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S. 3264 (106th): Records Access Improvements Act of 2000


The text of the bill below is as of Oct 30, 2000 (Introduced). The bill was not enacted into law.


S 3264 IS1S

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106th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. 3264

To ensure that individuals with histories of mental illness and other persons prohibited from owning or possessing firearms are stopped from buying firearms by requiring instant background checks prior to making a firearms purchase, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

October 30 (legislative day, SEPTEMBER 22), 2000

Mr. LOTT (for Mr. ASHCROFT) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To ensure that individuals with histories of mental illness and other persons prohibited from owning or possessing firearms are stopped from buying firearms by requiring instant background checks prior to making a firearms purchase, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This bill may be cited as the ‘Records Access Improvements Act of 2000’.

SEC. 2. RECORDS ACCESS IMPROVEMENTS.

    (a) REQUIREMENTS FOR RECEIPT OF FEDERAL FUNDS- The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (Brady Act), Public Law No. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1563, is amended by adding at the end of Title I the following:

‘SEC. 107. RECORDS OF PERSONS PROHIBITED FROM ACCESS TO FIREARMS.

    ‘(a) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW-

      ‘(1) the total of the amounts of any appropriation hereafter derived or authorized from the Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund (42 U.S.C. Sec. 14211) for grants to an individual State (and any local government in that State) in this Act, and in any other Act, is reduced by 10 percent on and after October 1, 2001, and another 10 percent each and every fiscal year thereafter, until no appropriation or authorization level is available, unless and until the chief executive officer for such State or local government receiving Violent Crime Reduction Trust Funds certifies to the Attorney General that at least ninety-five percent of all available records regarding persons who are--

        ‘(A) adjudicated as mental defectives or been committed to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority;

        ‘(B) under indictment for, or have been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;

        ‘(C) fugitives from justice;

        ‘(D) unlawful users of or addicted to any controlled substance;

        ‘(E) subject to a court order restraining them from committing domestic violence; and

        ‘(F) convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence,

      in that jurisdiction’s system of record keeping (which includes executive and judicial record keeping systems) have been and continue to be provided to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to support implementation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; and

      ‘(2) the reductions for each grant made pursuant to paragraph (1) shall be terminated upon such certification. For the fiscal year the certification is provided, the department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States authorized to make the grant shall restore that State or local jurisdiction’s Violent Crime Reduction Trust Funds grants to those levels that would otherwise have been awarded and disbursed if the jurisdiction had been providing at least ninety-five percent of all the available records described in paragraph (1) in that jurisdiction’s system of record keeping to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    ‘(b) FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION-

      ‘(1) the term ‘adjudicated as mental defectives or been committed to a mental institution’ means an official record of a person--

        ‘(A) adjudicated as mental defective by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. An adjudication as a mental defective occurs when a court, board, commission, or

other lawful authority determines that an individual is mentally retarded or of marked subnormal intelligence, mentally ill, or mentally incompetent, including defendants in criminal cases--

          ‘(i) adjudicated as not guilty by reason of insanity, and

          ‘(ii) found to be a danger to others as a result of a mental disorder or illness; or

        ‘(B) committed to a mental institution through formal commitment by a court, board, commission, or other legal authority, including any person who has been committed involuntarily to a mental institution, including for reasons other than mental defectiveness or mental illness (such as for drug use), except that--

          ‘(i) the mere presence of a person in a mental institution for observation; or

          ‘(ii) a voluntary commitment to a mental institution, shall not be considered a disabling commitment, or a record to be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check system. ‘Mental institutions’ means mental health facilities, mental hospitals, sanitariums, psychiatric facilities, and other facilities that provide diagnoses by licensed professionals of mental retardation or mental illness.

      ‘(2)(A) The term ‘misdemeanor crime of domestic violence’ means a Federal, State or local offense that--

        ‘(i) is a misdemeanor under Federal or State law or, in States which do not classify offenses as misdemeanors, is an offense punishable by imprisonment for a term of one year or less, and includes offenses that are punishable only by a fine (offenses are included whether or not the State statute specifically defines the offense as a ‘misdemeanor’ or as a ‘misdemeanor crime of domestic violence’ and also includes all such misdemeanor convictions in Indian Courts established pursuant to 25 C.F.R. party.AE411);

        ‘(ii) has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force (e.g., assault and battery), or the threatened use of a deadly weapon; and

        ‘(iii) was committed by a current or former spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabiting with or has cohabited with the victim as a spouse, parent, or guardian (e.g., the equivalent of a ‘common law’ marriage even if such relationship is not recognized under the law), or a person similarly situated to a spouse, parent, or guardian of the victim (e.g., two persons who are residing at the same location in an intimate relationship with the intent to make that place their home would be similarly situated to a spouse).

