How mental health plays a factor in purchasing a gun in MS

How mental health plays a factor in purchasing a gun in MS
The form a buyer must fill out, is kept on record for 20 years. (Image Source: WLOX News)
The form a buyer must fill out, is kept on record for 20 years. (Image Source: WLOX News)

LONG BEACH, MS (WLOX) - As senseless acts of violence involving guns happen all across the U.S., the question often arises of how the suspect obtained the weapon, especially when mental illness is said to play a factor.

Legally buying a gun can be rather simple, and even though everyone is vetted, it's still possible for the wrong person to slip through the cracks.

The owners of High Caliber Pawn in Long Beach have had no problem selling guns lately.

"I guess people are concerned with their safety. A lot of people are starting to gear up with all the crazy stuff happening in the world today," said Stephen Hansen.

According to CNN, the gunman who opened fire in a Lafayette, Louisiana theatre killing two people, legally purchased a gun despite reports of mental illness. The owners of High Caliber Pawn say mental illness is actually addressed on the questionnaire you must fill out when trying to purchase a firearm.

"In our 44-73 it covers that. It talks about being mentally adjudicated and things like that so if somebody does have a previous mental illness issue, it can be weeded out there," said Stephen Hansen.

If that question is not answered honestly, it's out of the gun seller's control.

"We just follow the form 44-73 which addresses mental illness how the FBI deals with that is beyond my pay grade," said Jeff Hansen.

The Hansens say if a person already has a gun permit, that questionnaire is not submitted to the FBI, but they must still fill out the form. Only those without a permit have their information checked through the FBI database.

"Obviously if someone came in here that we didn't think was suitable it's my choice. We don't have to sell them a weapon," said Jeff Hansen.

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