Kelly: Gun checks need mental health component - New York News

Kelly: Gun checks need mental health component

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Gun control activist Mark Kelly says a proposed national gun background bill under discussion in the Senate should include better access to mental health records that could prevent psychologically disturbed people from obtaining guns.

Kelly, a former astronaut and husband of former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, said Sunday that the suspect accused of severely wounding his wife could not have bought the guns he wielded if a background check had exposed his mental problems.

"Any bill that does not include a universal background check is a mistake.  It's the most common-sense thing that we can do to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from having access to weapons," said Kelly.

Arizona Senator Jeff Flake is one who does not agree, saying the background checks go too far.

Jared Loughner pleaded guilty to shooting Giffords and killing six people in Tucson in January 2011. Case records released last week showed Loughner passed a background check despite evidence of his agitated mental state.

Kelly pressed for the proposed background check law in an interview on FOX News Sunday.

Related story: Records provide new look at Ariz. shooting spree

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.

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