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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Disability Profiling

Approved by the NCIL Membership July, 2013

WHEREAS federal law prohibits sale of firearms or ammunition to any person “adjudicated as a mental defective or … committed to any mental institution” and requires reporting such court orders to the “National Instant Criminal Background Check System” administered by the U.S. Department of Justice;

WHEREAS much of the legislation to address shootings such as the Newtown incident in December, 2012 has focused on people with autism, mental and disability, in effect “profiling” based on disability rather than focusing on factors associated with more severe violence;

WHEREAS violence and disability have been studied intensively in the last twenty-five years and these studies have verified that people with disabilities are more frequently victims of violence than our peers without disabilities; and 

WHEREAS these studies have verified that people mental and other disabilities are less likely to perpetrate violence than our peers;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that NCIL opposes use of statutory language not respectful of disability such as “mental defective;”

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NCIL supports the right of people with disabilities who have not committed crimes of violence to engage in activities generally allowed to Americans, including purchasing firearms and ammunition for hunting and self-defense;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NCIL opposes all forms of profiling based on disability.