See a Psychologist & Lose Your Guns/CHL?


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Sam Adams
April 11, 2007, 12:29 PM
I have a good friend who, owns a bunch of guns and who has a CHL (he and I are both TX residents). His wife and he both come from families with a history of ADD or ADHD, and he told me that they both have lots of problems concentrating on tasks, etc. (i.e. signs of adult ADD, according to him). Neither of them has displayed any violent or truly irrational behavior, though I suspect that his wife is borderline bipolar (she has had a bunch of temper tantrums over the years, and he says that they were fairly severe over-reactions to minor problems). I'm a lawyer, so he asked me the following questions:

1) Would voluntarily going to a psychologist for an evaluation hurt his ability to own a firearm, or to have a CHL?

2) Ditto #1, except would her going to a psychologist impact his rights?

3) If a drug such as Ritalin was prescribed for him or his wife, would that hurt his ability to own a firearm, or to have a CHL?

4) What about other drugs that are more powerful than Ritalin?

5) What would be the effect if his wife is diagnosed as bipolar?


As I said, I'm a lawyer - but one that has nothing to do with firearms laws on the professional level. I'd appreciate any answers to, or comments regarding, these questions.

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General Geoff
April 11, 2007, 12:33 PM
From what I understand, the only way his mental health (perceived or otherwise) would affect the legality of his owning firearms or holding a CHL would be if he was involuntarily committed, or if he was adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court-appointed psychologist.

Sam Adams
April 11, 2007, 12:51 PM
That was/is my general impression. My only concern is that I know enough to be dangerous - i.e. making a decision or recommendation on an impression is like assuming something, and we all know what assumptions do.

Superpsy
April 11, 2007, 12:51 PM
From what I understand, the only way his mental health (perceived or otherwise) would affect the legality of his owning firearms or holding a CHL would be if he was involuntarily committed, or if he was adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court-appointed psychologist.


that is my understanding as well....just a diagnosis or taking medication does not necessarily make you ineligible.

Sean Dempsey
April 11, 2007, 12:52 PM
I worked for about 3 years as an intern with a state licensed therapist. While his clients are confidential, of course, I can tell you that many were avid outdoorsman, hunters, gun owners, competitive shooters, and more.


In every case, it never once mattered. And I doubt it ever could.

RavenVT100
April 11, 2007, 12:55 PM
I would not worry about it. If he has ADD, that is not something that would affect his ability to be safe around firearms or his judgment. I have never heard of someone being involuntarily committed for ADD. It is not a "serious mental illness." If he was bipolar, severely depressed, etc, then that would be one thing--people have been committed due to complications arising from bipolar disorder, for example. But that is serious.

Worrying about this is likely to cause your friend more stress than it's worth.

However, his wife is another story. If she really is bipolar then that is another can of worms and I am not qualified to comment further.

tegemu
April 11, 2007, 01:01 PM
I have PTSD from Vietnam and have been seeing a psychologist for many years now. I am always carrying when I am in her office, she knows I concealed carry and I'm sure that she is aware that I am armed when I see her. My gun safe is full of pistols, rifles, shotguns and lots of ammo. Seeing a psychologist should have no bearing on gun ownership, on the other hand, I think there are some mental disorders that would/should pre-clude gun ownership.

Neo-Luddite
April 11, 2007, 01:03 PM
It will likely not matter today--but it might tomorrow. Case in point, in Illinois being a self-admitted patient in a mental hospital or any type of rehab facility (alcohol, drug, etc). causes an individual's FOID card to be automatically revoked for 5 years and all weapons either forfeit or transfered to another owner at once. This is simple ownership, too--Illinois has no carry at all.

Any time something is open to the discretion of an issuing authority, and the authority can exclude based on psych issues of any kind, beware that they tend to see them all as 'crazy and dangerous'.

With medical records going paperless, and liberals in congress anxious to find new catagories to exclude from ownership of firearms, tread with caution.
It is a sad state of affairs for those needing help.

Bubbles
April 11, 2007, 01:08 PM
The ADD/ADHD should not be a factor.

As for bipolar... I'll tell you about my experience with a good friend who is, and what happened when he went off his meds.

DH and I met this friend through our political activities. We were all local GOP members, worked on candidates campaigns, attended fundraisers, etc. DH and I knew him for 10 years before the incident and never knew that he was bipolar. He and DH were hunting buddies. He was smart, funny, and owned his own business.

