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Lifesaver: State shooting blanks with gun buyer check

Oklahoman Published: March 21, 2013
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In the past three years, one national gun safety group says, Oklahoma has submitted just three names to a federal database designed to help keep weapons from being sold to mentally incompetent people. Three names. Texas has provided about 200,000.

A bill making its way through the Legislature would result in more names being submitted. House Bill 1240, which is headed to the Senate after getting House approval, would save lives without stepping on Second Amendment rights.

The bill would require county clerks to submit to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System the names of everyone whom a court has found to be a danger to himself or others, lack the mental capacity to manage his own affairs or has been found insane in a criminal case or incompetent to stand trial.

The database, which is used by firearms dealers, also contains the names of others who are banned from buying guns, such as felons.

Under federal and state law, guns can't be sold to the mentally incompetent. HB 1240 would take the onus of tracking and submitting mental health records to NICB off of the state's mental health agency, which is limited by privacy laws, and instead allow court clerks to do it.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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