Wheeler, ISP Seek Action to Halt Mental Health Reporting Failure Linked to Gun Violence

State Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) and the Illinois State Police (ISP) are taking action to work with the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) to address a reporting issue linked to mental health problems and gun violence. A recent review of required reporting suggests a number of hospitals are failing to report mental health admissions to keep guns away potentially dangerous individuals.

A growing body of evidence has demonstrated the link between certain mental health problems and violence, gun related or otherwise. This is why Illinois law requires hospitals to report mental health admissions to ensure that people at risk of harming themselves or others will not have access to firearms.

“Today is the anniversary of the tragic Sandy Hook school shooting, a troubling reminder of the clear link between mental health problems and gun violence,” said Wheeler. “Even though we have specific rules in place to help keep firearms out of the hands of someone suffering from a potentially dangerous mental health problem, if those rules aren’t being followed, it means nothing. One life lost because of a failure to report a mental health problem is one too many, which is why we are working with the State Police and seeking a thorough review of hospitals reporting mental health admissions to DHS.”

Currently, the Illinois FOID Card Act requires hospitals to report mental health admissions to DHS, who in turn provide the information to the State Police. Whether a voluntary or involuntary admission, a person is prohibited from obtaining a FOID card to purchase a firearm, or may have their FOID card revoked for a period of time. Current information from DHS suggestions some hospitals are failing to report admissions, and there is currently little recourse in the law to compel compliance with the reporting requirement.

To address the problem, the State Police and DHS have been asked to put together a comprehensive review of the failure to report so legislation can be enacted to address the issue and ensure mental health admissions are properly reported.

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