When our friend went off his meds he ended up getting paranoid about being alone in his own home and called us for help. We didn't know then about the disease, just that he looked like hell. So we told him he could sleep on the couch that night. He and DH have a big fight the next morning and he stomps off toward home. On the way he steals a car since he doesn't feel like walking, then gets in a high-speed chase with the po-po across four counties in two states. He ends up in jail.

Through our political activities we know the Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney. Fortunately we get a call - go to XXX's house and get his guns NOW or they will be seized. We end up buying all of the friend's guns and he uses the $$$ to pay legal fees.

Long story short, friend is involuntarily committed and has lost his RKBA. DH and I have also told him that if he goes off his meds again he'd better hope the cops catch him before we do.

Sam Adams
April 11, 2007, 01:11 PM
It will likely not matter today--but it might tomorrow.

That's another worry for all of us - mainly because alleged mental problems were a primary tool of the ultra-Leftists in the old USSR, and our homegrown variety know that it is a powerful tool. Simply say that someone must be crazy to act a certain way, or to believe a certain thing (which happens to be in opposition to those in power), and you lose all kinds of rights. And, of course, the trend in society is that everyone either does or should (according to the unresponsible libs) go to a shrink of some kind. The combination of the 2 could be deadly.

Of course, that's not directly on point, but it is certainly something that all of us must be on guard against as new laws and regulations are proposed.

budney
April 11, 2007, 01:15 PM
From what I understand, the only way his mental health (perceived or otherwise) would affect the legality of his owning firearms or holding a CHL would be if he was involuntarily committed, or if he was adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court-appointed psychologist.


that is my understanding as well....just a diagnosis or taking medication does not necessarily make you ineligible.

That's right. Only involuntary committal disqualifies you (at least on the federal level).

Considering how many adults these days take Prozac and the like, though, I've wondered whether it might become a factor in the aftermath of a defensive shooting. If you're actually charged, the prosecutor could potentially use that information to paint you as somehow dangerous or irresponsible. Does anyone know if that has ever actually happened?

--Len.

RavenVT100
April 11, 2007, 01:17 PM
Yeah but then again your traffic tickets, where you live, what race you are, how much money you make, and a whole host of other factors could matter in the future.

What seemed outrageous 20 years ago is commonplace today. Prohibitionist Democrats have demonstrated the capability to be very thuggish in the way they operate. If a political win can be achieved with no consequence, they will discriminate against anyone. While we do have the civil rights act, "public health" could cause that to be narrowly construed in the future.

It is up to the individual whether or not he or she wants to worry about those things.

General Geoff
April 11, 2007, 01:21 PM
The only way I could see that mattering in a defensive shooting aftermath is if you were diagnosed with a mental disorder and you weren't taking your medication.

Henry Bowman
April 11, 2007, 01:25 PM
What seemed outrageous 20 years ago is commonplace today. And the converse is also true.

Still, we can neither predict the future nor live in paranoia of it. We do the best we can, but as others have been screwed many years after the fact by such abominations as the Lautenberg Amendment, others of us may be screwed by some other unpredictable law. That just means paying attention to politics at all times. It can actually matter to you.

jamz
April 11, 2007, 01:54 PM
Never seemed to affect me, for my ADD, even when I lived in MA.

F4GIB
April 11, 2007, 02:04 PM
From what I understand, the only way his mental health (perceived or otherwise) would affect the legality of his owning firearms or holding a CHL would be if he was involuntarily committed, or if he was adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court-appointed psychologist.

That is the general rule on ownership/possession of firearns.

The Texas rules of CHL's are more restrictive. They might, indeed, catch this guy or his wife. Sam Adams contact the TSRA to arrange a consultation with a Texas "gun" lawyer.

Zero_DgZ
April 11, 2007, 02:08 PM
Yeh? I Delaware I had my right "revoked" for seeing a psychiatrist voluntarily. Delaware has bar none the highest rate of state level denials for background checks in the country, though.

RavenVT100
April 11, 2007, 02:21 PM
Zero_dgZ: You were denied by NICS?

Without being involuntarily committed?

I am not questioning your honesty but rather, very curious. If you were "committed to a mental institution or sanitarium" under Delaware law "without a certificate of rehabilitation," you are not allowed to own a gun under DE law.

Did you voluntarily commit yourself? That is different than merely seeing someone. Then again, I'm not an attorney.

mek42
April 11, 2007, 03:01 PM
In NY failure to report prior mental health treatment is grounds for denial of the issuance of a Handgun License (required to possess as well as to carry). However, such mental health treatment is not in and of itself grounds for such denial.

