Topeka Kansans committed to mental hospitals wouldn't be able to possess a firearm under a bill gaining first-round approval in the Senate.
The voice vote Tuesday puts the bill in position for a final vote of approval to send it to the House.
Sponsoring Sen. Phil Journey says while federal law prohibits anyone who has been committed to a mental hospital from having a firearm, there is no such prohibition in Kansas law.
"It creates a public safety deficiency in the state of Kansas," said Journey, R-Haysville.
He said Kansas is among 16 states that don't prohibit possession of firearms because of mental illness.
The bill requires courts to inform the Kansas Bureau of Investigation of all persons committed to mental hospitals after July 1998. The KBI, in turn, must enter the information into national law enforcement computer systems.
"No matter where they go in the country, they can't buy a gun from a dealer," Journey said.
The bill also allows a court to restore a person's right to possess a firearm if it's proven they no longer pose a risk of harming themselves or others. The KBI must be notified when the rights are restored.