Posted on Thursday, January 29th, 2015
See our Mental Health Reporting policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue.
Federal law prohibits possession of a firearm or ammunition by 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.
There is no law in New Hampshire requiring the reporting of mental health information to NICS. New Hampshire law allows for the release of confidential patient information when provided for “by the need to protect the welfare of the individual or the public interest.”2 However, as of October 2011, New Hampshire had submitted only two mental health records to the NICS Index.3
For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the New Hampshire Background Checks section and the section entitled Prohibited Purchasers Generally.
- 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(4). [↩]
- N.H. Rev. Stat. § 332-I:2(I)(e). [↩]
- Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Fatal Gaps: How Missing Records in the Federal Background Check System Put Guns in the Hands of Killers 44 (Nov. 2011), available at http://prtl-sitea-maigs.nyc.gov/downloads/pdf/maig_mimeo_revb.pdf. [↩]