PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A task force looking at Rhode Island's use of mental health records in firearm background checks is looking at how other states strike a balance between medical privacy and public safety.

Rhode Island does not provide all of its mental health records to the national database used for background checks.

Following mass shootings like the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., a state task force is studying whether Rhode Island should take steps to prevent those with significant mental illnesses from legally acquiring firearms.

But members of the task force say they don't want to go too far, or discourage those struggling with depression, post-traumatic stress or other common mental illnesses from seeking help.

The task force met Thursday. It is expected to report its findings to lawmakers in January.

Shutterstock/Stephen B. Goodwin