SENATE, No. 2492

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 28, 2013

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  BARBARA BUONO

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires submission of certain mental health records to National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning submission of certain mental health records to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System and amending P.L.1965, c.59.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 11 of P.L.1965, c.59 (C.30:4-24.3) is amended to read as follows:

     11.  All certificates, applications, records, and reports made pursuant to the provisions of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes and directly or indirectly identifying any individual presently or formerly receiving services in a noncorrectional institution under Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, or for whom services in a noncorrectional institution shall be sought under this act shall be kept confidential and shall not be disclosed by any person, except insofar as:

     a.     the individual identified or his legal guardian, if any, or, if he is a minor, his parent or legal guardian, shall consent; or

     b.    disclosure may be necessary to carry out any of the provisions of this act or of article 9 of chapter 82 of Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes; or

     c.     a court may direct, upon its determination that disclosure is necessary for the conduct of proceedings before it and that failure to make such disclosure would be contrary to the public interest; or

     d.    disclosure may be necessary to conduct an investigation into the financial ability to pay of any person receiving services or his chargeable relatives pursuant to the provisions of R.S.30:1-12.

     [e.   disclosure is needed to comply with the data reporting provisions of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007, Pub. L. 110-180, and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, Pub. L. 103-159.]

     Nothing in this section shall preclude disclosure, upon proper inquiry, of information as to a patient's current medical condition to any relative or friend or to the patient's personal physician or attorney if it appears that the information is to be used directly or indirectly for the benefit of the patient.

     Nothing in this section shall preclude the professional staff of a community agency under contract with the Division of Mental Health Services in the Department of Human Services, or of a screening service, short-term care or psychiatric facility as those facilities are defined in section 2 of P.L.1987, c.116 (C.30:4-27.2) from disclosing information that is relevant to a patient's current treatment to the staff of another such agency.

     All certificates, applications, records, and reports made pursuant to the provisions of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes and directly or indirectly identifying any individual presently or formerly receiving services in a noncorrectional institution under Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, or for whom services in a noncorrectional institution shall be sought under this act shall be disclosed to National Instant Criminal Background Check System in compliance with the data reporting provisions of the NICS Improvement Amendements Act of 2007, Pub.L. 110-180, and the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, Pub. L. 103-159.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.183, s.4)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill requires the State to submit certain mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

     The United States Department of Justice established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) for federally licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks on prospective gun purchasers.  The NICS attains or accesses records from state police, local police and other agencies to determine if the prospective gun purchaser is prohibited from owning a firearm.  The NICS relies on states to submit this information.  As a result, if the states do not submit the information, the NICS database will have incomplete or inaccurate records, thereby allowing some individuals to purchase guns who should be prohibited. 

     This State has begun the process of implementing an electronic system to submit mental health records to NICS, however submission of these records is not mandatory under current State law.  The provisions of this bill would make the submission mandatory.