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Gun Task Force continues to collect information

November 8, 2013

PROVIDENCE— The Joint Behavioral Health and Firearms Safety Task Force met last night to once again discuss ways to try and prevent people with mental illnesses from purchasing firearms in the wake of numerous nation-wide shootings.

The focus of the meeting was to inform the committee about the mental health law in Rhode Island and what portions of it must be changed by the task force if they were to create new legislation.

Craig Stenning, Director for the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, explained that the mental health law in Rhode Island was created in 1975.

He explained that the law explains three ways a person can be admitted to a facility: voluntarily, through emergency certification or through a civil court certification.

Under a voluntary admission, he explained, a person can sign themselves into a facility up to 30 days and can leave whenever they wish. The only time a facility can keep a voluntary admission patient is if it files a petition with the civil court.

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