illness affect suicide, how such policies are implemented by states, how persons with serious mental illness perceive policies that restrict their possession of guns, and how gun restriction policies influence mental health treatment seeking among persons with serious mental illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)50-58
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatric Services
Volume65
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Fingerprint

Firearms
Mental Health
Databases
Violence
Suicide
Research
Administrative Personnel
PubMed
Publications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

@article{8add058daa9841afbe5fbdb91e48ea65,
title = "Gun policy and serious mental illness: Priorities for future research and policy",
abstract = "Objective: In response to recent mass shootings, policy makers have proposed multiple policies to prevent persons with serious mental illness from having guns. The political debate about these proposals is often uninformed by research. To address this gap, this review article summarizes the research related to gun restriction policies that focus on serious mental illness. Methods: Gun restriction policies were identified by researching the THOMAS legislative database, state legislative databases, prior review articles, and the news media. PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases were searched for publications between 1970 and 2013 that addressed the relationship between serious mental illness and violence, the effectiveness of gun policies focused on serious mental illness, the potential for such policies to exacerbate negative public attitudes, and the potential for gun restriction policies to deter mental health treatment seeking. Results: Limited research suggests that federal law restricting gun possession by persons with serious mental illness may prevent gun violence from this population. Promotion of policies to prevent persons with serious mental illness from having guns does not seem to exacerbate negative public attitudes toward this group. Little is known about how restricting gun possession among persons with serious mental illness affects suicide risk or mental health treatment seeking. Conclusions: Future studies should examine how gun restriction policies for serious mental illness affect suicide, how such policies are implemented by states, how persons with serious mental illness perceive policies that restrict their possession of guns, and how gun restriction policies influence mental health treatment seeking among persons with serious mental illness.",
author = "McGinty, {Emma Beth} and Webster, {Daniel W} and Barry, {Colleen L}",
year = "2014",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1176/appi.ps.201300141",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "65",
pages = "50--58",
journal = "Psychiatric Services",
issn = "1075-2730",
publisher = "American Psychiatric Association",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Gun policy and serious mental illness

T2 - Priorities for future research and policy

AU - McGinty, Emma Beth

AU - Webster, Daniel W

AU - Barry, Colleen L

PY - 2014/1/1

Y1 - 2014/1/1

N2 - Objective: In response to recent mass shootings, policy makers have proposed multiple policies to prevent persons with serious mental illness from having guns. The political debate about these proposals is often uninformed by research. To address this gap, this review article summarizes the research related to gun restriction policies that focus on serious mental illness. Methods: Gun restriction policies were identified by researching the THOMAS legislative database, state legislative databases, prior review articles, and the news media. PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases were searched for publications between 1970 and 2013 that addressed the relationship between serious mental illness and violence, the effectiveness of gun policies focused on serious mental illness, the potential for such policies to exacerbate negative public attitudes, and the potential for gun restriction policies to deter mental health treatment seeking. Results: Limited research suggests that federal law restricting gun possession by persons with serious mental illness may prevent gun violence from this population. Promotion of policies to prevent persons with serious mental illness from having guns does not seem to exacerbate negative public attitudes toward this group. Little is known about how restricting gun possession among persons with serious mental illness affects suicide risk or mental health treatment seeking. Conclusions: Future studies should examine how gun restriction policies for serious mental illness affect suicide, how such policies are implemented by states, how persons with serious mental illness perceive policies that restrict their possession of guns, and how gun restriction policies influence mental health treatment seeking among persons with serious mental illness.

AB - Objective: In response to recent mass shootings, policy makers have proposed multiple policies to prevent persons with serious mental illness from having guns. The political debate about these proposals is often uninformed by research. To address this gap, this review article summarizes the research related to gun restriction policies that focus on serious mental illness. Methods: Gun restriction policies were identified by researching the THOMAS legislative database, state legislative databases, prior review articles, and the news media. PubMed, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases were searched for publications between 1970 and 2013 that addressed the relationship between serious mental illness and violence, the effectiveness of gun policies focused on serious mental illness, the potential for such policies to exacerbate negative public attitudes, and the potential for gun restriction policies to deter mental health treatment seeking. Results: Limited research suggests that federal law restricting gun possession by persons with serious mental illness may prevent gun violence from this population. Promotion of policies to prevent persons with serious mental illness from having guns does not seem to exacerbate negative public attitudes toward this group. Little is known about how restricting gun possession among persons with serious mental illness affects suicide risk or mental health treatment seeking. Conclusions: Future studies should examine how gun restriction policies for serious mental illness affect suicide, how such policies are implemented by states, how persons with serious mental illness perceive policies that restrict their possession of guns, and how gun restriction policies influence mental health treatment seeking among persons with serious mental illness.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84892404651&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84892404651&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1176/appi.ps.201300141

DO - 10.1176/appi.ps.201300141

M3 - Article

C2 - 23852317

AN - SCOPUS:84892404651

VL - 65

SP - 50

EP - 58

JO - Psychiatric Services

JF - Psychiatric Services

SN - 1075-2730

IS - 1

ER -