Senate Approves Gun Safety Legislation With Stabenow’s Mental Health Program

Washington – Gun safety legislation passed by the US Senate late Thursday would expand eligibility for a mental health program authored by Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan to all states.

The vote was 65-33, with 15 Republican senators voting with Democrats in support of the package, which was hailed as the most significant gun legislation in 30 years. The House of Representatives is expected to consider the legislation on Friday.

Stabenow’s measure, co-authored by Senator Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, reimburses states through Medicaid for mental health and substance abuse treatment provided at federally qualified health clinics that must, among other things, provide 24-hour crisis services.

“We know that more than half of all deaths from firearms are suicide and that people with mental illness are more likely to be victims of violence than commit it,” Stabenow said in a statement after the vote.

“This bill builds on my transformational behavioral health care initiative to provide quality mental health and substance abuse treatment to communities across the country to give people the care they need as part of the health care system.”

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