New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers

Document Type



Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy, forthcoming


This article closely examines one facet of New York State's 2013 comprehensive gun control law that was passed in response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Among other things, the "Safe Act" requires that medical care professionals report to the state the names of patients whom they believe likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others. Those who are reported are disqualified from owning or possessing a firearm for five years. If they have a firearms license, it will be revoked. If they have a firearm, it must be relinquished. The reporting requirement law has been strenuously criticized by mental health and veterans advocates as well as by civil liberties groups. The article assesses the criticisms and the reporting requirement's likelihood of preventing future massacres like Sandy Hook.

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