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The House Thursday passed a bill giving rehabilitated mentally ill people in Utah a chance to re-establish the right to bear arms through a process involving courts, prosecutors and a psychiatric evaluation.

Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, said SB80 was designed to fix a hole in Utah law that offered no recourse for people who were institutionalized or pled guilty to a crime via insanity defense and then later were cured.

"The should be allowed to purchase a firearm again," Perry said.

Sen. Daniel Thatcher, R-West Valley City, sponsored the measure to help people who were once mentally ill to have their names removed from the National Instant Check System — a federal database that contains names that are restricted from owning firearms.

He said he expected the law would only affect a small number of people annually.

The bill passed 63-0 and now moves to the governor for his signature.

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