NRA Teams up With Beau Biden on Delaware’s Mental Illness Reporting Bill

By Melanie Arter | May 10, 2013 | 4:18pm EDT

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden (AP Photo)

( – Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday that the National Rifle Association and doctors in Delaware have teamed up to change the state’s law on how it deals with the mentally ill and gun background checks.

“We wanted to change the law in the state of Delaware and got the doctors together to now impose upon the doctors an affirmative and mandatory duty to report when someone leaves their office if they believe someone’s at risk to themselves or a risk to others – a mandatory duty to report that to law enforcement, law enforcement to have an affirmative duty to investigate it,” Biden said.

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Once law enforcement investigates the claim, they go to the attorney general’s office if necessary, which files a court petition that says “that person should be on a prohibitive persons list and separated from their weapons.”

“And the NRA supports this? Are they working with you on this?” host Joe Scarborough asked.

“The NRA not only supported it, they testified on its behalf yesterday in a committee in our general assembly,” Biden said.

“So the NRA actually decided they’d work with a Biden?” Scarborough asked.

“Well, yes they did,” Biden said. “My pop as you know for over the course of 20 years has had a dialogue with those folks, and this is an important measure. I think it’s—in fact, they called it – the NRA – a model for how we address these mental issues as it relates to making sure we have gun safety.”

Biden called the measure “consistent with the Second Amendment” and with “common sense public policy.”

“So this is consistent with the Constitution, HIPAA, and everything in between,” he said, adding that doctors have embraced the measure. “They don’t want to have the exposure of letting someone leave their office who everyone knows” is a danger to the community.

“So the doctors actually at the end of the day asked for this, worked with us hand in glove,” Biden added. “They stood with me at the press conference to announce it.”

As it stands now, the only people on the list created by the 1968 Gun Control Act are those are adjudicated mentally ill, Biden said, and “very few people” have been classified as such.

“It’s a very small bandwidth of people. So this goes and deals with the very people that we know are behind most if not all of the mass shootings over the last 20 years,” Biden said.

“These are going to be with people that are actually under the care of mental health professionals, so we will find out about it from people that are treating them already,” he said.

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