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Senate Passes Bill to Prevent Mentally Ill from Acquiring Guns

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey; March 21, 2013:

NASHVILLE – Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R-Blountville) today praised the passage of a bill designed to prevent those with mental illness from obtaining firearms. The bill’s chief Senate sponsor is Senator Ferrell Haile (R-Gallatin).

“Mass violence of any sort is a tragic occurrence. But the worst tragedy results when the state overreacts to a mass shooting by restricting the Second Amendment rights of the law-abiding,” said Lt. Governor Ramsey. “This bill focuses not on inanimate objects but on the very real issue of mental health.”

“I have always believed that a well-armed society is polite society,” Ramsey continued. “By focusing on the mentally ill, we will focus on those who should not have weapons while leaving the law-abiding gun owner free to exercise his God-given constitutional right.”

Senate Bill 789 requires increased frequency of reporting by mental health professionals to authorities when a person has been involuntarily committed, ruled mentally defective or threatened serious bodily harm to others. Information reported is kept confidential and used only for the purpose of processing a background check for the purchase of firearms.

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