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.

In 2013, Louisiana enacted a law to require that records of these individuals be sent to NICS. 2  The law requires each district clerk of court to report to the Louisiana Supreme Court the name and other identifying information of any adult who is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to state or federal  law by reason of a criminal conviction or adjudication in a court of that district for any of the following:

(1) A conviction of a crime listed in La. Rev. Stat. 14:95.1(A);

(2) A verdict of an acquittal by reason of insanity;

(3) A court determination that a person does not have the mental capacity to proceed with a criminal trial;

(4) A court order requiring that a person be involuntarily committed to an inpatient mental health treatment facility;

(5) A court order prohibiting a person from possessing a firearm or restricting a person in the use of a firearm; or

(6) A felony conviction of domestic abuse battery.3

Starting January 1, 2017, each district clerk of court must also report to the Louisiana Supreme Court the name and other identifying information of any adult who is prohibited from possessing a firearm pursuant to state or federal law by reason of a criminal conviction or adjudication in a court of that district for any of the following:

(1) A misdemeanor conviction of domestic abuse battery;

(2) A verdict of an acquittal of a misdemeanor crime by reason of insanity;

(3) A court determination that a person does not have the mental capacity to proceed with a criminal trial for a misdemeanor crime; or

(4) A court order prohibiting a person from possessing a firearm or restricting a person in the use of a firearm. 4

The clerk must submit the report to the Louisiana Supreme Court within ten business days of the date of conviction, adjudication, or order of involuntary commitment. 5 The Louisiana Supreme Court must then, within fifteen business days of receipt of the report, submit the information in the report to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System database.6

In 2016, Louisiana passed a law requiring the Department of Health and Hospitals or the office of elderly affairs to comply with requests by the Louisiana Supreme Court for case records concerning individuals who have been committed to a mental institution or are otherwise prohibited from possessing firearms, for purposes of transmitting those records to NICS. 7  The law specifies that providing the required information to the Louisiana Supreme Court for transmittal to NICS shall not be construed to violate any law regarding client confidentiality. 8

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers or possessors, see the Louisiana Background Checks section and the section entitled Louisiana Prohibited Purchasers Generally.

 

Notes
  1. 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(4). ⤴︎
  2. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753. ⤴︎
  3. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(A). ⤴︎
  4. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(B). ⤴︎
  5. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(C). ⤴︎
  6. La. Rev. Stat. § 13:753(D). ⤴︎
  7. 2016 La. H.B. 135 (signed by the Governor June 9, 2016), creating La. R.S. § 46:56.1. ⤴︎
  8. Id. ⤴︎