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Federal law prohibits any person from selling or otherwise transferring a firearm or ammunition to any person who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to any mental institution.”1 No federal law requires states to report the identities of these individuals to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (“NICS”) database, which the FBI uses to perform background checks prior to firearm transfers.

Courts in North Dakota are required, after certain mental health-related proceedings, to make a finding as to whether the subject of the proceeding is prohibited by federal law from firearm possession.2 If the subject is determined to be prohibited, the court must forward the individual’s name and nonclinical identifying information to the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation to be forwarded to NICS.3 The court must also notify the prohibited individual of any relevant firearms prohibitions.4

For general information on the background check process and categories of prohibited purchasers/possessors, see the North Dakota Background Checks section.

 See our Mental Health Reporting policy summary for a comprehensive discussion of this issue. 

  1. 18 U.S.C. § 922(d)(4).[]
  2. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-01.2(1).[]
  3. N.D. Cent. Code § 62.1-02-01.2(2).[]
  4. Id.[]