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J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2008;36(1):123-30.

National Instant Criminal Background Check Improvement Act: implications for persons with mental illness.

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  • 1Law and Psychiatry Program, Butler Hospital, 345 Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, RI 02906, USA. marilynpricemd@comcast.net

Abstract

The National Instant Criminal Background Check Improvement Act has serious implications for persons with mental illness with regard to the ability to purchase firearms. Federally prohibited persons include those who have been adjudicated as mentally defective, or have been committed to a mental institution, or are unlawful users of or are addicted to a controlled substance. The legislation was intended to expand the reporting practices of states by providing significant financial incentives and disincentives for releasing all relevant records, including those contained within mental health databases, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). As of April 2007, only 22 states were voluntarily submitting records from mental health databases to the NICS. The legislation was introduced following the Virginia Tech tragedy, when public opinion favored tightening control over access to firearms of persons with mental illness.

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PMID:
18354133
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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