Should mental health records be part of the NICS background check?


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Redneck with a 40
April 21, 2007, 02:17 PM
I'm not taking sides on this issue, I just want to see what the range of opinions are and the reasoning behind them. This could be a great discussion.:D

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pcosmar
April 21, 2007, 02:20 PM
No. Just like all the other threads.
NICS needs to be eliminated.

PotatoJudge
April 21, 2007, 02:24 PM
Define "mental health records."

alucard0822
April 21, 2007, 03:37 PM
Mental health records, just like all medical records have a patient confidentiality agreement, they can be viewed if a suppeno is issued, patient is commited, or if a patient can be shown to be "a danger to his/herself or others". There is good reason for this, because of misuse or misinterpretation by unqualified (read NICS) viewers. It also leaves open to interpretation what standards would disqualify someone, as in a single case of court ordered commitment, adjudicated mentally deficient, or spending a total of more than 30 days under inpatient care (not-consecutive) without a psychiatrists letter of approval to purchase a gun (these are the present guidelines, court orders are part of NICS check) or if we change it to: disqualification and criminal indictment after finding out they either, had 3 sessions of grief counseling from a phsycologist after the death of a parent 10 years ago, diagnosed with ADD and prescribed ritalin in elementary school, a formal dislexia test reccomended by a college counselor.

Gun control doesn't work, untill the events of last monday no-one really thought about denying people with no criminal record, but a medical one their 2nd amendment rights. It is sad that 33 people were murdered at the VT campus, but that is the national daily average of murders, most of which you will never hear of, there were thousands of robberies, and assaults, and many many law abiding honest people became victims, many of which would have been willing to carry a concealed weapon to protect themselves if the law/campus/buisness allowed. Do crazy people occasionally hurt or kill people with guns? YES, Does gun control keep criminals from obtainig weapons? NO, Should law abiding people be able to protect themselves from harm? Definitely. For once we are not entirely on the defense, the issues surrounding the VT shootings have been reported with more balance, with more pro gun points of view, and more people pushing for increased gun rights over a false sense of security and gun control than ever before.

RealGun
April 21, 2007, 03:46 PM
I couldn't answer that without seeing the fine print first.

geekWithA.45
April 21, 2007, 03:48 PM
If we are to expand the nature of a mental health denial, it must be on fari, objective criteria with a robust, fair, and actually functional appeal process.

mr. chuckles
April 21, 2007, 03:48 PM
I agree with RealGun.

Alex45ACP
April 21, 2007, 03:51 PM
No. In fact, NICS should be eliminated.

RealGun
April 21, 2007, 04:02 PM
non-citizens should NOT be allowed to buy or own guns in the USA. That is a right reserved for the PEOPLE (citizens of the USA). - Charles Martel

Yikes! Whatever happened to self defense as a natural right? I believe it has nothing to do with citizenship. It is also why I turned down a gig in the UK, let alone fly anywhere.

I think you make it quite clear that you have issues with "furiners" in general, some issues with which I definitely agree.

only1asterisk
April 21, 2007, 04:21 PM
<Art's cleanup> non-citizens should NOT be allowed to buy or own guns in the USA. That is a right reserved for the PEOPLE (citizens of the USA).

Is there something wrong with my wife owning a gun? What about me owning one, since I live with her and she has access to them? What about my friend, a graduate student from India, he has no right to defend himself?

David

alucard0822
April 21, 2007, 04:24 PM
Don't know could have just stayed on topic with that, but by all means tell us how you feel. afterall some of the kind folks that keep this little ship afloat in cyberspace that have helped to further the INALIENABLE rights of us fellow citizens and honest to god green card carrying patriotic americans might just take offense to that.

RealGun
April 21, 2007, 04:28 PM
Cho's record had been expunged, so I don't think you will see judges now too keen about the idea of hiding someone's record.

The other factor is that the law governs under what conditions a person can be "committed". Processing people into mental facilities is part of my sister's job as a county LCSW in northern VA. In Cho's case, some of the handling was simply to protect his record from the severity of the legal consequences. If not careful, "the system" will become even more reluctant to commit people who really need it.

So far, the government does not have complete carte blanche into someones privacy, at least not that you would know about.

Confiscating a troubled person's guns or preventing purchase may do that person as well as society a favor, but it should never be unconditionally permanent by law, Lautenburg style as in the case of restraining orders for domestic violence. The only exceptions I can see to having a right of self defense is when one is under someone else's professional care and protection, such as in prison, in a hospital, or in a mental institution. Obviously, being of age and on a college campus doesn't work, not to mention other gun free zones.

Once free to go, it wouldn't be the guns that are being restored. It would be the rights. I guess I would let the person ask for the guns to be returned, assuming the guns weren't still at home or freely retrievable from some friend or relative. I can't think of a good reason why it has to be the police who control the weapons and present red tape or even a bill in returning them, unfunded mandate and all that.

Ratzinger_p38
April 21, 2007, 04:29 PM
No, no no no no and no. I am scared ****less I would be denied. I was diagnosed 'obsessive compulsive' some years ago - no symptoms - should I be denied? I was on Zoloft and Prozac (different times) when I was a teenager. Should I be denied? The social security board told me I was fine, shut up and get a job. Am I the kind of person they are trying to prevent from getting a gun?

tmg19103
April 21, 2007, 04:29 PM
Absolutely not. If they were, and I were to start feeling depressed, I would not seek help. That reason alone is reason enough - gun owner or not, to keep this private. This argument should not even relate to guns. It is a privacy issue in general.

22-rimfire
April 21, 2007, 04:32 PM
What records? A trip to the marriage counselor? Alcohol rehab? Where do the records start in the interest of public safety and right to privacy stop? Committed by a court? Outpatient counseling? Perscription drug use? Some psychologists review as part of job screening? Taking prescription drugs as a child in school? Personally I would keep the bar raised very high and limit any official record to being committed by a court involuntarily.

Art Eatman
April 21, 2007, 04:35 PM
I say no because in some states it's too easy for somebody to be railroaded into a mental institution. (And, no, I'm not going to say further.)

Aside from the problems with privacy laws and just plain old basic communication between the world of psychology/psychiatry and law enforcemnt, "mental health" criteria do not lend themselves well to the issue of potential criminal behavior.

Art

River Wraith
April 21, 2007, 04:40 PM
Not just no but hell no. Actually, yes Ratzinger, you are the type of person they are trying to prevent from having a gun. And when they've successfully denied you your right to bear arms, then they will come for a different group, then a different group, and then the last group. That's their plan, one group at a time, they will attempt to pass legislation to prohibit guns until they've passed enough to ban them all. It's our job to make sure that doesn't happen.

