The South Carolina Senate is poised to take up House Bill 3560, a mental health reform bill, any day now. H 3560 would create a requirement that individuals who have been placed under certain types of mental health-related orders by a court have their commitment order reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). Such individuals are already prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms under federal law, and H 3560 does not expand or create new categories of prohibited persons.
Passage of H 3560 is necessary to bring South Carolina into compliance with the standards set forth in the federal NICS Improvement Amendments Act (NIAA) of 2007. In addition to the reporting requirement, the NIAA established clear standards for states to use in crafting laws to give persons subject to these prohibitions a means of relief. H 3560, under the guidelines established by the NIAA, would allow a court to grant relief from the federal prohibition upon a finding that the petitioner will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety, and that the granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest. Please click here for an NIAA fact sheet.
Please contact your state Senator IMMEDIATELY, and urge her or him to support an immediate vote on H 3560, and oppose any efforts to amend the bill. Any attempts to amend this legislation could derail its passage, or create problems that would leave it no longer in compliance with the standards set forth in the NIAA.