This Sunday's New York Times, which tackled the issue of guns and the mentally ill, describes an incident in Middletown last year in which a 55-year-old city man who was a psychiatric patient at Middlesex Hospital referenced the Newtown shooting and threatened to kill a nurse.
In April 2012, Mark Russo of Middletown was off his medication for paranoid schizophrenia, according to the New York Times, threatened to shoot his mother if police seized the 18 rifles and shotguns he kept at her home. Officers did confiscate his firearms, the Times reports, and Russo returned to his home in a Middletown trailer park, where he anticipates getting his guns and knives returned to him this April.
"The Russo case highlights a central, unresolved issue in the debate over balancing public safety and the Second Amendment right to bear arms: just how powerless law enforcement can be when it comes to keeping firearms out of the hands of people who are mentally ill," the Times reports.
When it comes to possessing a handgun legally, Connecticut state law is one of the strictest in the nation.
The following people cannot possess handguns or get the credentials, according to state statutes:
1. discharged from custody in the preceding 20 years after a finding of not guilty of a crime by reason of mental disease or defect;
2. confined by the probate court to a mental hospital in the 12 months before applying for a permit or certificate;
3. convicted of a serious juvenile offense;
4. subject to a firearm seizure order issued after notice and a hearing;
5. prohibited under federal law from possessing or shipping firearms because they were adjudicated as mental defectives or committed to a mental institution
6. under a protective or restraining order
7. convicted of any felony or specified misdemeanors, such as assaults, threatening or riot
What do you think about the rights of those with mild, severe or any sort of mental illness being able to own a gun? Tell us in the comments below.