Wyoming is among a handful of states that fails to submit mental health records, routinely, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Should it be down to the owners of gun stores to make a snap decision on a gut feeling. Further to refuse sales if it doesn’t feel right. A criminal background check, from the FBI system, will not flag a mentally ill individual. If they are mentally ill they would have been banned under federal law.
A recent report confirms Wyoming is among 8 states not to routinely put forward mental health statistics to the National Criminal Background Check Federal System. The system is there to notify retailers about potential customers who should not possess a firearm by law. Either due to a felony, mentally incapable or defective and/or some other reason.
Everytown, this week released this week a revised study. The group has confirmed the statistics and number of mental health records that states have submitted to the criminal background check system. Wyoming was confirmed as having, submitted 3 mental health reports. Bearing in mind the Federal criminal background check system has been in existence for twenty years.
Among the top ten states for submissions was Colorado who sent around 51,900 records in the same time it took Wyoming to send 3. Everytown commented that Wyoming’s failings stem from being unable to direct those state agencies to forward mental health records to the Federal database. Further that numerous states have committed to submissions owing to the mass shootings over the last decade.
One case where a shooting could have been avoided should a mental health issue been flagged was the 2007 Virginia Tech tragedy. However there are others asides from the gun control groups that are moving for change. National Shooting Sports Foundation remains a pro gun ownership entity. However for a number of years It has always encouraged states to make available mental health records to the federal database.
Wyoming lawmakers however seem reluctant to considering changes to the state’s law. A bill was sponsored in 2014 which required The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation to deliver a system which would report and collect records to the Federal criminal background check database should an individual be blocked from gun ownership due to mental health issues. The proposal was approved 28-2 by Senate but fell away and didn’t muster another floor vote.
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