Ratzinger_p38
April 21, 2007, 04:45 PM
Not just no but hell no. Actually, yes Ratzinger, you are the type of person they are trying to prevent from having a gun. And when they've successfully denied you your right to bear arms, then they will come for a different group, then a different group, and then the last group. That's their plan, one group at a time, they will attempt to pass legislation to prohibit guns until they've passed enough to ban them all. It's our job to make sure that doesn't happen.

You sure? Or is this just tin foil hat stuff?

On the front of it, it seems like people who are 'danger to themselves or others' by a court and then the usual people who are involuntarly commited.

Argh some legal people help me out here I hate reading bills.

River Wraith
April 21, 2007, 04:52 PM
The way they've operated in the past is divide and conquer. Maybe I'm paranoid, but it sure seems that they would love to prevent anyone who's ever had a mental health issue to be ineligible for gun ownership. That's why mental health stuff shouldn't be part of NICS.

vynx
April 21, 2007, 04:53 PM
NO - I work at an Outpatient Mental health Center. First, most mental health professionals are very liberal, left of center and anti-firearms. SHEEPLE!

Do you want these people to have an opinion on your constitutional rights?

Also, you would not believe how young and unexperienced some (most) of the licensed therapists are. Do you want a 20 something college graduate that has been brainwashed into the evils of firearms along with all the current PC flovors of the day to have this kind of authority?

NO!

Not to mention it would violate HIPAA laws and regulations. Mental Health records are held to a higher standard of privacy than medical records - giving gov't buerocrates access to them would be a big BIG mistake.

wally
April 21, 2007, 04:55 PM
Be very very careful here.

Everybody would agree that violent people should not be buying guns, but what did we end up with? The word of one person with zero evidence files a restraining order against you, and there goes your right to own a gun!

There is enough stigma attached to getting psychiatric medical care as it is, adding more could end up creating additional maniacs if the potential loss of civil rights motivates them to avoid treatment at all costs.

--wally.

RealGun
April 21, 2007, 04:57 PM
That's their plan, one group at a time, they will attempt to pass legislation to prohibit guns until they've passed enough to ban them all. It's our job to make sure that doesn't happen.

I think they are desperate to restore bliss, real or imagined. Get 'em all back to shopping. But then something else will come along that was not precluded by any law or any amount of money thrown at the issue.

ConstitutionCowboy
April 21, 2007, 04:58 PM
I voted "No" because it is an infringement upon the right. If someone is so unstable as to be untrustworthy with arms, that person belongs in an institution or under full time guardianship.

Woody

SoCalShooter
April 21, 2007, 05:01 PM
On the one hand I can see the advantage. ON the other hand it is an invasion of doctor /client priviledge. So yes and no.

trondossa17
April 21, 2007, 05:05 PM
No. If they're a true danger to others, they can't be trusted loose, with a car, knife, . . .

Even in the old west, when the "wicked wrong'un" got out of jail, they handed him his gun belt back. Just as if there are murderers doing 5 years, the solution to me is not to not let them have guns when they have served their sentence.

My .01, post taxes

longeyes
April 21, 2007, 05:09 PM
No, too much opportunity, as things now stand, for abuse. "Public health" is becoming a Soviet-style wedge into our freedoms.

And, trust me, clerical mistakes in this area do happen.

Valkman
April 21, 2007, 05:21 PM
Right now it's a joke anyway since only 22 states report mental health stats to the FBI. NV does not so the FBI does not know of anyone here deemed to be a danger "to themselves and others".

No.

antsi
April 21, 2007, 05:36 PM
I am seeing two different kinds of objections here.

One is pragmatic - "there shouldn't be a mental health exclusion because it will be abused by the antis to deny RKBA to people who would otherwise be appropriate candidates for RKBA."

The other is idealistic - "RKBA is inalienable, and should never be denied to anyone for any reason."

The idealistic version is unconvincing to me. Clearly there are some people who cannot be trusted with full adult rights and responsibilities. My grandmother's brother, for instance, had severe Alzheimer's and became very hostile, paranoid, and irrational for a while. His family took his guns away from him; rightly so. Folks above I suppose would say, "Well, don't Alzheimer's patients have a right to defend themselves?" I would say my great uncle was not competent to have adult rights and responsibilities, so at that point he has a right to be cared for by people who are competent adults. The family took his guns away, along with his drivers license and car keys and a number of other potential means of hurting himself or others - but they also took the responsibility for protecting him and taking care of him.

Similarly, anyone else who is permanently and severely mentally impaired, to the point that they are not responsible for their actions, should be cared for in a safe and humane way, while "securing" them from harming themselves or others.

Legally and ethically, a person who is so impaired as to be not responsible for their own actions is a clearly and distinctly different phenomenon than a person who seeks treatment for depression and anxiety. In a perfect world, we really shouldn't have to worry about overspill between these two categories.

However, this is where we run into the "pragmatic" objections. This isn't a perfect world. In this world, I am more frightened of the nanny-state autocrats than I am of the mentally defective people. Cho killed 32 people, which would have been less if people could have shot back at him. Stalin killed 20 million; the extent of his autocratic power ruled out any possibility of "shooting back" at him.

Some people too crazy to have guns? Definitely.

Any government I trust with the power to make that call? Nope; not this side of the second coming.

Art Eatman
April 21, 2007, 05:45 PM
Maybe the term "mental health records" is too broad.

When the records in question derive from a court process, with professional people involved with the legal process, that's one thing. But there are many other file-folders with "mental health records" which could readily be misused or misinterpreted.

Present law says court-adjudicated dangerous mental patients are barred from owning firearms. Seems to me those records should be available to law enforcement.

Other records? No.

Art

Glockman17366
April 21, 2007, 05:59 PM
Psychology is an inexact science at best. If a mental health practitioner has an anti-rights bias, this could (would) lead to citizens being denied a right.

The AMA is on record as being anti-rights (when it comes to guns). I don't know what the American Psychiatric Association's position is, or even if they have one.

Many Americans have been denied their full rights due to the Lautenburg origined law concerning domestic violence. That law is way too broad for equitable treatment of American citizens.

I reckon at one time or another, any citizen could be diagnosed when a chronic mental condition, whether that was true or not.

I'm very concerned by allowing any health aspects be part of the NICS could be detrimental to people's rights.

However, I do agree with Art in this statement:
"Present law says court-adjudicated dangerous mental patients are barred from owning firearms. Seems to me those records should be available to law enforcement."

