Legislators in Colorado are considering a measure that would create a task force to look at whether gun restrictions should be instituted for people with substance abuse problems or mental illness.
The task force would “advise the general assembly regarding issues surrounding the loss, maintenance, and restoration of the right to purchase and possess firearms by persons who, as a result of mental health issues, alcohol abuse, or substance abuse, are clearly dangerous to the health and safety of themselves or others,” the bill states. The bill’s sponsor, Beth McCann, said she introduced it in the wake of the Aurora movie theater massacre. The suspect had been seeing a psychiatrist before the shooting, the Associated Press reports.
The measure passed one Colorado House committee, and now moves to another committee. If approved by that body, it would move to the full House. Opponents are concerned a task force would stigmatize people with mental health issues, and discourage them from seeking treatment.
The bill states the task force would be bipartisan, and would include mental health professionals, legislators and gun experts. It would issue a report by January 2015.