BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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FAQ Detail
Why do states have to create relief from disabilities programs for the mental health prohibitor?

Before the enactment of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) Improvement Act, a person's adjudication as a mental defective or commitment to a mental institution was effectively a lifetime prohibition. Concerns were expressed to Congress about the permanence of this prohibitor and the life-long effect it would have on persons whose mental health adjudication or commitment records would be provided to the NICS under the Act's provisions. To address these concerns, the Act included not only provisions to require or promote the sharing of information about this disability for use by the NICS, but also provisions that require or authorize the establishment of federal and state programs that allow individuals to seek relief from the federal mental health firearms disability.

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