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Gun background checks strengthened by White House
The Obama administration is announcing two new executive actions meant to keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands.
The White House says the actions will allow more information about people diagnosed as mentally ill into the federal background check system.
The two new actions are being proposed by the Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services.
They're meant to clear up what constitutes a mental health problem that might keep someone from legally buying a gun like one of these.
They'd also allow states with different restrictions more freedom in disclosing certain personal medical information basically loosening some privacy laws. To better insure people who've been involuntarily committed to a mental health institution or found to be a danger to themselves and others are reported to the federal background check system.
Walt Tisher, Voter: "The guns are already out in the public's hands."
Voters we spoke with were divided on the issue.
Walt Tisher, Voter: "Any more paper laws won't make the difference."
Ralph Burchfield, Voter: "We've gotta protect society a little bit, you know, and let the politicians deal with it."
The executive actions come less than a month after the one year anniversary of the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School that left 20 children dead.
"The shooter is outside the door. Please hurry, please hurry, please hurry!"
Efforts to pass stricter background checks last year failed to get through congress.
Ron Honberg, National Alliance on Mental Illness: "Feeds right into some negative stereotypes about people."
Although some suspects in recent massacres had a history of mental illness, advocates for the mentally ill have worried the discussion could unfairly stigmatize and discourage those seeking treatment.
Ron Honberg, National Alliance on Mental Illness: "Our concern is that the way this discussion has taken place, mental illness is being equated with violence and that has a very very negative impact on people."
The proposed rules won't go into effect until after a 60-day comment period that begins on Tuesday.