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Common Sense Gun Safety – Jones, Mosquera, Sumter, Downey & Barclay Bill to Prevent Gun Violence among Individuals with Mental Disorders Clears Assembly Panel

Mental Illness, Access to Firearms Major Risk Factors for Suicide

  • arrange for the patient to be admitted voluntarily to a psychiatric unit of a general hospital, a short-term care facility, a special psychiatric hospital or a psychiatric facility;
  • initiate procedures for involuntary commitment to treatment of the patient to an outpatient treatment provider, a short-term care facility, a special psychiatric hospital or a psychiatric facility;
  • advise a local law enforcement authority of the patient’s threat and the identity of the intended victim;
  • warn the intended victim or, if the intend victim is a minor, his or her parent or guardian; or
  • if the patient is a minor and threatens to commit suicide or bodily injury upon himself, warn his or her parent or guardian.
  • Under the bill, a licensed practitioner of psychology, psychiatry, medicine, nursing, clinical social work or marriage and family therapy also would be required to notify the chief of police of the municipality in which the patient resides that a duty to warn and protect has been incurred and provide the police chief with that patient’s name and other non-clinical identifying information. The chief then would use the information to determine whether the patient is authorized to possess a firearm. As current state law prohibits those who have been confined for a mental disorder and those for whom authorization would not be in the interest of the public health, safety or welfare from receiving authorization to possess a firearm, under the bill, any identification card or permit the patient was issued would then be void and subject to revocation by the Superior Court, and the court may order the patient to surrender his or her firearms to the county prosecutor.

    If a patient submits to the Superior Court a certificate of a medical doctor or psychiatrist licensed in New Jersey or other satisfactory proof that he or she is no longer suffering from a medical disorder that would interfere with the safe handling of firearms, the patient’s firearms purchaser identification cards or other permit or license then may be reinstated.