FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you have further questions, please contact us.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF ADDING MYSELF TO THE REGISTRY?
Our recommendation is that sign up could be online, by mail, or in person at a state police department or courthouse. Identity verification would be required. For example, an ID check in person, a notarized form by mail, or uploading a photo of an ID online.
Once a person has signed up, a record is added to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Instant_Criminal_Background_Check_System]. This is a database that all firearm dealers are required to consult before completing a sale.
COULD SOMEONE ELSE ADD ME TO THE LIST?
No. There would be safeguards to make sure the person has not been coerced into signing up, or signed up against their will. This is not a "red-flag" registry, and is not intended for family or friends to report individuals, or for law enforcement or the courts to force an individual to be added to the list. This registry is intended to increase freedoms, not limit them.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS OF REMOVING MYSELF FROM THE REGISTRY?
The process to remove yourself would be to return to the state police and remove yourself. There would be a waiting period (probably a week or two) before the person could then buy a firearm. This is considered a "cooling off" period. So if someone is in the throes of suicidal thoughts, they can't immediately get off the list and then go buy a gun. Also, they can put down the names of loved ones who they want notified should they request to be removed from the list. So there are safeguards in place.
WOULD SOMEONE NEED TO SURRENDER THEIR GUNS IF THEY SIGN UP?
No, this will have no effect on existing gun ownership. It is only for future gun purchases from licensed dealers.
WHO WOULD HAVE ACCESS TO THIS REGISTRY?
The list will not be public. It would be part of the current NICS background check system, which is only available to firearm dealers with a Federal Firearms License (FFL). The reason someone is in the system would not be disclosed, even to sellers. The registry would not be available to law enforcement, except when prosecuting dealers for making illegal sales. You do not have to state the reason why you are putting yourself on the list. This will not be a list for just the mentally ill. It is very important to me that the list does not hurt anyone's future and only allows them the self defense they desire.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO ANY SELLERS WHO DECIDED TO SELL TO SOMEONE ON THIS REGISTRY?
They would be responsible for following the guidelines as they currently are with the federal no-sell list. If a dealer decided to sell to someone on the registry, they could lose their licenses and face criminal penalties.
DOES THE REGISTRY AFFECT PRIVATE-PARTY SALES?
No, this would only be through NICS. This would not impact gun show sales or private dealers or birthday presents or any other way someone could receive a gun.
HOW MANY LIVES WILL THIS BILL SAVE?
The bill has the potential to save hundreds of lives nationally each year.
WON'T PEOPLE WHO WANT TO COMMIT SUICIDE JUST FIND ANOTHER WAY?
Suicide is often impulsive. A waiting period would allow that impulsivity to shift.
A list like this it would have given my mother time. And in that time maybe we would have been able to get her some kind of relief. Since my mom did this, I think about doing the same everyday. She isn't here to sign the list anymore, but I would like to sign it. Louisiana has no waiting period nor permits necessary to buy a gun. I could go buy a gun right now and that seems like too high a risk for me.
There are many ways people attempt to kill themselves, but no weapon of self-destruction is as brutally efficient as a gun. Nearly 90% of suicide attempts with firearms are fatal, compared to 3 percent or less for other common methods such as overdosing or wrist-cutting, according to the Brady Campaign, a national group that advocates for gun control laws to reduce violent deaths. In 2016, 51% of suicides were done by firearms.
Buying a gun is associated with an increased risk of suicide. One study found that the suicide rate among recent gun purchasers was 57 times the overall rate, which translates into hundreds of suicides each year.
WHY NOT FOCUS ON CURING MENTAL ILLNESS INSTEAD?
The mental health industry does not have a cure -- they have treatment. Inventing cures for mental illness is much more complicated than writing a bill to save lives. This bill may not prevent every suicide, but it can be part of the solution.
HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST?
The costs will be relatively small, since the registry will be part of the existing NICS system which has been in use since 1998. The main costs are in processing sign-ups. An in-person (at a police station or county courthouse) or mail-in sign-up method is much cheaper than an online system. We hope to find a legislator who will champion this bill and ensure funding. If the state cannot allocate resources towards it, it is possible that the program could funded by grants from organizations that work towards solutions in substance abuse and mental health.
HOW CAN I SUPPORT THIS PROJECT?
Please contact us so we can keep you up to date with how the bill is developing and how we may be able to utilize your help through the process. Thank you.