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The Boston Globe

Nation

Mass. keeps mental health data from FBI gun checks

State law prevents sharing of records on mental health

WASHINGTON — Despite its reputation as a state with strong gun-control laws, Massachusetts for more than a decade has not provided mental health records to an FBI database for gun background checks, the result of a 43-year-old state law prohibiting such sharing.

Massachusetts has submitted just one mental health record to the federal database since 1999 — apparently as a test — at the same time that the FBI has processed 1.6 million background checks of Bay State residents who seek to buy guns from federally licensed dealers. The situation has sparked concerns that firearms could fall into the hands of the mentally ill.

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