FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 03/22/2013
Simmons Files Voluntary Federal Firearm Bill For Those Who Identify Themselves With Mental Illness
AUSTIN - Yesterday, State Representative Ron Simmons, HD 65 presented legislation before the House Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety to establish federal firearm reporting for those who voluntarily identify themselves with mental illness. House Bill (HB) 1872 will allow those who know they have a history of serious mental illness and pose a threat to self or others, to register on the federal "do not sell" gun registration list.
"This bill is about personal responsibility and public safety,” stated Rep. Simmons. “This bills allows someone to take the initiative and voluntarily place themselves on the prohibited firearm list if someone knows they have a history of mental illness. For those who are mentally stable, they simply make a decision whether or not to purchase a firearm. However, for someone who is mentally unstable and knows it, this could mean the difference between life and death."
Vicki Hill, a local resident and advocate who has worked with bipolar children and has an adult son with serious mental illness, testified before the committee in support of HB 1872.
Representative Simmons summarized, "I filed this bill as an advocate for mental illness and based on recent events, this bill has the potential to save lives."
The bill was left pending before the committee.