SB 221 Mandatory Background Checks for Firearms (Mental Health)

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SB 221 Mandatory Background Checks for firearms (Mental  Health)

 

SB221 Senator Jones’s bill on mental health and gun control will be heard Thursday, March 14th at 3:30PM in Senate Health and Human Services  (Carson Room 2149/Vegas-Grant Sawyer Room 4412E). Please attend to testify if  you can, if not please write your position to one of the addresses below, or all three. Then forward to your contact list.

 

 

Chair: Justin C. Jones Justin.Jones@sen.state.nv.us

Vice  Chair: Debbie Smith Debbie.Smith@sen.state.nv.us

Member:  Tick Segerblom tsegerblom@sen.state.nv.us

Member:  Joseph P. Hardy Joe.Hardy@sen.state.nv.us

Member:  Ben Kieckhefer Ben.Kieckhefer@sen.state.nv.us

 

 

 

Here is a sample letter for your convenience:

 

Address your  correspondence to: Chairman Jones and members of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services

 

Dear Chairman Jones and members of the Senate  Committee on Health and Human Services:

 

We are strongly opposed to  this legislation because it is not a mental health bill but a gun control bill.  We are requesting that this letter be placed in the official record as our  opposition to SB 221 for the following reasons:

 

•       This bill as written will acerbate mental health issues in that people will not  seek mental health treatment, as the consequences of a visit could severely  restrict their freedoms.
•       The only positive mental  health change articulated in this proposal is to require reporting of mental  health adjudications to the central criminal records repository within 5  days.
•       Your proposed bill mandates that if one becomes  hospitalized for a mental health issue, one becomes a prohibited possessor of  firearms without due process of law (court hearing and adjudication). This is an  unreasonable requirement and contrary to the Fifth Amendment to the U.S.  Constitution.
•       Nevada currently provides a voluntary  back ground check service if one wants to sell a firearm to someone who does not  have a concealed firearms permit. This proposal changes it to a mandatory  program with criminal sanctions for failure to comply with a “transfer” of  firearm. This check currently requires a $25.00 service fee which is not  mentioned in the proposal, yet constitutes a tax.
•       All “transfers” of firearms are required, yet transfers are not defined in the law.  It is conceivable that if one allowed a friend to shoot their gun at a shooting  range, for example, that this could be construed as a “transfer.” This  criminalizes all transfers of firearms without a background check including  gifts to family members. This establishes universal background checks in Nevada  and is an unreasonable requirement.
•       This proposal  makes it a misdemeanor to transfer a firearm without a background check and  stipulates that “a person who transfers a firearm to another person in violation  is prohibited from possessing a firearm for two years.” This is a penalty  requirement for a misdemeanor. How is this to be enforced? Will the state seize  the person’s firearms for two years? How is the penalty for this provision  related to mental health? The person being penalized is not a mental health  problem. This is unreasonable and is not related to solving mental health  issues.
•       If a person goes to a psychiatrist or licensed  psychologist and is determined by that visit to have mental illness it is a  Class D felony for that person to have a firearm, police must be notified, and  person cannot have firearms for six months. This violates “due process.” A  person may, however, petition court for relief after the fact. The law doesn’t  specify, but do police seize all their firearms? If they have a concealed  firearm permit is it revoked? This provision is unreasonable and also denies due  process in a court of law.
•       This proposal also changes  the burden on the lawful gun owner who wishes to sell the firearm from “actual  knowledge” to “reasonable cause to believe” that the person being sold to is a  prohibited possessor. This becomes a Class B felony; however, a previous section  requires a mandatory background check and failure to comply is a misdemeanor  penalty. Yet this provision makes it a felony for failure to perform the check “if there is reasonable cause to believe.” This is in conflict and  unreasonable.
•       “Due process” is eliminated, and the  bill is constitutionally flawed for this reason.
We respectfully  request that this bill proposal does not pass.

 

Chair: Justin C. Jones Justin.Jones@sen.state.nv.us
Vice  Chair: Debbie Smith
Debbie.Smith@sen.state.nv.us
Member:  Tick Segerblom
tsegerblom@sen.state.nv.us
Member:  Joseph P. Hardy
Joe.Hardy@sen.state.nv.us
Member:  Ben Kieckhefer
Ben.Kieckhefer@sen.state.nv.us