A New York Police Chief’s Proposal for Newtown Inspired Reform

Michael Biasotti, president of the New York State Chiefs of Police, has a modest approach to combating gun violence, which probably deserves nationwide attention.

In a letter to the New York Daily News on Monday, Biasotti offered a two pronged proposal. Of particular interest, is how he would improve the way we as a nation deal with “a readily identifiable subset of the most severely mentally ill who do become more violent.”

The National Sheriff’s Association and The New York State Association of Chiefs of Police call on the mental health system to increase use of Assisted Outpatient Treatment (AOT) for mentally ill people who have a history of violence or incarceration.

AOT allows courts to order seriously mentally ill people who have a history of violence or hospitalizations caused by refusing treatment to stay in treatment as a condition of living in the community.

Biasotti also called for a limitation on the “capacity of assault rifle magazines,” saying it would reduce the number of potential victims, while upholding rights afforded by the second amendment.

Which proposal would be more controversial in Congress, I wonder…

Samuel Knight

Samuel Knight is a freelance journalist living in DC and a former intern at the Washington Monthly.