It is sad that there seems to be so much apathy and fear regarding mental health services in the US.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 11, 2007, 03:02 PM
First of all, I am not a lawyer so keep that in mind when evaluating my input.

1) Would voluntarily going to a psychologist for an evaluation hurt his ability to own a firearm, or to have a CHL?

2) Ditto #1, except would her going to a psychologist impact his rights?

3) If a drug such as Ritalin was prescribed for him or his wife, would that hurt his ability to own a firearm, or to have a CHL?

4) What about other drugs that are more powerful than Ritalin?

Federal firearms law requires that you be "adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution" (18 U.S.C. 922(g)) in order to be deprived of your right to own firearms. So under federal law, I don't see a problem.

Texas Penal Code 46.04 governs unlawful possession of a firearm and only restricts felons as far as I can see. So you shouldn't face any problems there.

Texas Government Code 411.172 describes the eligibility requirements for CHL. The two sections that would concern your friend are 411.172(a)(7) which requires a person "is not incapable of exercising sound judgment with respect to proper use and storage of a handgun"

This section is further elaborated upon at GC 411.172(d)-(f) (http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/ls-16.pdf#page=62) which describes the following psychiatric issues as being disqualifying:

(1) has been diagnosed by a licensed physician as suffering from a psychiatric disorder or condition that causes or is likely to cause substantial impairment in judgment, mood, perception, impulse control or intellectual ability;
(2) suffers from a psychiatric disorder or condition described by Subdivision (1) that:
(A) is in remission but is reasonably likely to redevelop at a duture time; or
(B) requires continuous medical treatment to avoid redevelopment;
(3) has been diagnosed by a licensed physician or declared by a court to be incompetent to manage the person's own affairs
(4) has entered in a criminal proceeding a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity

(e) The following constitutes evidence that a person has a psychiatric disorder or condition described by Subsection (d)(1):
(1) involuntary psychiatric hospitalization in the preceding five-year period;
(2) psychiatric hospitalization in the preceding two-year period;
(3) inpatient or residential substance abuse treatment in the preceding five-year period;
(4) diagnosis in the preceding five-year period by a licensed physician that the person is dependent on alcohol, a controlled substance, or a similar substance; OR
(5) diagnosis at any time by a licensed physician that the person suffers or has suffered from a psychiatric disorder or condition consisting of or relating to:
(A) schizophrenia or delusional disorder;
(B) bipolar disorder;
(C) chronic dementia, whether caused by illness, brain defect, or brain injury;
(D) dissociative identity disorder;
(E) intermittent explosive disorder; or
(F) antisocial personality disorder

Subdivision F goes on to explain that (e) is merely evidence and may be overcome by a certificate from a physician explaining that the condition is in remission and not likely to be develop at a future time.

CAVEAT: This was in PDF format, so I had to type it in myself. You probably want to go to the link just in case I mistyped something.

So looks to me like federal firearms possession, state firearms possession and eligibility for CHL are all unaffected by the above conditions (assuming no dependency issues and judgment is not affected by more powerful drugs).

5) What would be the effect if his wife is diagnosed as bipolar?

In this case, she would be ineligible for CHL; but would still be allowed to possess firearms under federal and Texas law IMO.

Zero_DgZ
April 11, 2007, 03:18 PM
Zero_dgZ: You were denied by NICS?

Without being involuntarily committed?

I am not questioning your honesty but rather, very curious. If you were "committed to a mental institution or sanitarium" under Delaware law "without a certificate of rehabilitation," you are not allowed to own a gun under DE law.

Did you voluntarily commit yourself? That is different than merely seeing someone. Then again, I'm not an attorney.

No. I was denied by the check with the Delaware state police. The surly woman who I finally got ahold of via the number that I was instructed to call curtly told me that "I had in my file that I had 'been admitted' to a state recognized mental institution or had on record that I was under the care of a psychiatrist" (she wouldn't tell me which) and curtly informed me that if I "attempted to buy a gun in the state again I would be arrested."

I did attempt to buy a gun in the state again some years later. I was not arrested, and I was not turned down.

Pilgrim
April 11, 2007, 03:21 PM
Yeh? I Delaware I had my right "revoked" for seeing a psychiatrist voluntarily. Delaware has bar none the highest rate of state level denials for background checks in the country, though.
How does Delaware handle peace officers who need to see a mental health professional, especially after an on-duty shooting? Are they automatically decertified and unable to work?

