The NY SAFE Act is designed to remove firearms from those who seek to do harm to themselves or others. This means keeping the minority of individuals with serious mental illness who may be dangerous away from access to firearms. This law should not dissuade any individual from seeking mental health services they need.
Frequently Asked Questions:Mental Health
Q: When does the new reporting requirement under MHL 9.46 become effective?
Q: What does the new MHL 9.46 require be reported?
Q: Who is required to report under MHL 9.46?
Q: Who is potentially a subject of an MHL 9.46 report?
Q: Does the reporting requirement apply to mental health professionals working
in private practice, on general hospital wards, or other locations outside of
Q: Are there exceptions to this reporting requirement?
Q: What if there are several mental health professionals treating a particular individual
– are all of them required to make a report?
Q: What information about the patient should be reported by mental health
Q: Are such reports in compliance with HIPAA?
Q: When should a mental health professional make a report?
Q: What information will a local DCS report to DCJS, and what can DCJS do with such information?
If the patient has a firearms license, State Police will report that information to the local firearms licensing official, who must either suspend or revoke the license. The information may also be used in connection with a determination of firearms license eligibility should the subject of the report apply for a firearms license in the subsequent five years.
Q: How long will DCJS retain the personal information they receive?
Q: Mental health professionals must make reports when, in their professional
judgment, it is believed that the patient is “likely to engage in conduct that could
seriously harm the patient him/herself or others.” What does that mean?
In general, a MHL 9.46 report would originate if the clinician determines the person is likely to engage in conduct that could seriously harm the patient and/or others (which could thus also trigger a MHL 9.45 emergency assessment). It is not, however, necessary to establish that the patient has a gun before making the report.
Q: Can mental health professionals who make a determination to
report or not to report be held liable?
Q: How can I learn more?
9.46 Overview Webcast (Windows Media): http://pointers.audiovideoweb.com/stcasx/va91win1520/NYSafeAct%20Intro.wmv/play.asx
9.46 Overview Powerpoint (in .pdf) for Providers: http://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/safe_act/nysafe.pdf
Legal Guidance Documents: http://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/safe_act/guidance.pdf
How-To for Reporting Website: http://omh.ny.gov/omhweb/safe_act/user_guide.pdf
Please note: This website is informational only and does not constitute legal advice.