Mental Competence


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evan price
June 12, 2006, 07:23 AM
One of my close relatives has decided to get his CFL. I have been sort of encouraging it gently because I know that in the past he has carried without a CFL and that is now illegal, with the removal of the affirmative defense (His AD is that he owns a couple coin-op car washes and has to go out to empty the cash boxes).
The problem is I know that he recently had a divorce. He has had problems with depression off and on the past twenty years. He never sought official care for this but self medicated using over the counter medicines and herbal remedies. I have however noticed his mental state has deteriorated somewhat lately deeper into cyclical depression.
He called me the other day and we talked for about 2 hours on the phone. I suggested he seek professional counselling since his employer's insurance includes free mental health.
He emphatically refused, because, he said, if he ever sought professional help they would take away his guns, and he would never get a CFL. He was very adamant about this! I relented but resolved to keep a fairly close eye on him.

What's my next step? He is a consenting adult. He has not done anything dangerous or self destructive. I don't think he will. But what he said worried me nonetheless. I would hate to see someones' RKBA stripped due to needing to get some help through a tough patch but also would hate to see him not get help because of his RKBA may get stripped.
It's a double edged sword. Anyone got any advice? Hate to air this dirty laundry in public but I really don't know what to do here.

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XavierBreath
June 12, 2006, 07:57 AM
Caveat: Quick answer with no research:
I believe he has to be declared mentally defective by a court of law to lose his RKBA. That's a long way from treatment for depression. I do not blame him for his decisions however. The same probably applies for a CFL.

Your next step is to be a ready listening post for him. Be a dependable advisor. If you feel he is about to harm himself or others, do what you feel is necessary. Otherwise, be a confidant he can count on.

Preacherman
June 12, 2006, 08:04 AM
Xavierbreath is right: only formal commitment to a mental institution disqualifies one from firearms ownership or a CCW permit.

Please tell him, from me, that depression is something that can affect us all, and is best treated professionally. Heck, a few years ago, I was facing multiple crises in my life, both personal and professional, and had an attack of depression. I went to my doctor, he agreed with my self-diagnosis, and put me on a six-month course of anti-depressants. After six months, I stopped using them, and haven't needed them since. I'm not in the least ashamed of needing the help back then - and I'd have been an idiot not to have gotten the help when I needed it to get me "over the hump" and back to normal.

(Of course, some might argue that "Preacherman" and "normal" don't belong in the same sentence, but that's just jealousy! :D )

mete
June 12, 2006, 08:42 AM
Unfortunately the medical "profession" usually treats depression with anti depressants. They should first find why you are depressed. Is it emotional or one of the many biochemical causes ? Biochemical incudes deficiency in some of the B vitamins, hypoglycemia, allergic reaction and many others ....Aside from the gun question your friend should get some help.He might also ask a lawyer about the legal aspects.

HankB
June 12, 2006, 09:41 AM
He recently had a divorce, right? So he must already HAVE a lawyer.

If he was one of my close relatives I'd strongly suggest he consult with his own attorney as to the legal ramifications of mental health treatment.

His worries may be valid on some level . . . look at what happened to "domestic abuse" restrictions with the Lautenberg amendment. Just because ordinary treatment - without commitment - may not disqualify one today from owning firearms or obtaining a concealed handgun license, there's no telling what additional restrictions may be imposed retroactively tomorrow.

JesseJames
June 12, 2006, 11:12 AM
Hey evan price if the guy really wanted to harm himself he would've done it by now.
Many many people have depression and they deal with it.
If he is worried about getting blackballed and not being able to carry or buy firearms you should respect his wishes about not getting "professional" help.
I believe psychologists do more harm than good with their psycho-babble. A lot of it just seems like bunk to me.
Everyone has problems and you have to learn to deal. Because ultimately it's just you isn't it?
Be a chum. Be a confidant. That's all that some people need.
And for God's sake respect his privacy.

dfaugh
June 12, 2006, 11:22 AM
Here in Peoples Republik of New York, there is now an additional form required for CCW, regarding ANY mental health issues and treatment that someone may have undergone. Not sure about any other states.

Which is, of course, REALLY stupid, as they could own as many long guns as they want (as long as they weren't INVOLUNTARILY committed, per the 4473), and if they were gonna harm themselves (or others for that matter) they don't need a pistol permit to do it.

gezzer
June 13, 2006, 12:56 AM
And just what are your medical or Psychiatric qualifications? Or are you just wanting to screw up his life?

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