Low enforcement of gun-related mental health laws; a major issue for Nevada lawmaker

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January 29, 2013

Nevada

By Zac Humphrey

CARSON CITY, Nevada: State Senator Ben Kieckhefer (R) highlighted the "shockingly low" amount of involuntarily committed mental health patients who are being added to federal databases that would prohibit their ability to purchase firearms in a recent statement. He went on to say that federal and state laws already in effect need to be properly enforced to help prevent these individuals from being able to purchase guns.[1]

Kieckhefer explained that he is working with court officials, mental health professionals, and law enforcement officers to draft new legislation to be proposed in the upcoming 2013 session of the Nevada State Legislature. This bill would allow psychiatrists to prohibit patients who pose a danger to themselves or others, in addition to those who are involuntarily committed from being able to purchase firearms. He cited that in 2011, 178 of 1,619 individuals committeed to the state public mental health hospital by psychiatrists were added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This database is used to determine whether someone can legally purchase a firearm. In 2012, 237 of 1,953 patients committed to the state hospital were added to the database.[1]

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