Pilgrim

doubleg
April 11, 2007, 03:26 PM
Tell him hes better off without that medicine. Took that stuff and it made me feel like a mindless drone and gave me seroius anger problems, even more than usual that is. :p

WeThePeople
April 11, 2007, 03:34 PM
Bartholomew:

Maybe you're not a lawyer, but you definitely should be. I have read a few of your legal posts and they are better written & more well-reasoned than most of the documents that land on my desk every day. You seem to have a better understanding of the application of the law than most lawyers.
Keep it up!

News Shooter
April 11, 2007, 03:38 PM
There was a guy in Newton, MA who checked himself into rehab. They went through his wallet and found his LTC and called the cops who promptly arrived and confiscated it. He'll never get it back.

Henry Bowman
April 11, 2007, 03:42 PM
Bart Roberts is a law student and another pro-RKBA lawyer in the making. :cool:

Tell him hes better off without that medicine. Took that stuff and it made me feel like a mindless drone and gave me seroius anger problems, even more than usual that is.Because everyone reacts to medications in the same way and proper dosage is never adjusted for? :rolleyes:

LHB1
April 11, 2007, 03:46 PM
Sam,
I'm not a lawyer either but Bart's info above is consistent with my understanding and info gained during recent CHL class. You might want to obtain the booklet titled "Texas Concealed Handgun Laws" issued by the Texas Dept of Public Safety (LS-16). The info referenced above by Bart is taken from pages 3-4 of this booklet under section GC #411.172 as noted. In addition, the CHL Application Form (pg 3) asks:
18. *Indicate any history during the preceding five years, of treatment received by, commitment to, or residence in:
a) a drug or alcohol treatment center, or
b) a psychiatric hospital.
* Please provide letter from physician for current status of treatment.

As noted by Bart, this all ties to the eligibility requirement that a person be capable of exercising sound judgment with respect tothe proper use and storage of a handgun.

Good shooting and be safe.
LB

F4GIB
April 11, 2007, 04:48 PM
18. *Indicate any history during the preceding five years, of treatment received by, commitment to, or residence in:
a) a drug or alcohol treatment center, or
b) a psychiatric hospital.
* Please provide letter from physician for current status of treatment.

Obviously, they don't want you to seek ANY "treatment" other than in a doctor's free-standing office. Go near a "center" or a "hospital," and you rights are gone. Better to stay sick and untreated.

(d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(7), a person is incapable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the proper use and storage of a handgun if the person:
(1) has been diagnosed by a licensed physician as suffering from a psychiatric disorder or condition that causes or is likely to cause substantial impairment in ... mood, ... .

If you are in a "bad" mood, stay away from doctors. Unless you are non-functional, I'd stay away from treatment in any event. Most MD's don't know any more about mental illness than I do while most psychiatrists are vehemently anti-gun and just looking for a chance to "diagnose" you out of your rights.

Mac45
April 11, 2007, 06:36 PM
I know someone in Indiana that is Bi-polar.
He's on meds, and has been without an episode for over 15 years.
All he had to do was get a note from his doctor for the Chief of Police, and he was good to go.

springmom
April 11, 2007, 06:53 PM
Obviously, they don't want you to seek ANY "treatment" other than in a doctor's free-standing office. Go near a "center" or a "hospital," and you rights are gone. Better to stay sick and untreated.


<snip>

If you are in a "bad" mood, stay away from doctors. Unless you are non-functional, I'd stay away from treatment in any event. Most MD's don't know any more about mental illness than I do while most psychiatrists are vehemently anti-gun and just looking for a chance to "diagnose" you out of your rights.

Oh, jiminy christmas.

Excuse my pointing out that this is the same person who lives "in the Midwest" but declaimed on the topic of Texas CHL law. Wrongly.

The OP was asking about ADD, not bipolar or one of the other major disorders. Because of that, none of the above is relevant to his question.

Beyond that, it scares me to see someone who thinks it is better to "stay sick and untreated" for a major disorder such as bipolar. A person on their meds, and who STAYS on their meds, is as safe as anyone else with a gun. A person who is really bipolar (and this is something of a "diagnosis du jour" and thus probably overused these days) may very well NOT be safe without their meds. The sad thing about this post is that the patient's own assessment of whether or not they're "non-functional", especially if they're in a major manic episode, is likely to be totally inaccurate.

