It has been accepted by the British Medical Association that doctors should inform police, if they fear a gun owner could cause a serious threat and that his mental illness could put himself or the public, at risk.
The information pertaining to gun ownership will now be placed on medical records. The change has brought in the guidelines after Derrick Bird killed 12 people on a shooting spree in Cumbria.
According to the critics, the NHS's slack security could lead to gun owners falling into the hands of criminals who want to get hold of firearms. The move was first requested by the Association of Chief Police Officers, soon after Christopher Foster shot his wife and daughter and after that he set fire to his Shropshire house in August 2008.
But the doctors have criticized the change mentioning that they could be blamed if a patient indulged in crime. Though, their opinion was changed after the Cumbria massacre.
BMA stressed that it is not the job of doctors to keep a watch over their patients.
BMA said, “Such a system can be appropriate, provided it is used as part of the ordinary care given to a patient. It should not, however, imply that the GP practice has taken on particular obligations to monitor or oversee the mental health of individuals holding firearms licenses”.
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