On October 8, 2015, Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) introduced HB 3722, the House version of the Mental Health and Safe Communities Act of 2015 introduced in the Senate by Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) this past August.
The bill was immediately referred to various committees for consideration of such provisions that fall within their respective jurisdictions.
This Act is designed to improve outcomes for people with mental health disorders that come in contact with the criminal justice system through emphasis on treatment programs instead of incarceration. It further requires that significant due process protections must be in place before an individual can be entered into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) as a prohibited person under the Gun Control Act (GCA).
Under this bill, persons who have been deemed mentally incompetent by the VA, for example, would have the right to an administrative or judicial review of their competency and whether or not they pose a danger to themselves or others, before their names would be placed in the NICS registry.
We at Texas and US Law Shield recognize the need to improve our mental health system and applaud the efforts of Sen. Cornyn and Rep. McSally to address this critical issue while also protecting our Second Amendment rights.
To read the text of the bill, click here.