DONNA'S LAW

Congress Introduced a Federal Bill on July 13, 2022.

H. R. 8361


To help prevent suicide by giving people more control over their own lethal means purchase decisions, through the creation of a voluntary purchase delay database.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 13, 2022

Ms. Jayapal (for herself and Mr. Curtis) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

A BILL

To help prevent suicide by giving people more control over their own lethal means purchase decisions, through the creation of a voluntary purchase delay database.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the “Preventing Suicide Through Voluntary Firearm Purchase Delay Act” .

SEC. 2. VOLUNTARY PURCHASE DELAY DATABASE.

(a) In General.—Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 925A the following:

“§ 925B. Creating a voluntary purchase delay process in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System 

“(a) Establishment.—The Attorney General shall establish and maintain a secure internet-based platform, separate from other databases in the national instant criminal background check system established under section 103 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (34 U.S.C. 40901)(referred to in this section as ‘NICS’), which shall be known as the ‘Voluntary Purchase Delay Database’ (referred to in this section as the ‘Database’).

“(b) Use By NICS.—Whenever the national instant criminal background check system receives a lawful request from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or law enforcement agency for information about the eligibility of an individual to purchase or possess a firearm, NICS shall—

“(1) access the Database; and

“(2) if the name of the prospective firearms transferee is in the Database, indicate to the licensee that it would be unlawful to transfer a firearm to the prospective firearms transferee.

“(c) Operations.—The Attorney General, in consultation with other relevant agencies, shall promulgate regulations to ensure that the Database is easily accessible, user-friendly, and, at a minimum, does the following:

“(1) Verifies the identity of an individual who elects to add his or her name to, or requests removal of his or her name from, the Database.

“(2) (A) Allows an individual to add his or her name to the Database—

“(i) by providing necessary documentation of the identity of the individual, including government-issued photo identification, in person; or

“(ii) by providing the documentation referred to in subparagraph (A) by mail or electronic mail accompanied by a letter from a mental health professional that includes the name and license number of the professional and the name and date of birth of the individual.

“(B) In subparagraph (A), the term ‘mental health professional’ means a person who is licensed, certified, or otherwise recognized or authorized under State law to provide mental health services, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker.

“(3) Prevents unauthorized disclosure of the identity of, or personal information about, an individual who has added his or her name to the Database.

“(4) Provides prior notice to an individual described in paragraph (1) of the legal effect of having the name of the individual included in the Database.

“(5) Allows an individual described in paragraph (1) to list up to 5 electronic mail addresses to be contacted if—

“(A) the individual attempts to purchase a firearm from a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer while the name of the individual is in the Database; or 

“(B) the individual requests removal of his or her name from the Database. 

“(6) Provides prior notice to an individual described in paragraph (1) that listing electronic mail addresses under paragraph (5) shall constitute an express authorization for the Attorney General to contact the address for the purposes described in paragraph (5).

“(7) Provides information about how to relinquish a firearm.

“(d) Use Of Information.—

“(1) INADMISSIBILITY AS EVIDENCE.—The addition or removal of the name of an individual to the Database by that individual may not be admissible as evidence in any legal proceeding, except in a proceeding under section 925A of this title or section 103(g) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (34 U.S.C. 40901(g)), as evidence that—

“(A) the individual properly removed his or her name from the Database; or

“(B) a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer unlawfully transferred a firearm to an individual whose name was included in the Database.

“(2) LIMITATION ON USE.—Any information about an individual that is contained in, or transmitted to, the Database shall not be used for any purpose other than to determine the eligibility of the individual to receive a firearm.

“(3) PROHIBITIONS ON USE IN RELATION TO EMPLOYMENT, OR PROVISION OF A BENEFIT OR SERVICE.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—An individual may not be required to add the name of the individual to, or remove the name of the individual from, the Database as a condition of employment or of receiving any benefit or service. An individual aggrieved by a violation of this subparagraph may bring an action in an appropriate district court of the United States for appropriate relief, including a reasonable attorney’s fee.