However, I think any such adjudication must be reviewed at certain intervals to determine if the condition continues. If this isn't in the law, it should be...

Charles Martel
April 21, 2007, 06:27 PM
Is there something wrong with my wife owning a gun? What about me owning one, since I live with her and she has access to them? What about my friend, a graduate student from India, he has no right to defend himself?

Nothing wrong with your wife. But if she is not a citizen she should not be allowed to own a gun. Sorry.

Your graduate friend from India and many people I know who are not citizens should NOT be allowed to own guns. Come on people! Gun ownership is explicitly reserved for citizens of the USA.

Charles Martel
April 21, 2007, 06:31 PM
Mental health records should definitely be part of the NICS check. Common sense. If there is any indication of a violent disposition towards others then you don't get a gun. Otherwise, they cannot restrict your right TKBA - PERIOD.

Who makes that determination? Who else? First, legislators. Second, judges apply the law. I don't want any more Cho's with guns.

And I don't want my right to carry restricted by nonsensical laws or "gun free zones." A stoopider idea has never come down the pike.

Charles Martel
April 21, 2007, 06:36 PM
If we are to expand the nature of a mental health denial, it must be on fair, objective criteria with a robust, fair, and actually functional appeal process.

Agree 100% particularly with the functional appeal process.

.cheese.
April 21, 2007, 06:38 PM
I say no.

When somebody voluntarily seeks psychotherapy - they do so with the understanding and agreement that what they talk about is confidential.

It is only when they express a desire to harm others or themselves, that the therapist is supposed to notify authorities, family, or a hospital.

However, if I go into a therapist's office seeking to work out some mild depression (we all get it at some point, some of us do nothing about it, others seek solutions like therapy) - I wouldn't want my telling a therapist that I'm feeling down becoming a part of government records. That's just big brother watching everything.

Something like that would have a negative impact on the psychology/therapy industry, because people would be thinking, "I don't want big brother analyzing every detail of my life." - and on top of that, people who might really need therapy and/or meds, would not get it out of fear of the government watching, and that can't be a good thing. We shouldn't be discouraging people who need help from getting it.

To think that legislators have the ability to exercise restraint in using those kinds of records - well.... it would be foolish.

Charles Martel
April 21, 2007, 06:38 PM
Yikes! Whatever happened to self defense as a natural right? I believe it has nothing to do with citizenship. It is also why I turned down a gig in the UK, let alone fly anywhere.

Which is precisely the decision anyone wanting to come to the USA should face. Our immigration is out of control. I don't want to arm them to boot.

.cheese.
April 21, 2007, 06:39 PM
Now, on the other hand, if you've been sent to a psychiatric hospital - sure that, should be in there.

But things like voluntary therapy, voluntary usage of anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication, etc.... that's private info IMO.

Charles Martel
April 21, 2007, 06:42 PM
Confiscating a troubled person's guns or preventing purchase may do that person as well as society a favor, but it should never be unconditionally permanent by law, Lautenburg style as in the case of restraining orders for domestic violence. The only exceptions I can see to having a right of self defense is when one is under someone else's professional care and protection, such as in prison, in a hospital, or in a mental institution. Obviously, being of age and on a college campus doesn't work, not to mention other gun free zones.

Agree 100%. Restrictions should not be permanent and there should be an appeal process even for "domestic violence" which has evolved into a way of restricting the gun rights of innumerable law abiding citizens.

Charles Martel
April 21, 2007, 06:43 PM
No, no no no no and no. I am scared ****less I would be denied. I was diagnosed 'obsessive compulsive' some years ago - no symptoms - should I be denied? I was on Zoloft and Prozac (different times) when I was a teenager. Should I be denied? The social security board told me I was fine, shut up and get a job. Am I the kind of person they are trying to prevent from getting a gun?

Of course not. Only if you displayed an intractable penchant for violence.

Jeff White
April 21, 2007, 06:45 PM
No, mental health is very subjective. I doubt if you could get 10 mental health professionals to agree on what the criteria for denial of purchase should be.

I doubt if there would be an easy way to do the data capture involved in adding that to the database.

Besides being too subjective, it would be too hard to accomplish.

Jeff

PotatoJudge
April 21, 2007, 06:50 PM
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

You're looking at them as immigrants, illegals, or something with less humanity than us citizens. Their rights are the same as ours (really, there is no us and them in this case, merely "all men"), and just as inalienable.

I'm with Art on the separation of judicial and medical mental health records, that's what I was getting at when I asked for a definition of "mental health records."

only1asterisk
April 21, 2007, 06:57 PM
Mr. Martel

I think we'll go find another gun for my wife tonight, just for you.

David

Fulcrum of Evil
April 21, 2007, 07:33 PM
You sure? Or is this just tin foil hat stuff?

No, it's an effective strategy that's pretty much the avowed method of the Bradyites. It's basically another form of incrementalism.

ServiceSoon
April 21, 2007, 08:09 PM
The problem is that everybody suffers from one form or another of mental illness. :)

Art Eatman
April 21, 2007, 08:26 PM
Heck of a note to be all mistook for well over a half-century, y'know? Here all the time I thought the Bill of Rights was human rights. "Enumerated", not "granted", which says that they're rights that exist even in the complete absence of any sort of government.

But I'd imagine that court decisions about dangerous mental incompetence, if not sealed and if it occurred to the folks operating the records-keeping system to do so, are normally sent on to the NICS folks. My understanding is that as the law now stands, ten years of "clean living" and eligibility is restored.

The real issue at hand, seems to me, would be to go beyond what the courts decide. That's dangerous.

Art

plexreticle
April 21, 2007, 08:29 PM
The vast majority of people with mental health problems are not violent. People should never be discriminated against because of medical conditions.

awkx
April 21, 2007, 08:30 PM
If someone is so dangerous that they shouldn't have a gun, then they shouldn't be loose on the streets. Conversely, if someone isn't dangerous enough to be denied liberty, then he shouldn't be denied the right to armed self-defense either.
So, I propose a new instant-check system: If the potential buyer is locked up in jail or in a mental institution, then they shouldn't be allowed to firearms. Otherwise, the sale should be allowed. :D

Sistema1927
April 21, 2007, 08:32 PM
#1 - Eliminate NICS. It kills people (just like all gun control).

#2 - What, are you crazy? Don't you realize that most "mental health practitioners" are about one level lower than witch doctors?

#3 - It would only take them adding "firearms addiction" to the DSM-IV to get all of us locked up.

oldfart
April 21, 2007, 08:34 PM
Actually, there should be a third choice: "No, no, hell No!" For those who believe it can't hurt, let me point to the Social Security Act.

