FUNDING ARRIVES FOR “MENTAL HEALTH” LEGISLATION
As you know, in the 2009 legislative session, OFF supporters fought hard to defeat the passage of HB 2853.
This bill forced Oregon into compliance with a Federal law that was pushed by a coalition of the National Rifle Association and the Brady Campaign to ban firearms. (HR 2640)
The purpose of the Federal Legislation was to centralize mental health records so they could be used to deny firearms purchases. At the time, the excuse used by both the NRA and Brady Campaign to ram this through was the Virginia Tech shooting. However, had this law been in effect at the time of that massacre, it would have had no effect whatsoever.
Although we were able to force the Oregon legislature to amend the bill 10 times, in the end it did pass. However, its implementation was dependent on sufficient funding which until now, did not exist.
Yesterday we received this letter stating that the funding was now available. Neither the folks at the Psychiatric Security Review Board,
nor the Oregon State Police have been able to tell us how much of the funding came from the state and how much came from the Feds, (both of which, of course, are flush with cash.)
Update. Since this alert was first issued, we have received the following details about funding from the Oregon State Police:
“I don’t want to over complicate the answer to your question, but it’s first important to note that HB 2853 was primarily focused on mental health related record information and the creation of Oregon’s relief program. Our federal grant (NICS Act Record Improvement Program, referred to as “NARIP”) applies to all aspects of NIAA compliance. I’ll try to break it down accordingly.
Our 2009 NARIP grant award was in the amount of $770,849. Out of the full award, $543,663 went to State Police for record reconciliation work; $117,424 went to the Oregon Judicial Department for record reconciliation work; and, $109,762 went to the Psychiatric Security Review Board (PSRB) for record reconciliation work ($32,677) and their newly established Gun Relief Program ($77,085).
On the state funding side of your question, during the February special session, the Oregon Legislature added $227,377 in General Fund to the PSRB’s budget for the current biennium. The funds were provided specifically to implement the relief program requirements of HB 2853.”
Background checks all to often lead to improper delays and denials. But in recent years, the State Police have improved their response to persons who have been denied because of erroneous criminal information. In most cases, these errors can be resolved with a phone call.
This law would require persons who have been denied for “psychiatric” reasons to appear before the “Psychiatric Review Board” to try to get their rights restored. At no time during the lengthy hearings on this bill, or now, has anyone explained how the “Psychiatric Review Board” plans to address the dilemma of false information being included in their database, or how a person whose information was incorrect and had moved out of Oregon could address this problem.
Another victory for the National Rifle Association.
For the second part of Oregon Politico’s report on firearms, click here.