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Harhart's firearms notification legislation following involuntary mental health commitment passes House committee

Published May 24. 2010 05:00PM

Rep. Julie Harhart's (R-Lehigh/Northampton) legislation aimed at notifying individuals who have undergone involuntary mental health commitment of their gun rights and protecting public safety passed the House Judiciary Committee this week.

"I believe it is important that individuals know their rights," said Harhart. "This legislation is meant to make sure those individuals who have been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility understand how the existing firearms law affects them."

House Bill 387 requires the Pennsylvania court system to notify a person who has been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility by certified mail that they: are prohibited from possession of firearms; must transfer any firearms already in their possession to a person outside of their household within 60 days of commitment; and can have their firearm rights restored by petitioning a court of competent jurisdiction for relief of their disability.

Harhart stressed during her testimony to the House Judiciary Committee that her legislation does not change provisions under the current Uniform Firearms Act. It simply would put a notification system in place to help improve public safety and inform affected individuals of the law.

House Bill 387 passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously and now goes before the full House for consideration.

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