      ‘(B) A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of this section unless--

        ‘(i) the person is considered to have been convicted by the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held;

        ‘(ii) the person was represented by counsel in the case, or knowingly and intelligently waived the right to counsel in the case; and

        ‘(iii) in the case of a prosecution for which a person was entitled to a jury trial in the jurisdiction in which the case was tried, either--

          ‘(I) the case was tried by a jury; or

          ‘(II) the person knowingly and intelligently waived the right to have the case tried by a jury, by guilty plea or otherwise.

        ‘(iv) A person shall not be considered to have been convicted of such an offense for purposes of this section if the conviction has been expunged or set aside, or is an offense for which the person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored (if the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held provides for the loss of civil rights upon conviction for such an offense), unless the pardon, expunction, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms, and the person is not otherwise prohibited by the law of the jurisdiction in which the proceedings were held from receiving or possessing any firearms.

      ‘(3)(A) The term ‘persons who are under indictment for, or have been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year,’ means any person--

        ‘(i) who currently is under indictment (or ‘information’) for a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year, or whose case has been referred to court-martial if that person is in the military; or

        ‘(ii) who has been convicted in any court (including, for example, a military court) of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year (‘information’ refers to a formal accusation of a crime made by a prosecuting attorney, as distinguished from an ‘indictment’ presented by a grand jury). The maximum sentence that may be imposed determines whether a person is under indictment or information for a disabling crime. Similarly, the maximum sentence that may be imposed, rather than the actual sentence, determines whether a person has been convicted of a disabling crime.

      ‘(B) Indictments, information, and convictions for the following crimes are exceptions and are not disabling:

        ‘(i) Federal or State offenses pertaining to antitrust offenses, unfair trade practices, and other similar business-related offenses; and

        ‘(ii) State offenses classified by State law as misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment for a term of 2 years or less.

      ‘(C) Any conviction which has been expunged, set aside, or for which a person has been pardoned or has had civil rights restored remains disabling if;

        ‘(i) the pardon, expunction, or restoration of civil rights expressly provides that the person may not ship, transport, possess, or receive firearms, or

        ‘(ii) the person is prohibited by the law of the jurisdiction where the conviction occurred from receiving or possessing any firearm.

      ‘(4) The term ‘persons who are fugitives from justice’ means persons (A) who know they have charges pending against them, even if only for a misdemeanor, and who leave the State of prosecution, or (B) who leave the State in order to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding.

      ‘(5)(A) The term ‘persons who are unlawful users of, or addicted to, any controlled substance’ means persons who are--

        ‘(i) unlawful users of, or addicted to, any controlled substance, as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act. Controlled substances include, but are not limited to, marijuana, depressants, stimulants, and narcotic drugs. They do not include distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, or tobacco. The use of any illegal controlled substance (such as PCP), or the use of any other controlled substance (such as morphine) in a manner other than as prescribed by a licensed physician, is also unlawful use; or

        ‘(ii) addicted to a controlled substance, meaning any individual who is found to (I) habitually use a controlled substance so as to endanger the health, safety, welfare, or morals of the public, or (II) to have lost the power of self-control with reference to the addition.

      ‘(B) To incur firearms disabilities, there must be evidence that a person is a current unlawful user of, or addict to, a controlled substance. Such unlawful use or addiction may be demonstrated by evidence of--

        ‘(i) the recent use of a controlled substance, which is part of a pattern of unlawful use or addiction; or

        ‘(ii) the current unlawful use of, or addiction to, a controlled substance.

      ‘(6) The term ‘persons who are subject to a court order restraining them from committing domestic violence’ means any persons who, at the time they apply to receive a firearm, are under a court order that meets the following criteria--

        ‘(A) the order must have been issued after a hearing of which the person subject to the order received actual notice, and at which the person had an opportunity to participate; and

        ‘(B) the order must restrain the person subject to the order from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of the person, or a child of the intimate partner or person, or engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child; and

        ‘(C) the order must include a finding that the person subject to the order represents a credible threat to the physical safety of the intimate partner or child, or the order must explicitly prohibit the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the intimate partner or child that would reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury.

      ‘(7) The term ‘intimate partner’ is defined as a spouse, former spouse, an individual who is a parent of a child of the person, or an individual who cohabitates or has cohabited with the person.’

    (b) EFFECTIVE DATE- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on January 1, 2001.