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Mental health workers question NY gun laws - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Mental health workers question NY gun laws

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Mental health professionals are questioning parts of New York's tough new gun laws.

Tuesday, New York became the first state to enact new laws in the wake of the Connecticut school massacre. Now, New York will require mental health professionals to report patients to police if they threaten themselves or others.

Dr. Sandra Steinguard, the medical director of the HowardCenter in Burlington, says providers already have tools to handle situations like that and this new law will only increase the stigma of mental illness.

"In terms of taking this sub-group of the population that really is only at slightly increased risk of violent behavior and targeting them, why didn't the governor target people who get drunk? That is a pretty significant risk factor to dangerousness," Steinguard said.

Steinguard is also worried patients in New York will not seek treatment because they are worried doctors will not honor their confidentiality.

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