Mental health records accessible in firearm purchases

Senators passed a bill April 20 that makes mental health records accessible when conducting background checks for firearm purchases.

LB512, introduced by Imperial Sen. Mark Christensen, removes a maximum five-year retention requirement for mental health records at the state Department of Health and Human Services. Records include whether a person is disqualified from purchasing or possessing a handgun and will be made available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The Nebraska State Patrol can access the system when determining a person’s eligibility to own a gun.

The bill enables a person who has been barred from buying or possessing a gun for mental health reasons to resubmit an application if he or she no longer suffers from the disqualifying condition.

Additionally, the bill allows valid handgun permits issued by previous states of new state residents to be recognized in Nebraska.

The bill passed on a 43-0 vote.

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