The Suffolk County Legislature will vote Tuesday on a measure that would set up a cross-reference system between the county database of pistol license owners and the names and addresses of individuals who are involuntarily transported to the hospital for psychiatric reasons.
A match between the registry and patients taken by law enforcement officials to the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP) at Stony Brook University Hospital would create a red flag meant to alert the appropriate pistol licensing agency to the need for an investigation into potential revocation or suspension.
The bill passed the Legislature's Public Safety Committee on Thursday. Suffolk Legis. Kara Hahn, D-Setauket, who proposed the bill, called it a "simple connect the dots measure."
“This is not a kneejerk reaction to recent mass shootings; this is a logical step," she said in a statement. "We are focusing in on the ones who have been identified as a threat to themselves or others."
The bill was introduced in early February, and since then, Hahn said the SCPD informally adopted some of its provisions internally.
In an interview on Wednesday, Hahn, who has a background as a social worker, said the keyword is "involuntary" transport to the CPEP. She said the police officers who respond to calls involving psychiatric emergencies have training in handling mental health crises.
"I’m very hyper focused on individuals that have been determined to be a threat to themselves and others," Hahn said. "We have an authority over our Police Department and we can make it almost immediately that this red flag gets checked. It’s important that this gets done."