Anti-gunners are attempting to impose “universal background checks” on all private transfers of firearms in a newly introduced mental health bill. Senate Bill 221, introduced by state Senator Justin Jones (D-9), would require that a background check be conducted by the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History or by a federal firearms dealer for every private transfer of a firearm to a person who does not possess a valid concealed weapons permit (CCW). SB 221 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee this Thursday, March 14 at 3:30 p.m. in room 2149 of the Legislative Building in Carson City, located at 401 South Carson Street. It will also be video-conferenced to room 4412E of the Grant Sawyer State Office Building, located at 555 East Washington Avenue in Las Vegas.
An individual who fails to comply with the new background check transfer requirements would be prohibited from possessing a firearm for a period of two years after being found guilty of a gross misdemeanor. Not only would mandating background checks on all private firearm transfers create a huge burden for law-abiding citizens, it paves the way for universal firearms registration. Also, it does not affect criminals or criminal misuse of firearms since criminals do not undergo background checks.
Moreover, the NRA believes strongly in the need for common sense reforms to fix America’s broken mental health system, without infringing on our constitutional rights - SB 221 is a terribly misguided effort. Under this bill, licensed psychologists and psychiatrists would have the power to decide who could and who could not exercise their Second Amendment rights.
SB 221 requires that a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist “immediately” report any determination that a person is likely to harm himself or others because of a mental illness; under this bill, such information is not considered privileged. There is no requirement of due care; the reporting clinician would have complete immunity for making the report. Even more concerning is that the individual does not necessarily have to be under the reporting psychiatrist’s or psychologist’s care. As of the date that the report is made to law enforcement, the reported person becomes prohibited for six months from possessing or having in their control any firearm, under the penalty of committing a felony. Also, the reporting clinician is not required to notify the individual of their report; rather, law enforcement is to notify them via certified mail, with no set timeline. This means that an individual could be committing a felony and have zero knowledge of it if SB 221 were enacted into law.
Your action is needed NOW. Please contact members the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in opposition to SB 221, using their contact information provided here. Also, please attend this committee hearing at either the Carson City or Las Vegas location this Thursday, and testify in opposition to this extremely flawed bill.
Please contact your state Senator TODAY to oppose SB 221. You can find your state Senator’s contact information here. You can also submit your opinion on Nevada legislation by clicking here, and selecting the appropriate bill number.