TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A bill aimed at keeping guns away from people with mental illness is headed to the Florida Senate after clearing its final committee hurdle.
The bill (SB 1000) was approved by the Senate Rules Committee on Monday.
The bill is aimed at closing a loophole to guard against gun purchases by people with mental illness. It deals with people who voluntarily admit themselves for treatment, then check out. At that point, they are able to obtain weapons.
The proposal's supporters include gun-rights advocates, including the former President of the National Rifle Association.
"In the case of people who voluntarily agree to committment, there is no adjudication, and many people have subsequently been baker acted 5, 10, 15 times. They have agreed to voluntary committment and as soon as they get to the facility, they revoke the agreement and they're back out on the street and there's no way to stop them from purchasing guns," Marion Hammer said.
Under the bill, people could be blocked from purchasing firearms if a doctor said they posed a danger to themselves or others. If the patient didn't agree to be voluntarily admitted for treatment, an involuntary commitment petition would be filed.
The bill includes a pathway for people to petition the court to regain their gun-purchasing rights after they are treated. A doctor would have to agree that the person should regain the right.
A companion bill won House passage last week.