The way it works is a person is subjected to a 72-hour hold to determine if there is a mental illness. Of that group, about 38 percent are determined to have a mental illness and pose a danger to self or society. The case is then petitioned to a court, where a judge can dismiss the case, continue the hold for more treatment or commit the person to the mental institution.
Only those actually committed to the hospital by the judge are placed on the registry and prohibited from buying firearms.
"These are people who are in the midst of an acute episode of mental illness and the idea that they can walk out the door and purchase a firearm immediately doesn't make sense to me," Kieckhefer said. During fiscal year 2012, no one in Washoe County was committed to the state mental hospital, he added.
Kieckhefer plans to introduce a bill that would place all individuals petitioned to the court on the registry, but full details of the bill weren't available.