News > Press Releases
Jan 12, 2013
BATON ROUGE – Governor Bobby Jindal announced today that he will seek legislation to improve gun safety in Louisiana by enabling the state to report an individual’s eligibility to purchase firearms based on mental health records to the federally administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database.
“Too often, both in Louisiana and in states across the nation, the mentally ill are slipping through the cracks and getting lost in the system,” said Governor Jindal. “In order to protect these individuals and the communities they reside in, it is imperative that we take proactive steps to prevent them from harming either themselves or others.”
Currently, the federal government operates the NICS database to prevent potential gun buyers with a criminal history or severe mental health illness from purchasing firearms.
Seventeen states already have laws that require courts to report mental health eligibility to the NICS, including AL, CT, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, NV, NY, ND, OR, TX, VA and WI.
In Louisiana, current state statute prohibits reporting mental health eligibility to the NICS database. Under Governor Jindal’s proposal, Louisiana will be authorized to provide mental health eligibility to the NICS database.
No actual medical records will be shared, and the state will have the authority to request the removal of an individual from NICS should that person be deemed mentally competent by health care professionals.
“As a strong supporter of Constitutional gun rights, I fully believe that we can defend our Second Amendment right to bear arms and defend our children too,” said Governor Jindal. “This proposal is a common-sense way to protect our kids, our families and our loved ones.”
To enhance gun safety and mental health reporting standards in Louisiana, Governor Jindal’s proposal will: