I completely agree with Raisindot with regards to most of the safeguards that should be put in place before you can own a fire arm. However, I think mental health checks are gonna cause a huge problem. I see the NRA wants a national database of people with mental illness in the US.
If the statistics in the US are anything like the UK then "1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some description in any given year" (according to the charity Mind) - that'd be one hell of a big database then! I guess about 78m people - more than the entire UK population - and constantly changing since a lot of mental health problems are not permanent conditions. Not a well thought out idea methinks!
Whether the database idea is completely different to mental health background checks when applying for a gun licence I don't know. Would the police (as well as the NRA) want a simple (but possibly out of date and therefore useless) database to check, or would each mental health check require them to contact each persons doctor directly to check. If its the latter, I can see the need for massive amounts of manpower/money to be able to do such checks. This is not to say it can't be done some how.
I suppose my worry with a single datbase is that many mental health problems are not permanent and many may not even predispose the person to be a danger with a gun. Would everyone who has ever suffered a mental health problem be required to have their name on some Government database. That thought I do find a bit scary.
Is the US Government going to have the will to push these sort of restrictions/checks and even if they succeed will they be willing to fund the massive amount of extra manpower the police are gonna need?