SB244 (2014)

Requiring the names of certain persons to be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Index.


Status: SENATE: REPORT FILED (Details)
Length: 939 words.

Revisions of this bill in our system:

 HouseSenate
Public hearing:(unscheduled) 2014-01-14 00:00:00
Executive session:(unscheduled)(unscheduled)
Floor vote:(unscheduled)2014-03-27 00:00:00

SB 244 – AS INTRODUCED

2014 SESSION

14-2665

04/10

SENATE BILL 244

AN ACT requiring the names of certain persons to be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Index.

SPONSORS: Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Rep. Goley, Hills 8

COMMITTEE: Judiciary

ANALYSIS

This bill requires the name of a person who has been adjudicated as not mentally competent to be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for the purpose of conducting a background check to determine eligibility to possess a firearm. The bill also establishes a procedure for such person to have his or her name removed from the NICS Index.

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

14-2665

04/10

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Fourteen

AN ACT requiring the names of certain persons to be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System Index.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Chapter; Reporting Mental Health Information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 159-D the following new chapter:

CHAPTER 159-E

REPORTING MENTAL HEALTH INFORMATION

TO THE NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM

159-E:1 Reporting Information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

I. Pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(4), the superior or circuit court shall submit to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for inclusion in the NICS Index the name and mental health information of any person who:

(a) Has been found not competent to stand trial pursuant to RSA 135:17-a due to mental disease, or developmental or intellectual disability;

(b) Has been found not guilty by reason of insanity, pursuant to RSA 651:8-a;

(c) Has been appointed a guardian pursuant to RSA 464-A; or

(d) Has been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility pursuant to RSA 135-C:34-45, or RSA 171-B.

II. The superior or circuit court shall submit the person’s name and mental health information to the NICS Index no later than 15 days after the date of appointment, conviction, adjudication, or order of involuntary commitment.

III. All information provided to NICS Index pursuant to this section shall be confidential, and shall be used only to determine eligibility to purchase or possess firearms.

159-E:2 Petition For Removal From the NICS Index.

I. A person whose name and mental health information has been submitted to the NICS Index pursuant to RSA 159-E:1 and is thereby prohibited from purchasing a firearm may file a petition in the court that issued the commitment or guardianship order to have his or her name and mental health information removed from the NICS Index after:

(a) Termination of the guardianship; or

(b) The passage of 3 years since the expiration of the commitment order.

II. The petition shall be filed in the court that issued the commitment order or appointment of guardianship. The petition shall include a certified copy of the petitioner’s criminal record and, if applicable, the following: a copy of the discharge summary or order from the facility to which the petitioner had been committed, the name and address of any mental health provider who has been providing treatment to the petitioner since discharge, a signed release of information form allowing mental health providers to disclose reports or similar information and express opinions relevant to the issue of the likelihood that the petitioner will misuse firearms or otherwise act in a manner dangerous to public safety; a signed release of information form allowing the court-appointed guardian to disclose reports or similar information and express opinions relevant to the issue of the likelihood that the petitioner will act in a manner dangerous to public safety.

III. The petitioner shall serve notice of the petition on the local law enforcement agency in the municipality in which he or she lives, the municipality in which he or she was living at the time of the commitment order, and the municipality in which the acts that were the subject of the commitment order occurred. If there is no local law enforcement in the municipality, notice of the petition shall be served with the county sheriff. Within 30 days, the police chief, or county sheriff if applicable, may file with the court a request for notification of the hearing date or a request to appear, or both, and may file with the court and the petitioner a written objection to the petition in lieu of appearing at the hearing.

IV. The petition and all court documents shall be confidential. The hearing shall be in closed court, unless the petitioner requests otherwise, and shall be recorded.

V. At the hearing, the court shall consider evidence concerning all of the following:

(a) The circumstances which would prohibit the person from possessing a firearm;

(b) The petitioner’s mental health and criminal history, if any;

(c) The petitioner’s reputation, developed at a minimum through character witness

statements, testimony, or other character evidence; and

(d) Changes in the petitioner’s condition or circumstances since the commitment or appointment of guardianship relevant to the relief sought.

VI. The court shall grant the relief requested if it finds, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the circumstances regarding the petitioner’s disability and the petitioner’s record and reputation are such that he or she will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety and that the granting of the relief requested would not be contrary to the public interest.

VII. If the circuit court denies the petition, the petitioner may appeal to the superior court. The circuit court’s decision shall be reviewed de novo. If the petition is denied, no further petition shall be brought more frequently than every 3 years thereafter. If the superior court denies the petition, the petitioner may appeal to the supreme court.

VIII. After an order granting restoration of rights pursuant to the provisions of this section has become final, the court shall, as soon as is practicable, but in no case later than 10 business days thereafter, forward a copy of the order to the judicial branch office responsible for making reports to the NICS. The judicial branch office shall, within 15 business days after receipt of the order, remove the petitioner’s name from the NICS Index.

IX. Except in the case of willful misconduct or gross negligence, no judicial branch employee shall be held civilly or criminally liable on the basis of the accuracy, availability, or unavailability of any information reported or required to be reported pursuant to this section.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.