NEW YORK – A report released Thursday by gun-violence prevention group Everytown for Gun Safety found that Rhode Island is among 12 states that have reported fewer than 100 records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System designed to help keep individuals considered dangerously mentally ill from purchasing guns.
The report, based on new FBI data, showed that the number of mental health records in the NICS has tripled in the United States in less than three years. Rhode Island is the only state in the country that has not submitted any mental health records since 2011.
Massachusetts (which submitted one mental health record), New Hampshire (two records) and Vermont (24 records) were also among states that Everytown for Gun Safety said have left “fatal gaps” in the NICS system.
Despite these gaps, however, the organization reoprted that in 2013 there were three times as many records in the system than in 2011, and 65 percent more dangerously mentally ill individuals who tried to buy guns were blocked from purchasing guns compared with two years earlier.
Everytown for Gun Safety updated its online Fatal Gaps heat map to show each state’s progress in reporting mental health records and released a new report, “Closing the Gap”, which documents the steps states have taken to improve record-sharing and ensure that seriously mentally ill individuals — who are federally prohibited from buying firearms — are blocked when they try to purchase a gun.