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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: November 26, 2019 09:48 AM
From: Senator Anthony H. Williams
To: All Senate members
Subject: Timely Reporting of Mental Health Data to PICS
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to close a potential gap in mental health reporting to the Commonwealth’s firearms background check system.

Pennsylvania’s instant background check system, or PICS, is a national model of success when it comes to reporting mental health-related data to the national background check system. However, under current law courts have up to seven days to report involuntary treatment, commitment or adjudication as mentally incompetent to the Pennsylvania State Police. Courts may send notification to PSP via electronic transmission, fax or U.S. mail; counties currently differ in the method utilized resulting in delays between adjudication and this critical information being entered into PICS.

My legislation would require that all counties utilize a method of electronic transmission prescribed by the State Police to instantly transmit information concerning a person who has been involuntarily committed or adjudicated mentally incompetent. With the technology available today, there is no reason that it should take up to 7 days for PSP to be notified of such an action. It is my belief that this small change will prevent future tragedies caused by incomplete information at the point of sale in a firearms transaction.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation. Any questions or concerns may be directed to my Harrisburg office at 717-787-5970. Thank you.