If you have serious mood swings, do not be afraid to get treatment because of the idea that you might conceivably at some point lose your RKBA. That makes as much sense as a diabetic or epileptic refusing to get treatment because being a diabetic or epileptic might possibly impact them getting a driver's license. If you need treatment, you need treatment. Worry about the other stuff when THAT 800 pound gorilla is tamed.

Springmom

Frog48
April 11, 2007, 07:10 PM
Beyond that, it scares me to see someone who thinks it is better to "stay sick and untreated" for a major disorder such as bipolar. A person on their meds, and who STAYS on their meds, is as safe as anyone else with a gun. A person who is really bipolar (and this is something of a "diagnosis du jour" and thus probably overused these days) may very well NOT be safe without their meds. The sad thing about this post is that the patient's own assessment of whether or not they're "non-functional", especially if they're in a major manic episode, is likely to be totally inaccurate.

If you have serious mood swings, do not be afraid to get treatment because of the idea that you might conceivably at some point lose your RKBA. That makes as much sense as a diabetic or epileptic refusing to get treatment because being a diabetic or epileptic might possibly impact them getting a driver's license. If you need treatment, you need treatment. Worry about the other stuff when THAT 800 pound gorilla is tamed.


Very well said. I agree 100%. There is no shame in seeking help when someone sincerely needs it. It doesnt make them any less "normal"... in fact, its admirable and responsible that they realize it, and are willing to do something about it.

If you are in a "bad" mood, stay away from doctors. Unless you are non-functional, I'd stay away from treatment in any event. Most MD's don't know any more about mental illness than I do while most psychiatrists are vehemently anti-gun and just looking for a chance to "diagnose" you out of your rights.

This is one of the most idiotic things I've read in a while.

First, all med students receive the same core education in all fields. It isnt until your final year and intership/residency that you begin to specialize. A surgeon or dermatologist isnt going to be as well versed as a psychiatrist, but they certainly will not be ignorant on the subject.

Second, doctors dont care about the politics of individual patients. They care about the helping and healing a patient, they dont care whether or not Joe Smith owns a gun or hugs trees.

cold dead hands
April 11, 2007, 08:52 PM
I will be quite honest.

Insanity (yes the real deal) runs in my family and I feel it's bite every day.

However, I love my guns and the ones they could protect, so I have something to focus my attention on and this is one of the primary things I learned about treating mental illness in my advanced Psych classes. Give the person with the problem a means of working out the problem before it controls them and half the battle is won. To this day (I am 32) I have yet to see a "mental health professional" because I am afraid of losing my firearms and I do not fear my actions while in prossesion of them even when I am starting to lose it because the message going through my head is, "do not permanently screw your chance of owning your favorite toys".

deanf
April 11, 2007, 10:09 PM
I would think these would be questions to ask the therapist. The therapist would be the only one to release records to whatever authority was authorized to review them. Presumably the therapist will be familiar with when records can be released, and may have dealt with this issue in the past.

mek42
April 12, 2007, 03:38 AM
This is my understanding of NY law.

Confidentiality between client and therapist (psychiatrist, psychologist, licensed social worker) can only be broken with consent of the client or to intervene in order to prevent suicide or homicide. Confidentiality can also be broken without client consent in cases of ongoing child abuse. The prevention of ongoing domestic violence may also be an involuntary suspension of confidentiality - this one probably varies from state to state.

Breaking confidentiality in this way is potentially risky for the therapist - if they make a bad judgment call, they could lose their license or destroy rapport with other clients.

Some examples, "I am going to shoot myself tonight at 7:30 pm using my BFG in my living room." - confidentiality will be broken and you might well not be allowed to leave the therapist's office. However, "I have images of hurting myself pop into my head and I want help making them go away. ... I promise to call you or an emergency line if I need more help with this before next session." - no report is going to be made - if confidentiality was broken over this the therapist would be liable for a large sum of money in the ensuing breach of privacy lawsuit.

I know this may not exactly fit the topic at hand, but this is what I can remember from the Ethics seminar I took in college while studying psychology at the undergrad level. I also remember the date I was on that lasted until 3 am 2 hrs from campus the night before the 8 am final for this same class, but that's a different story. :evil:

Geister
April 12, 2007, 05:23 AM
This does make me wonder, on all these different state CHL applications, most say something about being in a mental institution. Now, do the states only see it being relevant if someone is put into such an institution by court order? I mean if someone checked into one for clinical depression, would it be brought up on a background check or even matter as far as the license goes?

