Stillwater News Press

March 20, 2013

Oklahoma chiefs in support of background checks

By Russell Hixson
Stillwater NewsPress

STILLWATER, Okla. — The Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police voted unanimously to support the inclusion of Oklahoma and other states’ mental health records to the National Instant Background Check system.

Norman McNickle, the association’s president and head of public safety for Stillwater, made it clear that while the association supports the inclusion of mental health records it does not support proposed legislation restricting firearms or firearm accessories.

McNickle said the 450 members of the association support the vigorous enforcement of existing state and federal laws regarding firearms.

Under current law it is illegal to sell a firearm to someone who has been ordered to go to a mental health facility.

In Oklahoma gun purchasers are required to fill out a sheet that asks if they have ever been involuntarily committed to a mental institution.

McNickle said Oklahoma courts keep records of this but they have not been made available to the national background check database.

“All someone has to do is check that box ‘no’ and they walk out with a firearm,” McNickle said.

A bill has been written that would require court clerks to send mental health records to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for use in its national database and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

The bill has passed the House and is now in the Senate.