.cheese.
April 21, 2007, 08:38 PM
some would say as gun-nuts, we have violent tendencies..... so by default, anybody who would want a gun, therefore has potential violent tendencies, a mental issue, and because of that should be denied buying a gun.

You can't buy a gun, because you're obviously violent as demonstrated by your desire to buy a gun!

Sounds stupid right? I'll bet the legislators would eat it up though.

ACP
April 21, 2007, 08:48 PM
Of course. The question answers itself.

Aguila Blanca
April 21, 2007, 09:00 PM
I haven't re-read it for at least 15 minutes, but the last time I checked the 2nd Amendment didn't mention background checks or mental health.

If you're worried that someone isn't fit to buy a gun, why is he/she allowed out in public?

qdemn7
April 21, 2007, 09:06 PM
Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective(which includes having been adjudicated incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have been committed to a mental institution?"Adjudicated mentally defective" has a VERY specific meaning to the ATF:

Act. 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44.
Adjudicated as a mental defective. (a) A determination by a court,
board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result
of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency,
condition, or disease:
(1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or
(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.
(b) The term shall include--
(1) A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
(2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not
guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles
50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a,
876b.http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/05dec20031700/edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2003/aprqtr/27cfr478.11.htm

RealGun
April 21, 2007, 09:08 PM
why is he/she allowed out in public?

They ran out of room, and the person is expensive to support. There is the little question of insurance coverage also.

I LIKE IT!
April 21, 2007, 09:15 PM
NO.

I can see were that will lead to...thought police.:barf:

Mandatory screenings for everyone, big brother knows what's best for you.:barf:

Just another can of worms wait to see the light.:barf:

James T Thomas
April 21, 2007, 09:16 PM
Yes, for psychoses.
No for neuroses.

SouthpawShootr
April 21, 2007, 10:24 PM
Yes, but only so much as to allow enforcement of the federal law in question. In other words, no, all mental health records should not be dumped into some central government database, but yes, narrowly defined mental health records that will allow a decision to transfer or not of a firearm should be available.

Should a woman who sees a shrink and is prescribed valium b/c her husband beat the hell out of her be denied the right to legally purchase a gun? No.

Should someone with repeated involuntary commitals b/c the court agreed that they were a danger to themselves or others be allowed to walk into an FFL and purchase a gun? I think not.

I think a bit of the problem is that this sort of thing is not always so cut and dried. Some people who are treated without committals may present the same danger as someone who was forced to undergo treatment. You might still have some that slip under the radar. How to limit these without infringing on the rights of people who aren't going to go off the reservation? Of course certain politicians would say let's just take it away from everybody, then you won't have to worry about anybody. Equally wrong answer.

Gaiudo
April 21, 2007, 10:46 PM
Well, if you want your voice heard on this issue, we had better start talking fast:

From the cover story at Foxnews.com http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,267620,00.html :

Democrats are instead resurrecting legislation, which has drawn broad bipartisan support and NRA backing, that would improve the national background check system.

The measure, a version of which has passed the House in two previous Congresses but died in the Senate, could come to a House vote as early as next month. It would require states to supply more-thorough records, including for any mental illness-related court action against a would-be gun purchaser.

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., a strong NRA ally who has been a leading opponent of most gun control legislation, is negotiating with the group on the background-check bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has tapped Dingell and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y. — a leading gun control supporter whose husband was fatally shot by a deranged gunman on the Long Island Railroad — to broker a swift compromise measure that could win passage in the House and Senate.

Looks like they are going to try and push this through mighty fast. We had better be really careful on this one.

SouthpawShootr
April 21, 2007, 10:58 PM
Curious that they failed to give even the slightest detail about the bill. If McCarthy supports it, then I'm sure I won't like it. I'll have to read what the bill but it sounds like yet another unfunded mandate being thrown on the shoulders of the states and I don't like that one bit.

JCF
April 21, 2007, 11:19 PM
If you're worried that someone isn't fit to buy a gun, why is he/she allowed out in public?

Incapacitating mental illness of the type that renders you a danger to self or others (schizophrenia, major depression, bi-polar disorder, etc.), and of the severity that is liable to subject you to detention against your will, is typically not a static condition. This is often difficult to understand unless you have had experience with mental health patients.

While the diagnosis is more or less permanent, the condition of imminent danger that results in detention is rarely a "now and forever" situation like mental retardation. Many/most patients who are subject to detention are typically capable of living independently, and typically return to a behavioral state where it is innapropriate (and illegal) to keep them detained in a secure facility.

This does not however necessarily mean that they will remain that way; and in fact in most cases where an emergency detention has occurred due to psychosis the patient will indeed be rehospitalized at some point. It may be a very short period of time, or it may take years.

Gun ownership is a profoundly poor idea for most (not all, but most) of these people.

It is not as simple as "why is he/she allowed out in public?" however.

Not all states require adjudication for imminent risk hospitalizations, and not all persons who pose such risk are "mentally incompetent or defective" by legal definition.

If one's mental health history includes hospitalization (voluntary or otherwise) for imminent risk of serious harm to self or others, the information should, in my opinion, be potentially disqualifying to lawful gun ownership IF a law enforcement agency, mental health authority, etc. is willing to go to the trouble of petitioning a hearing by a Court that it be so ordered, and is capable of providing a compelling demonstration of the basis of their concern.

It should not be incumbent upon the individual, IMHO, to demonstrate their competency in the absence of such action.

Pilgrim
April 21, 2007, 11:28 PM
Catch 22: Anyone wanting a gun is crazy and is therefore prohibited from owning a gun. Anyone who doesn't want a gun is normal and therefore permitted to own a gun. However, if a normal person decides he wants a gun, he is reclassified as crazy and can't have a gun.

rbernie
April 21, 2007, 11:36 PM
Mental health is too inexacting in many ways to be used as an objective criteria for denying a person the right to self-defense.

Remember - the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) listed homosexuality as a mental disorder as recently as the early 1970s. Hardly an exacting science. :rolleyes:

More to the point, as my mutual funds like to tell me, past performance is not an indicator of future returns.

It is not as simple as "why is he/she allowed out in public?" however.If you're not qualified to handle a firearm, you're not qualified to drive a car or walk around in public at all. If society is willing to allow a body to get a drivers license, buy a car, and generally function as a member of society - then they're good enough to own a gun.

I wonder what the national casualty rate is for folks that kill themselves and others by driving their car the wrong way on the freeway vs. going on a killing spree....
.

