Bobby Jindal proposes mental health-based gun control for Louisiana

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Bobby Jindal
Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana

Last Friday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced plans for his state to enact gun control legislation based not on the gun, but the person wielding the gun, according to the Shreveport Yimes.

Jindal proposes legislation that would allow the state to enter names into the federally administered National Instant Criminal Background Check System or NICS, database based on mental health records.

The NICS was launched by the FBI in 1998 to implement provisions of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. It’s used by Federal Firearms Licensees to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms or explosives. Dealers are required to make this check prior to sale whether it’s made in their store or at a gun show.

“Too often, both in Louisiana and in states across the nation, the mentally ill are slipping through the cracks and getting lost in the system,” Jindal said in a news release obtained by the Times. “In order to protect these individuals and the communities they reside in, it is imperative that we take proactive steps to prevent them from harming either themselves or others.

“As a strong supporter of Constitutional gun rights” Jindal continued in the press release, “I fully believe that we can defend our Second Amendment right to bear arms and defend our children too,” he said. “This proposal is a common-sense way to protect our kids, our families and our loved ones.”

When National Rifle Association president David Keene appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, he told Candy Crowley, the show’s host, that his organization has long-sought such a proposal.

“One of the things that we have pushed for, for a number of years,” Keene told Crowley, “is those who have been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent and potentially dangerous on to the list of those people who were prohibited from buying firearms. That has not been done. That should be done, because most of the people who engage in these sort of things are people who have had real trouble.”

According to the Shreveport Times, although 17 other states provide for reporting mental health eligibility to the NICS, Louisiana does not.

Read more at the Shreveport Times.

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