Jessica Arenella, Ph.D.

Psychotherapy and Wellness Coaching

Mandatory Disclosures for Gun Safety

All new and current clients should read through this page and affirm that they are aware of the mandatory disclosures in NY and / or NJ.

Gun laws:

Mental Health Reporting in New Jersey

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.” 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.

Any person seeking to purchase or possess a firearm in New Jersey must obtain either a permit to purchase a handgun or a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card (FPIC) following a background check, among other requirements. Applicants for a permit to purchase a handgun or FPIC must state “whether he has ever been confined or committed to a mental institution or hospital for treatment or observation of a mental or psychiatric condition on a temporary, interim or permanent basis, giving the name and location of the institution or hospital and the dates of such confinement or commitment, whether he has been attended, treated or observed by any doctor or psychiatrist or at any hospital or mental institution on an inpatient or outpatient basis for any mental or psychiatric condition, giving the name and location of the doctor, psychiatrist, hospital or institution and the dates of such occurrence.”

Mental Health Reporting in New York

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.” 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.

A “mental health professional” in New York (including physicians, psychologists, registered nurses or licensed clinical social workers) is required to report to the New York Director of Community Services if, in their exercise of reasonable professional judgment, they determine that a person they are treating is “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.”  That information, limited to names or other non-clinical identifying information, must then be given to the New York Department of Criminal Justice Services for the sole purpose of determining if the person is ineligible to possess firearms under state or federal law.  A mental health professional is not required to take any action if doing so would, in their reasonable professional judgment, endanger the professional or increase the danger to potential victims.  The decision to disclose information under this law cannot be the basis for civil or criminal liability for the mental health professional when made “reasonably and in good faith.”  The Division of Criminal Justice must destroy the information within five years of receipt or after a court determines that the individual is eligible for a New York firearms license.

If you do not agree with these laws, please contact your local and state representatives.

 

If you are a current or new client, please verify that you have been notified of these state laws by completing the form below. Thank you.

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