SteveS
April 12, 2007, 10:06 AM
I am a lawyer. Prior to that, I was a fmaily therapist. I am not familiar with Texas law, but can give some general observations in regards to carry laws and how they relate to people with mental health issues. Most of these laws are very poorly written, especially the ones that use language like "substantial impairment in judgment, mood, perception, impulse control or intellectual ability." The Texas statute at least tries to clarify what that is, but it does not say that those issues are the only conditions that would prevent a person from getting a CHL. Under that statute, the authorities could make a case for not granting a license to a person with AD/HD, which can cause problems with impulse control.

In my experience, the legislature seems mostly concerned with seriously mentally ill people, but I wanted to point out that statutes like this leave plenty of room for denying a CHL to a mentally ill person.

The Texas rules of CHL's are more restrictive. They might, indeed, catch this guy or his wife. Sam Adams contact the TSRA to arrange a consultation with a Texas "gun" lawyer.

I would second this advice. I also have some ideas as to the best way to get confidential treatment, but that is OT. PM me if you are interested.

.41Dave
April 12, 2007, 11:52 AM
I work on a locked acute care Mental Health unit at a hospital here in Texas, and I have a CHL. I am not a lawyer, but in my experience:

1) Would voluntarily going to a psychologist for an evaluation hurt his ability to own a firearm, or to have a CHL? - No

2) Ditto #1, except would her going to a psychologist impact his rights? - No

3) If a drug such as Ritalin was prescribed for him or his wife, would that hurt his ability to own a firearm, or to have a CHL? - No

4) What about other drugs that are more powerful than Ritalin? - No. you would be amazed at what kind of prescription drugs many "normal" people (including CHL holders and cops) are taking

5) What would be the effect if his wife is diagnosed as bipolar? - She might have trouble getting a CHL... BUT, if she IS bipolar, getting treatment is far more important than a CHL and will have much more impact on her (and his) quality of life.

I would also recommend talking to a lawyer familiar with TX gun laws if she is indeed bipolar.

Geister
April 12, 2007, 04:29 PM
So when these applications ask about such a history, are they only asking for when a court actually committed someone into such a facility?

Bartholomew Roberts
April 12, 2007, 05:46 PM
So when these applications ask about such a history, are they only asking for when a court actually committed someone into such a facility?

Depends on what application you are talking about... if you are asking about a CHL application, it depends on the state. For example, the question on the Texas state CHL that LHB1 listed asks about a much broader range of treatment than the actual Texas statute addresses. For that application, you would need to provide more information than whether a court committed someone into such a facility.

The federal level is concerned only with two things:
1) Have you been adjudicated mentally defective?
2) Have you been committed to a mental institution?

27 CFR 178.11 defines "committed to a mental institution" as:

A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily. The term includes a commitment for mental defectiveness or mental illness. It also includes commitments for other reasons, such as drug use. The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution.

So at the federal level, unless a court has officially declared you mentally ill, you are eligible to possess firearms. You can be voluntarily committed, seek treatment, etc. and it won't impact your ability to possess firearms at the federal level. States may have different rules.

TallPine
April 12, 2007, 06:02 PM
Second, doctors dont care about the politics of individual patients. They care about the helping and healing a patient, they dont care whether or not Joe Smith owns a gun or hugs trees.

Really :confused:

There is actually a very long thread on THR going on at this time about this very topic :rolleyes:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=268290

Sam Adams
April 12, 2007, 07:45 PM
Thanks again, everyone - there are some real high-quality posts here. That's what's great about THR...lots of knowledge and a great willingness to share it to help others.

Aguila Blanca
April 12, 2007, 08:33 PM
I would think these would be questions to ask the therapist. The therapist would be the only one to release records to whatever authority was authorized to review them. Presumably the therapist will be familiar with when records can be released, and may have dealt with this issue in the past.
That is a HUGE assumption to make, and I can assure you that it is by no means a sure bet.

Many years ago, after the breakup of a relationship, I had some questions about my ... relating ability, shall we say. So I went to a friend who was a clinical psychologist and arranged to take a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). No "treatment" or "therapy," I just wanted to see where I fell relative to the rest of the world. The test itself is just a computerized multiple-guess exam that was adminsitered at a central testing facility and the report sent back to the guy's office.

The report was that I was (and probably still am) more conservative in some ways than much of the population. Okay, that confirmed what I had suspected so I thanked him and asked for a copy of the test report.

First, he wasn't happy to let me out the door. He wanted to sign me up for group therapy so he could "adjust" my attitudes to fall within "statistical norms." (That meant, in essence, that he wanted to make me less ethical than I am so I could "fit in." Bad choice.)

