Anna Mulrine reports:
US military commanders are increasingly expressing frustration with the National Rifle Association for blocking what they feel are vital measures to keep troops safe.
The controversy revolves around the surge in suicide within the armed forces. The Pentagon is facing an “epidemic,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told lawmakers this week, with some 206 US troops suspected of taking their own lives so far this year.
The problem, say US military commanders, is that a new NRA-backed law prohibits them from engaging in discussions about weapons and safety. “I am not allowed to ask a soldier who lives off-post whether that soldier has a privately-owned weapon,” Chiarelli says. The legislation took effect at the end of 2010.
While commanders are permitted to ask troops who appear to be an imminent danger to themselves or others about private firearms–or to suggest locking them temporarily in a base depot–the law requires that if the soldier denies that he or she is thinking about harming anyone, then the commander cannot pursue the discussion further, he adds.
Read more on Christian Science Monitor.
This reminds me of a bill in Florida that prohibited physicians from inquiring about firearms in the home. That law was struck down by the courts. Maybe this one will face a similar fate or at the very least, be amended?
Unfortunately, the article does not seem to name the specific law it is discussing.