Geno
April 21, 2007, 11:54 PM
So many "psychologists" are not even board-certified, possessing at best perhaps an M.A. Even those who have a terminal degree and are board certified are guessing at both diagnosis and medicine.

I have watched my brother-in-law go through holy hell with idiot psychologists/psychiatrists who admit they are "...guessing as to which what medication (or combination) will work." Furthermore it is the psychologist who is telling his psychiatrist which medications he suggests? Isn't that rather backward?! He isn't even an M.D.!

Before they drugged him up, he was a cool guy (22 years old), successful recent graduate in industrial graphic design. Sure, he was a bit off-center, but never violent or weird. Now, they have him freaked-out and screwed-up! Great "...guesses..." those psychs pulled off! They can't even tell us the heck he has in terms of diagnosis.

Tell me all, you feel like putting your rights to own firearms in the hands of these medical lottery fools?

JCF
April 22, 2007, 12:33 AM
Remember - the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) listed homosexuality as a mental disorder as recently as the early 1970s. Hardly an exacting science.

No, it isn't. Homosexuality was indeed so categorized. And medical science currently treats phantom pain; a condition wherein amputees feel intense pain in non-existent limbs following amputation. Hardly an exacting science either.

Which of the currently defined diagnoses that are criteria for mental health detention do you feel are invalid?

More to the point, as my mutual funds like to tell me, past performance is not an indicator of future returns.

Yet so many people oppose parole for violent offenders, support sex offender registry, etc. Go figure.

If you're not qualified to handle a firearm, you're not qualified to drive a car or walk around in public at all. If society is willing to allow a body to get a drivers license, buy a car, and generally function as a member of society - then they're good enough to own a gun.

Many individuals who are diagnosed with pervasive mental health disorders are in fact restricted from having a driver's license.

More importantly however, most (not all, but most) individuals who undergo hospitalization due to mental illness as a regular or significant part of their existence do not enjoy sufficient functionality that they are able to actually afford to drive. Their problem typically renders them unable to sustain consistent employment, responsibly pay bills, etc.

Further, the issue of mental status, and danger to self/others, generally surrounds issues of the individual's perceptions. Violence, religion, etc., (and accesibility to the traditional means thereto) are compounding circumstances. One can find God in a book, it does not require a church. But a church is a much more likely catalyst for a paranoid schizophrenic than the religion section of the local Books-A-Million.

Cho could have just as easily (and probably more effectively) employed a few gallons of gas and a book of matches. Why do you suppose he did not Rbernie?

If the mind of the mentally ill person functioned with the same level of rationality that yours and mine do, well... they wouldn't be mentally ill.

JCF
April 22, 2007, 12:49 AM
Before they drugged him up, he was a cool guy (22 years old), successful recent graduate in industrial graphic design. Sure, he was a bit off-center, but never violent or weird. Now, they have him freaked-out and screwed-up! Great "...guesses..." those psychs pulled off! They can't even tell us the heck he has in terms of diagnosis.


Too bad they didn't just leave him alone. Is he okay to own a gun now?

Geister
April 22, 2007, 12:57 AM
or if a patient can be shown to be "a danger to his/herself or others".

How do we define that? I'd imagine that a lot of psychologists think any firearm owner is a danger to himself and others.

It's easier to just shoot a loonie in self-defense than it is to set up some massive, UNCONSTITUTIONAL database.

JCF
April 22, 2007, 01:07 AM
How do we define that?

Generally speaking as the Courts require; a plausible threat to do harm to oneself or others as evidenced by demonstrated action, means, plan, history, etc.


I'd imagine that a lot of psychologists think any firearm owner is a danger to himself and others.

Not in my personal experience. Nor would such a position in and of itself meet legal criteria in any juridiction I've been in.

Geno
April 22, 2007, 01:34 AM
Oh, heck no...he'll never own a firearm now. The meds made him all weirded out. The family forced him into the psych ward. They drugged him up and made the whole matter even worse! He is really messed up. After the meds, he goes from emotionless one hour to freaked-out and angry the next hour. The medications brought these emotional swings on.

The doctors give him an upper in the morning to get him going, in the afternoon they give him a downer (when he get too energized) and then they have to give him sleeping pills every night. He lives in Chile, but Chile's firearms laws are very similar to our own.

In fact, I if I lived in Chile, or simply visited, I can possess almost all the same firearms as I have here. I merely have to declare myself a "collector". However, in Chile, they do require a full psychological before you can get a firearm. That is why I say he will never own a firearm. When he was a little guy, he loved looking at firearms with me.

They fornicated this poor kids up physically, emotionally. I wish he would come live with my wife and I here in the US and get some serious medical care away from the fools psychs. I think he needs to see an addictive medication specialist to get this crap out of his system, then start from scratch.

Edit to add, I have seen similar cases and even worse right here in the US. Psychiatry is not a hard science! There is a ton of trial and error! Hell, look what they do to so many little boys who are just being boys...but them on drugs to calm them down...call them ADD/ADHD. I presented a National Conference about this about a year back. The research findings shocked the attendees! There are massive misdiagnoses between ADD/ADHD/TBI/Depression/Sleep disorder, etc. I make certain to integrate these researches and facts into my graduate student's decision-making course. Make an informed decision!

Rant off.

ConfuseUs
April 22, 2007, 07:59 AM
I voted yes, but that's because if they check for felonies, they should also check for involuntary commitment to mental hospitals as well. Of course, there is the element of Gov't going where it ought not to go since these are confidential medical records. On the other hand I don't think NICS does much to keep guns out of the hands of felons, it won't do much to keep them out of the hands of nuts either.

alucard0822
April 22, 2007, 08:44 AM
There is a difference between mental health records (protected by confidentiality) and court records (available to NICS). Adjudicating someone mentally defective and legal commitment to a mental institution are both grounds for disapproval, and both are traceable through court records now. The 30 non-consecutive days inpatient confinement would only be available if reported, but is also grounds for dissaproval. In the wake of the VT shootings there are plenty of people advocating for stricter gun control and more obstacles to gun ownership by those who are not presently restricted from obtaining one. I am not one of those people. Habitual abuse of drugs and alcohol are also grounds for disapproval with 3 past convictions of a related offense, or 2 within the last 2 years as the basis for determining if someone is a habitual abuser. Would you advocate a drug test before you could buy a gun?, how about a breathalizer system to be required on a gun safe? How about a credit report requirement, maybe employment verification? There are already too many restrictions on people, and restrictions on weapons in general. 10rd internal mags in CA, No HP ammo in NJ, no BB guns in NYC. The paranoid kook in the apartment across the hall believes you are out to get her, and one day you offer to help her carry her groceries, she barricades herself in the apartment for 2 days and calls 911, yet somehow can pull it together well enough to ask the court for a restraining order on you? There it is, you are faced with the possibility of both confiscation and a lifetime ban on gun ownership (I am no longer her neighbor and the judge did not give her one)

