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February 22, 2024 Clouds | 27°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 56C: Transmission of order of probate court appointing guardian or conservator for incapacitated person to department of criminal justice information services for consideration in background checks for firearm sales or licensing; petition to restore person's ability to possess firearm

Section 56C. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law, to the contrary, the administrative office of the trial court shall transmit an order of the probate court appointing a guardian or conservator for an incapacitated person under Parts 3 or 4 of Article 5 of chapter 190B, on the grounds that the person lacks mental capacity to contract or manage the person's affairs, and any subsequent order terminating or rescinding the appointment, to the department of criminal justice information services to provide: (i) licensing authorities as defined pursuant to section 121 of chapter 140 with information required or permitted to be considered under state and federal law to conduct background checks for firearm sales or licensing; and (ii) the Attorney General of the United States with information required or permitted under federal law to be included in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System maintained to conduct background checks for firearms sales or licensing. The department shall transmit no more information than is necessary for the purpose stated above and the information shall not be considered a public record under clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4 and section 10 of chapter 66.

(b) A person found to lack the mental capacity to contract or manage the person's affairs may, after 5 years from the date of the finding, file a petition for relief with the probate court that ordered the commitment requesting the court to restore the person's ability to possess a firearm. The court may grant the relief sought in accordance with due process if the circumstances regarding the person's disqualifying condition and the person's record and reputation are determined to be such that: (i) the person is not likely to act in a manner that is dangerous to public safety; and (ii) the granting of relief would not be contrary to the public interest. In making the determination, the court may consider evidence from a licensed physician or clinical psychologist that the person is no longer suffering from the disease or condition that caused the incapacity or that the disease or condition has been successfully treated for a period of 3 consecutive years. Upon the granting of a petition for relief, the administrative office of the trial court shall immediately forward a copy of the order for relief to the department of criminal justice information services for the purposes listed in subsection (a).