(FOLEY, Ala.) Guns and mental illness simply don't mix. It's a matter of public safety say proponents of a new proposed law in Alabama. It's part of the national debate since recent school shootings.
Closer to home the Sheriff and the Probate Judge in Baldwin County are both pushing for change. Guns and mental illness a national debate with local solutions including entering a person's mental history into a national data base.
"That they have made a threat of violence particularly with a weapon then that needs to be communicated and that person needs to be flagged in the system," said Baldwin County Sheriff Huey Mack Jr.
"I can not imagine why the NRA or any guns right group would oppose what we are talking about," said Probate Judge Tim Russell. Both the Sheriff and the Probate Judge who handles mental commitments in court say a new law banning guns for the mentally ill is about public safety.
"Right now the only way we can do that is if an officer a police officer testifies that the weapon was used in what caused the mental hearing to take place," said Russell.
A new proposed provision would remove all weapons from any household where someone with a mental illness might live healthy people living in the same home would have to give up their guns too until a doctor clears the mentally ill person. Gun proponents may not agree. The Sheriff says it's not a gun control issue it's a safety issue.
"This is one way we can ensure peace and safety is by taking that small percentage of the population who has been diagnosed and then found in a court of jurisdiction to have mental issues and keep weapons away from them. I can't see how anybody would disagree with that, " said Mack.
The draft for this law is on the fast track. The Sheriff wants to see it sponsored during the next legislative session.