Iowans who have recovered after a mental illness or brain injury could get their gun rights back under legislation now on its way to Governor Branstad’s desk. It will allow people who’ve recovered from their mental problems to get their names removed from a national list for background checks.

Representative Gary Worthan, a Republican from Storm Lake, says there are safeguards in the bill. “A person can apply to the Department of Human Services and their county attorney to have their name removed from the list and after a hearing…to be removed from the list, that’s fine,” Worthan says. “Otherwise, they have to wait two years before they can apply again.”

Under the current system, a person with a head injury who had been assigned a guardian during their treatment was not able to legally buy a gun after their head injury healed.

“Now when these folks heal up and are back on their own again, they are still in the system and we did not have a procedure for them,” Worthan says. The bill passed both the Iowa Senate and Iowa House unanimously. Gun rights advocates in the House tried to attach another gun-related proposal to the bill, but failed.