Kentucky lawmakers OK bill on guns, mentally ill

The Lexington Herald-LeaderFebruary 10, 2011 

FRANKFORT, Ky. — A House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would add some mentally ill Kentuckians to a national list of people who can't buy guns.

The House Judiciary Committee also approved bills to reduce incarceration for juvenile offenders and create a venue for citizens to allege fraud on behalf of the state. All the bills now go to the full House.

On the gun bill, the committee without debate approved House Bill 308, which would require Kentucky to notify the FBI when a court commits people to a mental institution or otherwise finds them mentally incompetent. The FBI would add the names of those people to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, used by federally licensed gun dealers to screen their customers.

Federal law prohibits the sale of guns to anyone "adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution." However, Kentucky is one of many states that does not notify the FBI when its courts make such decisions, said Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, the bill's sponsor.

"The problem is that there's really not a good reporting process for actions taken by the courts," Damron told the committee.

To read the complete article, visit www.kentucky.com.

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