Bill outlines way for once mentally ill people to own guns in Utah

Published: Wednesday, March 6 2013 12:20 p.m. MST

People who the courts have barred from possessing a gun due to mental illness would have an avenue to get that restriction lifted under a bill the Utah Legislature is considering.

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SALT LAKE CITY — The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would provide an avenue for people whom the courts have deemed mentally ill to be removed from a federal list that prohibits them from having a gun.

SB80 outlines a process for people who were once found incompetent to stand trial or were civilly committed to an institution to petition the state court to be removed from the National Instant Check System database. It establishes requirements a person must meet before filing the petition, including undergoing a mental health evaluation.

Petitioners also would have to disclose to the court previous and current mental health treatment and medications, as well as any past violent behavior.

The Senate approved the bill, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, 23-4. It now moves to the House.

Dennis Romboy, Twitter: dennisromboy

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