Illinois sheriffs push lawmakers to focus on mental health, not - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Illinois sheriffs push lawmakers to focus on mental health, not ban assault weapons

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Illinois lawmakers have put guns under the microscope, even proposing a bill to ban assault weapons.

But, Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer said the General Assembly is looking in the wrong direction.

"The people that we should be more concerned about is the so called bad guys. You know the ones that aren't registered to have that weapon," said Fischer.

Fischer said many of those people are mentally ill, but his office is having a hard time getting information they need on such suspects.

 But, the state has slashed mental health funding in recent years.

And, Clinical psychologist Dr. Frank Froman said police are seeing the impact on the streets.

"There's not enough money that anyone wants to put out to be able to deal with people that may be in anything more than a severe crisis these days," said Froman.

 Froman said Fischer and the other Illinois Sheriffs are correct to lobby lawmakers to focus on mental health issues in their quest to reduce gun violence.

"It seems that everyone who ends up doing a mass killing has a mental health issue or in some cases a smoldering mental health issue and in most cases they have never been discovered. The first time they are discovered is when they end up doing something heinous," said Froman.

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