Using research evidence to reframe the policy debate around mental illness and guns: process and recommendations

Am J Public Health. 2014 Nov;104(11):e22-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2014.302171. Epub 2014 Sep 11.


Recent mass shootings have prompted a national dialogue around mental illness and gun policy. To advance an evidence-informed policy agenda on this controversial issue, we formed a consortium of national gun violence prevention and mental health experts. The consortium agreed on a guiding principle for future policy recommendations: restricting firearm access on the basis of certain dangerous behaviors is supported by the evidence; restricting access on the basis of mental illness diagnoses is not. We describe the group's process and recommendations.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Firearms / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders* / psychology
  • Policy Making*
  • Public Policy / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Risk Factors
  • United States
  • Violence / prevention & control
  • Violence / psychology