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April 09. 2014 1:01PM

Little support for annulment for restoring gun rights

CONCORD – Supporters of  an annulment process that would expunge mental health records believe it should not be tied to gun rights, a House committee was told Wednesday.

Senate Bill 244 would establish an annulment procedure that would allow those prohibited from owning firearms due to mental illness to be removed from the National Instant Criminal Background Check System - the list licensed gun dealers use for background checks.

But law enforcement and several gun rights group said the bill the Senate approved last month would not do what supporters contend it would do.

“This is the bridge that goes nowhere,” said Deputy Department of Safety Commissioner Earl Sweeney. “This bill does not give the relief they think it gives them.”

But others argued the annulment process is needed to end the stigmatization of the mentally ill, although many agreed SB 244 would need significant changes to be viable.

Michael Skibbie of the Disabilities Rights Center said his organization supports some kind of annulment process, although “there are some technical problems and (this bill) probably needs to go back to the drawing board.”
 
The House Judiciary Committee will decide on its recommendation on the bill later this month.


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