I do not support more gun control, I have spent a large part of my free time writing letters, attending hearings, and helping to bring others to our cause. The Bradys, although no where as numerous as we are do organize themselves into a unified front, and support any and all gun control. If we could ever unite our efforts aggainst gun control we would be able to correct some of the unjust laws on the books now, and wouldn't have to worry about bills like HR10/22 and others. Why do some of us argue FOR more gun control?

ssr
April 22, 2007, 09:34 AM
The problem is the implementation of it. Once the records start becoming reported, the issue is who reports them, looks into them, decides the person is a threat and has his gun rights taken away. And then, is it just that it leads to a denial on the NCIS? Or is it made illegal for the person to buy a firearms in any way, or is it made illegal for the person to own firearms?

And once it starts, where does it go from there? Down the road, maybe private psychiatrists due to legal concerns, decide they don't the repurcussions of dealing with reporting a person and determining them unfit. So then maybe the government steps in and employs govenment appointed psychiatrist who make those determinations, to ease the liability from private psychiatrist. So then you have government employed psychiatrist deciding who is a threat and who isn't and denying their rights.

It all seems like the wrong direction in which we are headed. We are truely, slowly, heading in a direction which places more authority in government with a willingly submissive populace, even if they do not realize it. It is not inconceiveable that we are becomng ripe for authoritarian rule.

Those who vote for rporting are trusting those who do the rporting and deciding. It may somewhat work as they think now, but who knows about the future? Being declared a threat or mentally unstable by a government psychiatrist and involuntarily committed could certainly become widely abused in the future in this country, just as it has in other countries.

We are slowly heading towards becoming one of those totalitarian states, police states, we used to call evil.

All of the laws we are passing, invading privacy and eroding rights and responsibilities, and placing more power in the government are doing absolutely nothing to make our society a better, safer place. Nothing. So we should stop taking away rights and freedom, and give that repsonsibility back to indiviuals and citizens. We sould be a better society.

Molon Labe
April 22, 2007, 09:40 AM
Should mental health records be part of the NICS background check?
No. Any and all gun control laws are evil. Even if they help prevent crime.

gyp_c2
April 22, 2007, 09:53 AM
no more nics...http://emoticons4u.com/smoking/rauch06.gif
and no more registration schemes of any kind...
If nics continues, nothing should be added to give the .guv access to any more databases...atall...especially medical, dental, psychobabble, insurance or anything else...criminal only and nothing further...If you want it, getafrackinwrittenwarrant...:scrutiny:

Geister
April 22, 2007, 10:07 AM
Generally speaking as the Courts require; a plausible threat to do harm to oneself or others as evidenced by demonstrated action, means, plan, history, etc.


Still very subjective. Different people perceive threats differently. Besides, it should not be the government's job to say who can purchase a firearm, or anything else for that matter, anyway.


Not in my personal experience. Nor would such a position in and of itself meet legal criteria in any juridiction I've been in.


Read a lot of the APA stuff.

Hell, one psych textbook I had in college stuck in a lot of PC political crap in it in sections that had nothing to do with it.

Like you said, you can't exactly say that a personal has an EXACT mental illness and WILL harm someone. A lot of illnesses and disorders cross one another. It also should not be the government's job to say who can buy a firearm when the government would like gun ownership to be severly limited anyway.

Instead of hassling a lot of people and making them explain their past mental history during a background check, more people need to be familiar with firearms and can use them as a deterrant so when that psycho DOES want to initiate violence, there'll be plenty of people out there willing to fight back.

The ONLY thing that could have really prevented the VT tragedy is shooting Cho down during the shooting before he killed more people.

pacodelahoya
April 22, 2007, 10:45 AM
Am I the kind of person they are trying to prevent from getting a gun?




For those of you that are gullible enough to vote yes. The answer to this question is that "THEY" think that anyone who is not "THEM" are the kinds of people who shouldn't own guns.

Art Eatman
April 22, 2007, 12:44 PM
paco, nobody has "voted" to approve providing just any and all such records. And, that's not what's being talked about in Congress. The thrust of present legislation is to clean up the existing system of getting court records into the FBI database. That's more a money thing than any enablement thing, as the laws already call for court records to be entered.

The title of this thread doesn't really relate to what's going on.

Art

only1asterisk
April 22, 2007, 12:55 PM
Art,

It is not that clear cut. Taken from discussion of the current NRA backed bill:

Bartholomew Roberts:

However, if you look at Section 102(c)(1)(A), it says "shall make electronically available to the Attorney General records relevant to a determination of whether a person is disqualified from possessing or receiving a firearm" - you could interpret this to mean that anything that helps the state determine whether or not you are a prohibited person must be included.


David

migoi
April 22, 2007, 02:47 PM
under these very conditions here in Hawaii.

In order to acquire a handgun in Hawaii you have to obtain a Permit to Acquire. The application for this permit consist of a questionaire very similiar to the 7743 (or whatever the number is), a form giving the police permission to contact your doctor to see if he/she knows of any reason you shouldn't be allowed to buy a firearm, and a form giving the the police permission to contact the mental health agency (don't remember the exact title) to see if you have had any contacts with them.

This last form seems to allow them to deny your permit for any contact. I've hear reliable reports of people being denied for visiting a therapist when they were 12 to help with incidents of bedwetting (the person was in their 40's at time of denial, had only seen the therapist 3 times, with no other mental health interactions) and for seeing a therapist after the death of a spouse of 35 years (person was nowhere near a danger, just needed someone to talk out his feelings with and didn't want to burden his friends by being the 'guy that won't shut up about his dead wife'). The denial is not permanent and can be reversed with a letter from an MD saying you are no longer affected by the condition that caused you to seek mental health assistance.

As you might guess, most doctors are reluctant to sign such a letter.

To the poster worried if they are out to deny him... yes they are, any way they can figure to deny one more person they will take it.

To the poster who has a bug up his nose about non-citizens and the RKBA: does this "rights are only for citizens" apply to the other nine also?

migoi

DWARREN123
April 22, 2007, 03:39 PM
No but if you have been judged a danger to yourself or others the information should be sent to the authorities so you can not purchase anything that needs a legal check.
There should also be a legal way to get this changed if you are considered cured.

