Granting Relief of Committed Persons Firearm Disability in Nebraska

Persons committed by Mental Health Boards can be granted relief of their firearm restrictions upon petition to boards of mental health, and upon agreement of the board, will be removed from those persons restricted.  This relief is granted only by the mental health boards and only to persons having been committed as described in the following sections of Nebraska statutes.  It is the responsibility of the individual subject to the commitment to petition ALL boards to relieve firearm disibility before the Nebraska State Patrol and the Department of Health and Human Services will remove the individual from the list of restricted persons. 

NRS 71-963. Firearm-related disabilities; petition to remove; mental health board; review hearing; evidence; decision; appeal; petition granted; effect.

(1) Upon release from commitment or treatment, a person who, because of a mental health-related commitment or adjudication occurring under the laws of this state, is subject to the disability provisions of 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(4) and (g)(4) or is disqualified from obtaining a certificate to purchase, lease, rent, or receive transfer of a handgun under section 69-2404 or a permit to carry a concealed handgun under the Concealed Handgun Permit Act may petition the mental health board to remove such disabilities.

(2)(a) Upon the filing of the petition, the subject may request and, if the request is made, shall be entitled to, a review hearing by the mental health board. The mental health board shall grant a petition filed under subsection (1) of this section if the mental health board determines that:
(i) The subject will not be likely to act in a manner dangerous to public safety; and
(ii) The granting of the relief would not be contrary to the public interest.
(b) In determining whether to remove the subject's firearm-related disabilities, the mental health board shall receive and consider evidence upon the following:
(i) The circumstances surrounding the subject's mental health commitment or adjudication;
(ii) The subject's record, which shall include, at a minimum, the subject's mental health and criminal history records;
(iii) The subject's reputation, developed, at a minimum, through character witness statements, testimony, or other character evidence; and
(iv) Changes in the subject's condition, treatment, treatment history, or circumstances relevant to the relief sought.

(3) If a decision is made by the mental health board to remove the subject's firearm-related disabilities, the clerks of the various courts shall immediately send as soon as practicable but within thirty days an order to the Nebraska State Patrol and the Department of Health and Human Services, in a form and in a manner prescribed by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Nebraska State Patrol, stating its findings, which shall include a statement that, in the opinion of the mental health board, (a) the subject is not likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to public safety and (b) removing the subject's firearm-related disabilities will not be contrary to the public interest.

(4) The subject may appeal a denial of the requested relief to the district court, and review on appeal shall be de novo.
 
(5) If a petition is granted under this section, the commitment or adjudication for which relief is granted shall be deemed not to have occurred for purposes of section 69-2404 and the Concealed Handgun Permit Act and, pursuant to section 105(b) of Public Law 110-180, for purposes of 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(4) and (g)(4).
 
Source:  Laws 2011, LB512, Sec. 8. 

NRS 69-2409.01. Data base; created; disclosure; limitation; liability; prohibited act; violation; penalty.

(1) For purposes of sections 69-2401 to 69-2425, the Nebraska State Patrol shall be furnished with only such information as may be necessary for the sole purpose of determining whether an individual is disqualified from purchasing or possessing a handgun pursuant to state law or is subject to the disability provisions of 18 U.S.C. 922(d)(4) and (g)(4). Such information shall be furnished by the Department of Health and Human Services. The clerks of the various courts shall furnish to the Department of Health and Human Services and Nebraska State Patrol, as soon as practicable but within thirty days after an order of commitment or discharge is issued or after removal of firearm-related disabilities pursuant to section 71-963, all information necessary to set up and maintain the data base required by this section. This information shall include (a) information regarding those persons who are currently receiving mental health treatment pursuant to a commitment order of a mental health board or who have been discharged, (b) information regarding those persons who have been committed to treatment pursuant to section 29-3702, and (c) information regarding those persons who have had firearm-related disabilities removed pursuant to section 71-963. The mental health board shall notify the Department of Health and Human Services and the Nebraska State Patrol when such disabilities have been removed. The Department of Health and Human Services shall also maintain in the data base a listing of persons committed to treatment pursuant to section 29-3702. To ensure the accuracy of the data base, any information maintained or disclosed under this subsection shall be updated, corrected, modified, or removed, as appropriate, and as soon as practicable, from any data base that the state or federal government maintains and makes available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The procedures for furnishing the information shall guarantee that no information is released beyond what is necessary for purposes of this section.
 
(2) In order to comply with sections 69-2401 and 69-2403 to 69-2408 and this section, the Nebraska State Patrol shall provide to the chief of police or sheriff of an applicant's place of residence or a licensee in the process of a criminal history record check pursuant to section 69-2411 only the information regarding whether or not the applicant is disqualified from purchasing or possessing a handgun.
 
(3) Any person, agency, or mental health board participating in good faith in the reporting or disclosure of records and communications under this section is immune from any liability, civil, criminal, or otherwise, that might result by reason of the action.
 
(4) Any person who intentionally causes the Nebraska State Patrol to request information pursuant to this section without reasonable belief that the named individual has submitted a written application under section 69-2404 or has completed a consent form under section 69-2410 shall be guilty of a Class II misdemeanor in addition to other civil or criminal liability under state or federal law.
Source:Laws 1996, LB 1055, § 1; Laws 1997, LB 307, § 112; Laws 2011, LB512, § 3.
 
Division of Behavioral Health Response:
 

1.    If a consumer has been denied ownership of a handgun because of a mental health commitment the consumer can ask the Division of Behavioral Health to release the names of the Mental Health Boards to the consumer or consumer’s legal representative for the purpose of petitioning the boards for the removal of firearm disability resulting from those commitments.  

2.    Because the information is covered under HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2, the Division shall provide for a release of information form through the mail, or electronically. Click Here for Removal of Firearm Disability Request Form.

3.    The consumer must complete the form and have the form witnessed and the original form returned to the Division.  See address below.
 
4.    Division of Behavioral Health, upon receipt of a properly completed form, will release the names of the Mental Health Board or Boards under which the Division of Behavioral Health has a commitment record.
 
5.  It is the responsibility of the individual subject to the commitment to petition ALL boards to relieve firearm disability before the Nebraska State Patrol and the Department of Health and Human Services will remove the individual from the list of restricted persons.  The individual may represent themselves at hearing, or have legal counsel.  All expenses are that of the individual seeking relief.

 

For more information:

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Behavioral Health - Data Team
PO Box 95026
Lincoln NE  68509-5026

Phone:  402-471-7818
FAX:  402-471-7859
 

Mental Health Board Training Page

Division of Behavioral Health Page