Federal law prohibits any person from selling or otherwise transferring a firearm or ammunition to any person who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or involuntarily “committed to any mental institution.”1 No federal law, however, requires states to report the identities of these individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database, which the FBI uses to perform background checks prior to firearm transfers.

Mississippi requires the Clerk of the Court to transmit to the Department of Public Safety identifying information about federally prohibited-persons no later than the 30th day after the court makes a determination. Federally prohibited-persons are defined as:

  • A person who has been judicially determined by a court as mentally ill, whether ordered for inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, day treatment, night treatment or home health services treatment;
  • A person acquitted in a criminal case by reason of insanity or on a ground of intellectual disability, without regard to whether the person is ordered by a court to receive inpatient treatment or residential care;
  • An adult individual for whom a court has appointed a guardian or conservator based on the determination that the person is incapable of managing his own estate due to mental weakness; or
  • A person determined to be incompetent to stand trial by a court.2

The Department of Public Safety must develop rules and procedures to forward the information received from the court about federally prohibited-persons to NICS.3 A person may petition the court for relief from a firearms disability.4

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the Mississippi Background Checks and Mississippi Prohibited Purchasers Generally sections.

See our Mental Health Reporting policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.

Notes
  1. 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(4). ⤴︎
  2. Miss. Code Ann. §§ 9-1-49, 45-9-103. ⤴︎
  3. Miss. Code Ann. § 45-9-103. ⤴︎
  4. Miss. Code Ann. § 97-37-5. ⤴︎