Psych Evaluation for Gun Buyers in New Jersey – Another Hoop to Jump Through? [POLL]
This came to my attention last night, so I promised I’d do a little something on it today.
One assemblywoman out of North Jersey is proposing a bill that would require psychological tests for all gun buyers.
I would have thought that the background checks one has to go through to acquire a gun permit would be enough. Part of the background checks at present include going through your medical files to see if you’re fit to own a gun.
With this new proposed regulation, as I understand it, one of the stipulations is that you seek out a mental health professional to ascertain you have a clean bill of health before obtaining a permit.
It is another hoop through which to go.
Individuals seeking a permit to buy firearms in New Jersey would have to submit results of a psychological evaluation before they could buy a gun, under a bill introduced yesterday in the Legislature by West New York Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez.
The measure would also require applicants to have an on-site inspection and evaluation of the household where the firearm would be located.
The bill was one of 18 introduced yesterday by several lawmakers in the state Senate and Assembly intended to curb gun violence in New Jersey, which already has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws.
In addition to Jimenez’ mandatory psychological screenings, bills call for home inspections for those who want to buy firearms; having prospective buyers list the members of their households with mental illnesses; requiring sales of ammunition be face-to-face; and further shrinking bullet magazines’ capacities from 15 to five or 10.
There are already a number of steps a licensee has to submit to before being issued a license to possess a firearm, including consenting to a mental health records search. Jimenez’s bill would add another layer of regulation that she said in a statement is necessary to prevent massacres like the Dec. 14 shootings at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
Jimenez said the bill would require individuals to undergo the same kind of evaluation performed on police officers.
Under the bill (A-3676), the state police superintendent would be responsible for issuing guidelines concerning the content of the psychological examination, the qualifications necessary to administer the psychological examination, maintaining confidentiality of the subject of the examination, compliance with federal law and any other guideline the superintendent deems necessary.
Does this really protect the public from the prospective criminal who may be hell bent on getting his or her hands on an illicit firearm? They’re not the ones who’ll be going for a psych evaluation anytime soon.
Moreover, inspecting the place where the firearm(s) will be kept, while well intentioned, might not necessarily be where they wind up. And does it unfairly target the prospective gun owner should he or she have someone living with them who's not mentally sound.
Overreach a bit. I know we want to avoid another Newtown, but this to me sounds like it goes too far!
Should prospective gun owners have to submit to psychological evaluations before obtaining a permit?