“(B) PROHIBITION ON INQUIRIES.—A person may not inquire or consider whether the name of an individual is, or has ever been, added to the Database, for the purpose of determining the eligibility of that individual for employment, or for a benefit or service.

“(e) Procedures For Removing Name From Database.—The Attorney General shall establish procedures by which an individual may remove his or her name from the Database, which shall include the following:

“(1) Removal upon request made to the Attorney General by the applicable individual, which shall take effect on the date that is 21 days after the date on which the request is received.

“(2) Removal upon request made to the Attorney General supported by a declaration from a mental health professional that the individual does not present a substantial risk of harm to self, which shall take effect not later than 24 hours after the time at which the request is received.

“(f) No Limit On Number Of Additions Or Removals.—There shall be no limit on the number of times an individual may add or remove his or her name from the Database.”.

(b) Clerical Amendment.—The table of sections for chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 925A the following:


“925B. Creating a voluntary purchase delay process in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”.

SEC. 3. EFFECT OF REGISTRATION WITH VOLUNTARY PURCHASE DELAY DATABASE.

(a) Prohibition On Sale Or Other Disposition.—The first sentence of section 922(d) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in paragraph (8), by striking “or” at the end; 

(2) in paragraph (9), by striking the period and inserting “; or”; and

(3) by inserting after paragraph (9) the following:


“(10) is an individual whose name is included in the Voluntary Purchase Delay Database established under section 925B.”.

(b) Incorporation Of Information Into The NICS System.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Section 922(t) of title 18, United States Code, is amended—

(A) in paragraph (1)(B)(ii), by inserting “or that the sale or other disposition of a firearm to such other individual would violate subsection (d) of this section” before the semicolon;

(B) in paragraph (2), in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by inserting “and sale or other disposition of a firearm would not violate subsection (d) or State law” before the comma;

(C) in paragraph (4), by inserting “or that sale or other disposition of a firearm to such other individual would not violate subsection (d) or State law” before the first comma; and

(D) in paragraph (5), by inserting “or that sale or other disposition of a firearm to such other individual would violate subsection (d) or State law” before the third comma.

(2) CORRECTION OF ERRONEOUS INFORMATION.—Section 103(g) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (34 U.S.C. 40901(g)) is amended by inserting “or that sale or other disposition of a firearm to a prospective transferee would violate section (d) of such section or State law” before the first comma.

(c) Inclusion In Exception To Prohibition Relating To Establishment Of Registration Systems With Respect To Firearms.—Section 103(i)(2) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (34 U.S.C. 40901(i)(2)) is amended by inserting “or individuals to whom the sale or disposition of a firearm would violate section 922(d) of title 18, United States Code, or State law” before the period.

SEC. 4. EDUCATION AND OUTREACH CAMPAIGN REGARDING THE VOLUNTARY PURCHASE DELAY DATABASE.

The Attorney General, in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Division of Behavioral Health of the Indian Health Services, shall provide for the planning and implementation of a national public-private partnership for an education campaign to raise awareness of the Voluntary Purchase Delay Database established under section 925B of title 18, United States Code, that, at a minimum—

(1) provides information about this Act;

(2) explains how an individual may add his or her name to the database, and the effects of doing so; and

(3) provides information about how to relinquish a firearm (as defined in section 921 of such title).

SEC. 5. RULE OF INTERPRETATION.

This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall not be interpreted to create a duty or obligation of any mental health professional, and a mental health professional shall not be held liable in a civil action arising from an act or omission relating to the Voluntary Purchase Delay Database established under section 925B of title 18, United States Code, except that this sentence shall not be interpreted to exempt a mental health professional from liability for penalties for intentional misuse of the database. In this section, the term “mental health professional” means a person who is licensed, certified, or otherwise recognized or authorized under State law to provide mental health services, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker.

SEC. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.

This Act and the amendments made by this Act shall take effect 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 7. SEVERABILITY.

If any provision of this Act or any amendment made by this Act, or any application of such provision or amendment to any person or circumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder of the provisions of this Act and the amendments made by this Act, and the application of the provision or amendment to any other person or circumstance, shall not be affected.