President Obama’s new executive action on gun control relaxes measures intended to keep medical and mental health records private, according to multiple reports.
Obama’s action would allow doctors to give the names of patients they consider mentally unstable to the FBI, according to Politico.
Federal law already prohibits Americans who have been committed to a mental institution, declared insane or mentally incompetent from owning firearms.
But under HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, some doctors are often hesitant to disclose such information. And only two-thirds of US states require mandatory reporting of mental health records, according to The Hill.
The White House fact sheet on the executive action states, the new law would “remove unnecessary legal barriers preventing states from reporting relevant information about people prohibited from possessing a gun for specific mental health reasons.”