Last Friday, Governor Nikki Haley (R) signed an important mental health reform, House Bill 3560, into law. This new law takes effect on August 1, 2013.
HB 3560 creates 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). Individuals affected by the reporting requirements of the law are already prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms under federal law, and H 3560 does not expand or create new categories of prohibited persons. This law now brings South Carolina into compliance with the standards set forth in the federal NICS Improvement Amendments Act (NIAA) of 2007. In addition to this 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, allows a court to grant relief from the federal prohibition and restoration of gun rights 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 herefor an NIAA fact sheet.
The NRA thanks Governor Haley for signing H 3560 into law, the state legislators who voted for it and NRA members who contacted their state lawmakers in support of this needed reform.