Then ... he refused to give me a copy of my own test report. He cited some state statute and said he couldn't give me that information. Naturally, I checked. Turns out the statute in question (a) specifically applied to psychiatrists, and didn't even mention clinical psychologists; and (b) said that psychiatrists could not release patient records to third parties without the patient's consent. So, aside from not even applying to him, since as the patient I was not a third party and by asking for the report I had clearly given my consent for him to release it to me, this dude was VERY far off base.

Because he "was" (past tense) a friend, I chose not to sue him. I arranged through another doctor friend to have the report transferred to a different psychologist, who simply handed it to my second friend, who in turn handed it to me.

They don't always know the rules and laws under which they operate. Assume NOTHING.

This entire discussion reminds me that this topic was discussed here just a few weeks ago. In that thread, the suggestion was made that anyone seeling therapy, counseling, whatever, should go to a therapist/psychologist out of town, use an alias, and pay cash. Many people decried this as foolish, but I think it's a perfectly valid consideration. I don't happen to believe in the efficacy of psychology and psychiatry so it's extremely unlikely that I'd ever go see one professionally, but if I were to do so I believe that's exactly what I would do. The nanny state is encroaching, and records which may be sacrosanct today will be open to inspection by any number of "authorities" before you know it.

willbrink
May 19, 2007, 11:19 AM
"that is my understanding as well....just a diagnosis or taking medication does not necessarily make you ineligible."

If it did, millions of people with existing CHL would be ineligible.

F4GIB
May 19, 2007, 02:49 PM
The feds require "adjudication" by someone (not necessarily a court) BUT many states have lower triggers for loss of gun rights.

You must check both.

F4GIB
May 19, 2007, 02:57 PM
If you are in a "bad" mood, stay away from doctors. Unless you are non-functional, I'd stay away from treatment in any event. Most MD's don't know any more about mental illness than I do while most psychiatrists are vehemently anti-gun and just looking for a chance to "diagnose" you out of your rights.

This is one of the most idiotic things I've read in a while.

Sorry, Doc, but the bold statement is an accurate reflection of my experience in 30 years of law practice. The Village proctologist (an MD, by the way) knows less about mental illness than I do.

Derek Zeanah
May 19, 2007, 03:01 PM
I think the answer is "not yet." If you'd asked in the middle 80's whether a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction would affect your right to own arms and suggested future fears, you would have been called paranoid -- people would have pointed to the "no ex-post-facto" wording in the constitution as a protection.

The Lautenberg came along.

I'd say "maybe, someday." After all, we do ex-post-facto gun restrictions now...

Green Lantern
May 19, 2007, 03:14 PM
In every case, it never once mattered. And I doubt it ever could.

You mean in their ability to be safe gun owners - or the "legality" of them being gun owners?

If it's the latter, stay vigilant to goings on in Federal AND State government. The antis would have to be VERY stupid to not see a new way to chip away at gun owners' rights. I can easily imagine (especially in my "progressive" state) things getting to the point of just seeing a doctor for anxiety or taking ANY kind of antidepressant or anti-anxiety med making one unable to legally carry or maybe even OWN a firearm!

TheOld Man
May 19, 2007, 03:20 PM
Quote:
From what I understand, the only way his mental health (perceived or otherwise) would affect the legality of his owning firearms or holding a CHL would be if he was involuntarily committed, or if he was adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court-appointed psychologist.
Slightly off topic, but related issue on mental health and being committed: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=55778
Note that a 16 year old girl was involuntarily committed to a mental institution because she was home-schooled. ...just days after court officials confirmed, as WND reported, a teen in another ... state who was taken to a psychiatric hospital because she was homeschooled has been returned to her family.

Zoogster
May 19, 2007, 03:45 PM
Most mental health doctors are very anti gun. They after all are in a line of work where every evil should be tameable and recognizing and diagnosing and treating any "evil" will make it go away. That any criminal is just the misguided soul etc who needs treatment. A tool that could kill someone merely experiencing treatable psycological problems and attacking you because of them is going to be seen as a bad thing by them.

They are more likely to subscribe to the attitude that someone should reason with the criminal attacking you, after all thier training tells them that is the solution for every problem, when in reality some situations require force. So a psychologist is more likely to be anti-gun than the rest of society in general.
If they suddenly realize they actualy have the power to help reduce the prevelance of the evil tools used to kill, they will be more likely to use that authority.