PILMAN
April 22, 2007, 03:47 PM
Heck no, that's discrimination. Not everyone that has a mental illness is a whacko that ones to kill people.

rbernie
April 22, 2007, 03:50 PM
Which of the currently defined diagnoses that are criteria for mental health detention do you feel are invalid?
I'm absolutely not qualified to answer that question. But then again, neither are many mental health practicioners, and certainly nobody that sits on a bench is qualified make that determination. That's my point.

You mentioned phantom pain as an indication that other 'sciences', such as medicine, are inexact as well. That's absolutely true, but we generally don't disqualify someone from owning a firearm because they have Restless Legs Syndrome. ;)

Yet so many people oppose parole for violent offenders, support sex offender registry, etc. Go figure. You're mixing apples and oranges. Criminal punishment is reserved for those that have demonstrably acted in a manner considered anti-social and unacceptable. The criminal has ostensibly predated upon society in some fashion (don't get me started on drug laws) and needs to serve some time in the penalty box as a result. As a general rule, most criminals are capable of discerning our societal/cultural differences between right and wrong.

That has nothing to do with involuntary committment due to an inability to discern right from wrong. If you're not ready to be left unsupervised in our society, well - you shouldn't be left unsupervised in our society.

Many individuals who are diagnosed with pervasive mental health disorders are in fact restricted from having a driver's license.
Forever, or are they allowed to regain their privledge to drive? How does that line up with the way that the F Troop handles stripping an individual of the RKBA? Heard of anyone successfully petitioning the .gov for a restoration of gun rights? It doesn't happen, and as I understand things the .gov has successfully ensured that it CAN'T happen by removing the funding for that little exercise. This is actually the crux of my concerns over mental health records being used as a basis for removal of an individuals RKBA. The system is stacked so heavily in terms of not readmitting the outcast that I'm very gunshy (if you'll forgive the pun) about making pariahs of people who at one point in their life were in need of help.

Cho could have just as easily (and probably more effectively) employed a few gallons of gas and a book of matches. Why do you suppose he did not Rbernie? Probably because he wanted to inflict pain, to exact some revenge in a very personal manner and in a manner that was far more precise than simply starting a fire and hoping for the best. But I don't know for sure, and neither does anybody else.

My point was (and you've yet to chime in on this) that I suspect more folk kill themselves by driving the wrong way on a freeway and taking out Susie SoccerMom and her brood in a head-on collision than achieve equal results by going on a shootin' spree. Does that imply that cars and (to your example) matches and gascans should be prohibited items to anyone who would be currently prohibited from owning a firearm? If not - why not?

Act. 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44.
Adjudicated as a mental defective. (a) A determination by a court,
board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result
of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency,
condition, or disease:
(1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or
(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.
(b) The term shall include--
(1) A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
(2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not
guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles
50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a,
876b. I know many people who, at some instant in time during their life, fit this legal description by virtue of being momentarily incapable of managing their own affairs. All, save one, in due time regained their center and have lived violence-free lives as successful members of their community. All of 'em have worth and value, and have the inelienable right to keep and bear arms for any lawful purpose.

If someone can't be trusted to own a firearm, they shouldn't be walking the street unsupervised.

SteveS
April 22, 2007, 03:50 PM
In a past career, I worked as a licensed therapist. I will say that records shoud generally not be made part of an NICS check (I'd also favor getting rid of NICS, but that wasn't the question).

I don't think that having a mental illness is a good predictor of future violent behavior. Therefore, it is a poor reason to deny someone a basic right. It is easy to look back after an incident and say what should have been done, but it is hard to predict what someone will do.

Redneck with a 40
April 22, 2007, 04:01 PM
I'm pretty much a fence sitter on this issue. On the one hand, I do believe that if a person has been "involuntarily committed" to an institution and judged to be a danger to others, than those records should be transferred to the states so that the person will be denied under NICS. However, if said person can prove that the condition is cured, then I don't think the firearms prohibition should last forever.

I also believe that if this policy becomes law, there MUST BE STRICT GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES for disqualifying people, the potential for abuse must be minimized. Things like A-D-D should not be a disqualifyer under any circumstance. Conditions like schitzophrenia absolutely should be a disqualifyer.

On the other hand, the arguments about denying people's rights based on trivial conditions or technicalities holds merit and is a legitimate concern. Part of me thinks that this is just another way for the anti's to chip away at who is legally qualified to buy a gun.

I honestly don't know what the answer is, this issue is a can of worms.

only1asterisk
April 22, 2007, 04:45 PM
Redneck with a 40 and other people feeling conflicted,

I have a simple rule that might help decide the issue.

Err on the side of freedom.

Evil men and those with afflicted minds will find a way to do the terrible things that they do. Gun owners need not feel any shame or guilt nor suffer under the current restrictions much less have our burdens increased.

Err on the side of freedom.

The costs of freedom are eventually felt by most of us. Don't let anyone convince you that giving up your rights piecemeal is the cure.

David

JohnBT
April 22, 2007, 05:01 PM
"Many individuals who are diagnosed with pervasive mental health disorders are in fact restricted from having a driver's license."

That's something I've never seen in 30+ years of working with individuals with disabilities.

John

BigFunWMU
April 22, 2007, 05:22 PM
A blanket approval of psych records, HE77 NO. However in cases like the whakjob at VT, he was legally declared a danger to himself and others in a court of law. That legal finding should play a roll in the "C" part of NICS.

JCF
April 22, 2007, 06:13 PM
That's something I've never seen in 30+ years of working with individuals with disabilities.

License restriction information for your home state.

http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/citizen/medical/spec_restrict.asp

RavenVT100
April 22, 2007, 06:33 PM
This last form seems to allow them to deny your permit for any contact. I've hear reliable reports of people being denied for visiting a therapist when they were 12 to help with incidents of bedwetting (the person was in their 40's at time of denial, had only seen the therapist 3 times, with no other mental health interactions) and for seeing a therapist after the death of a spouse of 35 years (person was nowhere near a danger, just needed someone to talk out his feelings with and didn't want to burden his friends by being the 'guy that won't shut up about his dead wife'). The denial is not permanent and can be reversed with a letter from an MD saying you are no longer affected by the condition that caused you to seek mental health assistance.

This absolutely asinine and discriminatory. Tell me, does Hawaii only allow white people to possess firearms? Because their policies regarding what you have outlined make about as much sense. Why would these people need to see MDs? Being bereaved or wetting the bed when you were 12 doesn't have any bearing on whether or not a person is dangerous around guns.

What an absolutely mean-spirited, spiteful, and unethical law.

