Bill requiring mental health records submission to NICS advances

TRENTON – Legislation that would make it mandatory for the state to submit mental health records to a federal registry cleared an Assembly committee dealing Wednesday with gun violence.

A3717, which would require the state to submit certain mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, cleared the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee along party lines.

The NICS is for federally licensed gun dealers to conduct background checks on prospective gun purchasers.

Proponents of the legislation, including Bryan Miller of Heeding God’s Call, called the legislation a “common sense” approach to tackling gun violence in the state.

Opponents argued lawmakers were taking their eyes off the main goal, which is to strike a balance between ensuring residents’ safety while respecting Second Amendment rights.

“It’s about our ability to protect ourselves from all of you,” said Frank Fiamingo, president of the Jersey Second Amendment Society.  “You are missing the point. The point is the protection of the people,” he said, holding copies of the U.S. Constitution. 

Bill requiring mental health records submission to NICS advances