Remember these people make a living diagnosing a disorder and treating it through counseling and medication. It is a business. I know while they are in training in college they diagnose eachother and everyone they know with something routinely, even themselves. It is what they do.

Even if treatment for a non or minor issue will not directly impact your RKBA, it paves the road for it down the road by giving the foundation of being mentaly unwell.

Also keep in mind what is currently the law can change and still effect you retroactively with things on a medical record. After the Virginia Tech incident many people are looking at this exact subject for ways to increase its ability to impact RKBA. So what would be okay now may not be what is okay in a year or two.

I think the answer is "not yet." If you'd asked in the middle 80's whether a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction would affect your right to own arms and suggested future fears, you would have been called paranoid -- people would have pointed to the "no ex-post-facto" wording in the constitution as a protection.

The Lautenberg came along.

I'd say "maybe, someday." After all, we do ex-post-facto gun restrictions now...

Exactly.

Mumwaldee
May 19, 2007, 03:48 PM
I don't know about Texas, but in Tennessee I can't get a handgun carry permit because I'm bipolar...but my gf CAN! :neener:

http://www.state.tn.us/safety/handgun/qualifications.htm
...
Shall not have been adjudicated as mental defective; has not been committed to or hospitalized in a mental institution; has not had a court appoint a conservator for the applicant by reason of a mental defect; has not been judicially determined to be disabled by reason of a mental illness, development disability or other mental incapacity; and has not, within seven (7) years from the date of application, been found by a court to pose an immediate substantial likelihood of serious harm, as defined in Title 33, Chapter 6, Part 5, because of mental illness;...

renaissance_warrior
May 19, 2007, 05:52 PM
Funny, I don't recall anything in the 2nd amendment regarding mental fitness. The Brits could have adjudged the founders of our republic insane since what they were doing was treason. After all, who wouldn't want to be a British Subject under a King? To think otherwise would have been deemed crazy.

skinnyguy
May 19, 2007, 06:46 PM
I am currently under treatment for depression. I take 40mg of Paxil per day. I have been treated a few times before as well, and one treatment was through a state-funded program, so I know there are records somewhere that state I've been treated (Utah, if that makes a difference).

I have not even had a bump in the road in purchasing any of my firearms at any time. I've never been forced to have a psychiatric evaluation, or been remanded to custody because of any incidents, and I think therein lies the difference. Treatment is one thing, becoming a danger to yourself or another person is another.

JohnBT
May 19, 2007, 07:45 PM
"Slightly off topic, but related issue on mental health and being committed: http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/ar...TICLE_ID=55778
Note that a 16 year old girl was involuntarily committed to a mental institution because she was home-schooled."

That's good, German law, WorldNetDaily and Hitler all in the same post.

" 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

A federal prosecutor in the German state of Hesse has announced plans to seek three-month prison terms for a mother and father who homeschool their six children, even though the family already has paid fines for violating the nation's Hitler-era homeschooling ban and made plans to move."

Kali Endgame
May 19, 2007, 08:28 PM
Well, I guess it's time to take my ball and go home. Why is there a blanket generalization for certain disorders? Seems pretty closeminded to me.

Johnny B
May 19, 2007, 08:43 PM
About mental illness, denying someone a gun for having a certain condition, something like that fails to take into consideration that these things come in degrees. "Bipolar" does not mean "goes crazy on a regular basis and tries to kill himself and others" in all cases. It is certainly something that should be taken seriously, as there are people with the illness that do those kinds of things, but someone with bipolar is more likely to be the kind of person that gets bummed every once in a while, and once that has passed, maybe they're grumpy for a few days. They take their meds and presto change-o, you'd never know they were bipolar. Certainly, the degrees of severity run the gamut, but to deny someone something that there's no real reason they shouldn't have is one size fits all legislation. It's silly, but I don't doubt it's well-intentioned somewhere down the line.

Phaetos
May 19, 2007, 09:14 PM
Well, let me chime in here as a presently mentally challenged person. I have ADD/ADHD whatever you want to call it. I didn't come to realize it till I was 19. Went to several shrinks and state run mental hospitals for treatment. I discontinued treatment nearly 8 years prior to me purchasing my first gun and getting my CWP for Louisiana. I didn't have any trouble at all. Except for NOT putting it on my CWP application. Apparently Louisiana checks to see if you have EVER been admitted to a state run mental institution. They just asked for clarification why I didn't put it on there. I told them I didn't think it was relevant and got a dismissal from the hospital because they couldn't pull files that were over 5 years old. So, it shouldn't be a problem.

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