Bill Closes Loopholes in Current Law By Requiring New Mexico Courts to Report Mental Health Records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System
Currently, New Mexico Has No Law Requiring the State to Report Mental Health Information to the Background Check System
In 2013, New Mexico Had 9th Highest Number of Gun Deaths Per Capita Among States
Retired Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, the Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, applauded the New Mexico Senate Public Affairs Committee’s bipartisan vote today to advance Senate Bill 331, which closes loopholes in New Mexico law by requiring the state’s courts to report relevant mental health records to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
New Mexico currently has no law requiring the state to report mental health information to NICS, the federal background check system. In 2013, it had the 9th highest number of gun deaths per capita among the states.
“Today, Republicans and Democrats came together to strengthen our background checks system, keep guns out of the wrong hands, and make New Mexico’s families safer. We thank Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto, Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, and Committee Chair Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pinto for their leadership in helping move this commonsense, responsible proposal forward.
This legislation recognizes the reality that our background check system is only as good as the records of the dangerous individuals that it contains, and this bill will help ensure that more of those records are in the system and fewer guns fall into the wrong hands,” said Captain Kelly, a Navy combat veteran and former NASA astronaut. “We look forward to seeing this bill passed in a strong, bipartisan vote for common sense and sent to the Governor’s desk.”
OVERVIEW OF THE NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM & REPORTING OF MENTAL HEALTH RECORDS
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was established in 1993 by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Since taking effect, over 196 million background checks have been conducted and NICS has blocked more than 2.4 million gun purchases. States provide the majority of records information to NICS, which contains criminal history, mental health history and other relevant records. While states have made significant gains in submitting mental health records to NICS, tripling these submissions from 2011 to 2014, millions of records remain incomplete or simply do not make their way into NICS .
Founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) is committed to advancing commonsense change that makes communities safer from gun violence.
Connect with Gabby Giffords, Mark Kelly, and ARS:
Instagram: @GabbyGiffords, @ShuttleCDRKelly