Kieckhefer bill would ban gun ownership after involuntary psych evaluation holds

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Anyone held for a psychological evaluation would be barred from purchasing a firearm under a bill introduced Friday by Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno.

Senate Bill 277 has a narrower focus than the bill introduced by Sen. Justin Jones, D-Las Vegas, which would also mandate universal background checks for all transfers of gun ownership. That provision in Senate Bill 221 drew opposition from the National Rifle Association and other gun rights organizations.

Kieckhefer said he worked on his measure with the NRA to narrowly focus on the problem of mentally ill people not being reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which gun sellers access to find out if some one is barred from buying a weapon. Under present law, only those individuals actually committed involuntarily for mental illness are listed. Many more are held briefly because mental health examiners petitioned to have them committed, but then released without actually being committed.

Kieckhefer said his measure doesn’t impact any other rights restricted by an actual commitment order that can hurt a person’s ability to get work and be in certain professions such as public safety.

The bill requires “a record of any petition filed for the involuntary court-ordered admission of the person to a mental health facility,” be reported to the NICS whether or not the person is actually ever committed.

That person would then be barred from buying a firearm but could petition for restoration of that right after three years.

The measure was referred to the Health and Human Services Committee for study.


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