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House passes bill allowing gun rights to mentally ill who are rehabilitated

Published March 14, 2013 3:01 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The House Thursday passed a bill giving rehabilitated mentally ill people in Utah a chance to re-establish the right to bear arms through a process involving courts, prosecutors and a psychiatric evaluation.

Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, said SB80 was designed to fix a hole in Utah law that offered no recourse for people who were institutionalized or pled guilty to a crime via insanity defense and then later were cured.

"The should be allowed to purchase a firearm again," Perry said.

Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, sponsored the measure to help people who were once mentally ill to have their names removed from the National Instant Check System — a federal database that contains names that are restricted from owning firearms.

He said he expected the law would only affect a small number of people annually.

The bill passed 63-0 and now moves to the governor for his signature.

dmontero@sltrib.com

Twitter: @davemontero