New gun control legislation takes effect Jan. 1

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A significant piece of Rhode Island gun control legislation will go into effect on New Year’s Day.

The law, which was passed by House lawmakers in June, aims to prevent gun sales to those with severe mental illness. The new law will require Rhode Island to submit limited information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, about people who are involuntarily committed in court for mental health treatment and pose a threat of violence.

Before the law was passed, Rhode Island only had to submit relevant criminal records, and only those purchasing a gun had to submit to a NICS check.

The legislation stems from recommendations made by a special task force in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shootings.

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