The federal government’s response to the Newtown massacre was defeated in the U.S. Senate last month, but Connecticut officials Monday announced a new project funded by grant money made available in response to the Virginia Tech school shooting.
The state will create a database that lists the names of all individuals who are ineligible to own a gun for mental health reasons. The system captures Probate and Superior Court records to include people who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility and those who have been found incompetent to stand trial or not guilty due to insanity. It is expected to be completed by July 1 and will comprise records from at least the past 14 years – past 20, if funding permits.
Lack of mental health records has created gaps in the federal background check system – that, in the tragic case of Virginia Tech, allowed a gunman who was not qualified to own a firearm to purchase one – and in recent years, the federal government has offered grants through a program called NARIP (NICS Act Record Improvement Program).