HHS Readies HIPAA Rule to Keep Mentally Ill from Buying Guns

The HHS Office for Civil Rights has sent to the Office of Management and Budget a proposed rule to lift legal barriers related to the HIPAA privacy rule that may prevent states from reporting mental health information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check.


* “If an individual is prohibited from purchasing a firearm due to specific mental health reasons as set by law, the following information is submitted to the NICS: (1) basic identifying information about the individual such as name, social security number, and date of birth, (2) the name of the state or federal agency that submitted the information, and (3) a notation on which of the ten prohibited categories is applicable to the individual, which allows the individual to appeal and seek to correct incomplete or inaccurate information.

* “The database that houses information on individuals prohibited from possessing firearms for reasons related to mental health – called the NICS Index – does not contain medical or mental health records.

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  1. Anonymous - September 11, 2013

    An interesting way to use HIPAA!

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