A number of mass shootings have been committed by people known to have struggled with mental illness which has renewed calls to address mental illness in a more comprehensive manner.
Federal legislation restricting access to guns for the mentally ill was firs enacted in 1968.
Would it help?: A number of mental health advocacy groups came out in support of the president's announcement.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness released a statement applauding the initiatives put forth from Vice President Joe Biden's task force, calling it the chance to fix the broken health care system, "an opportunity that comes only once in a generation."
The group also supported that the president "correctly noted" that many of the mentally ill were not violent.
NAMI expressed its hope that the attention could help fill gaps in the mental health system.
FBI statistics showed about 1 percent of applicants who failed a background check were turned down for reasons related to mental health.