JCF
April 22, 2007, 06:44 PM
I'm absolutely not qualified to answer that question. But then again, neither are many mental health practicioners, and certainly nobody that sits on a bench is qualified make that determination. That's my point.

You do however, despite your lack of knowledge regarding the issue, feel qualified to denigrate the ability of all and sundry to speak to it. Those "on the bench" do not make the decision of their on accord. They are simply part of a larger system of decision making.

You mentioned phantom pain as an indication that other 'sciences', such as medicine, are inexact as well. That's absolutely true, but we generally don't disqualify someone from owning a firearm because they have Restless Legs Syndrome.

Nor do (did) we detain nor restrict one's rights for homosexuality, female arousal disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, etc.


Quote:
Yet so many people oppose parole for violent offenders, support sex offender registry, etc. Go figure.

You're mixing apples and oranges. Criminal punishment is reserved for those that have demonstrably acted in a manner considered anti-social and unacceptable. The criminal has ostensibly predated upon society in some fashion (don't get me started on drug laws) and needs to serve some time in the penalty box as a result. As a general rule, most criminals are capable of discerning our societal/cultural differences between right and wrong.

It was your generalization firstly.

Secondly, the mentally ill are not?


That has nothing to do with involuntary committment due to an inability to discern right from wrong.

The overwhelming majority of commitals contain no such circumstances, yet the individual presents profound risk nonetheless. It is a tremendous bit of mythology that mental illness results in an inherent disability in the capacity to discern right and wrong.

If you're not ready to be left unsupervised in our society, well - you shouldn't be left unsupervised in our society.

As noted, the condition of instability is not static. A mentaly ill person's appropriateness for inependence today may not be so defineable in three months.

Beyond that, there are any number of individuals walking about society quite placidly in a state of complete independence who have absolutely no business with a firearm whatsoever; my mentally retarded adult neighbor comes to mind.



Forever, or are they allowed to regain their privledge to drive?

In the case of a mental health restriction it is typically permanent unless proven to be inappropriate by the subject of the restriction, viz., it is incumbent upon the patient.

How does that line up with the way that the F Troop handles stripping an individual of the RKBA? Heard of anyone successfully petitioning the .gov for a restoration of gun rights? It doesn't happen, and as I understand things the .gov has successfully ensured that it CAN'T happen by removing the funding for that little exercise. This is actually the crux of my concerns over mental health records being used as a basis for removal of an individuals RKBA. The system is stacked so heavily in terms of not readmitting the outcast that I'm very gunshy (if you'll forgive the pun) about making pariahs of people who at one point in their life were in need of help.

And I fully understand that concern. But by the same token there is absolutely no shortage of individuals suffering transient mental illness in any given society that I would wager would make you exceptionally uncomfortable were they armed. I am not talking about people "having a little trouble". I am talking about people who present real and persistent threat to the community; people who cannot by law be kept behind locked doors as suggested, and who do not exhibit these traits 100% of the time.



My point was (and you've yet to chime in on this) that I suspect more folk kill themselves by driving the wrong way on a freeway and taking out Susie SoccerMom and her brood in a head-on collision than achieve equal results by going on a shootin' spree. Does that imply that cars and (to your example) matches and gascans should be prohibited items to anyone who would be currently prohibited from owning a firearm? If not - why not?

Unlike a shooting spree, the nature of the act you've described makes it impossible to know for certain if there was intent. I have no idea of the answer to your question, and I suspect no one else does either. As I stated, most persons suffering persistent mental illness are limited in their ability to own and access vehicles regularly due to financial reasons. I would suggest that it is primarily a moot point, but if one is not sufficiently trustworthy to lawfully own a firearm due to mental illness, there is a pretty reasonable argument that they should not be licensed to drive.

Quote:
Act. 18 U.S.C. Chapter 44.
Adjudicated as a mental defective. (a) A determination by a court,
board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result
of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency,
condition, or disease:
(1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or
(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.
(b) The term shall include--
(1) A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
(2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not
guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles
50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a,
876b.

I know many people who, at some instant in time during their life, fit this legal description by virtue of being momentarily incapable of managing their own affairs. All, save one, in due time regained their center and have lived violence-free lives as successful members of their community. All of 'em have worth and value, and have the inelienable right to keep and bear arms for any lawful purpose.

Everyone has worth and value as far as I'm concerned, including many of those typically relegated to the status of subhuman by many of the members of this forum. As I stated, I don't believe the restriction should be inherent or automatic. There are specific instances however where I believe it is appropriate.

If someone can't be trusted to own a firearm, they shouldn't be walking the street unsupervised.

I fundamentally agree, but the process of intercepting them, where mental illness is concerned, is difficult due to the transient nature of the condition(s), and keeping them contained is legally impossible at this juncture in history.

It's just not that simple.

rbernie
April 22, 2007, 07:15 PM
You do however, despite your lack of knowledge regarding the issue, feel qualified to denigrate the ability of all and sundry to speak to it. Please show me where I did that.

You're taking my poke at the DSM and how it tends to track against social mores moreso than most other medical professions and extrapolating that into a dismissal and dengration of the entire mental health profession. Not only did I not do that nor have any intention of doing that, I've been far more restrained than most in dealing with the mental health profession. About the strongest thing I posted was:
Mental health is too inexacting in many ways to be used as an objective criteria for denying a person the right to self-defense.
From this I "denigrate the ability of all and sundry to speak to it"? I did no such thing.

I DO denigrate the ability of the .gov to use this information on an objective basis to render judgement as to who is allowed to retain their right to keep and bear arms.

Nor do (did) we detain nor restrict one's rights for homosexuality, female arousal disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, etc.
But what's acting as the brake on that? The minute that mental health records (all records are included in the current legislation under study, not just involuntary committals) are allowed to bear upon an individual's 'suitability' to own a firearm, what's to stop the inclusion of these disorders in the list of disqualifying items? Think this is far-fetched? Look no further than the Lautenberg Amendment (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_Violence_Offender_Gun_Ban). Get caught in a nasty divorce and lose you temper in an argument over child custody, and (without ever having raised your hand) you find yourself slapped with a restraining order, accused of being an abusive spouse, and POOF! there go your gun rights for the rest of your life. That happens TODAY. I shudder to think about what could be done with more expansive mental health records.

But by the same token there is absolutely no shortage of individuals suffering transient mental illness in any given society that I would wager would make you exceptionally uncomfortable were they armed. I am not talking about people "having a little trouble". I am talking about people who present real and persistent threat to the community; people who cannot by law be kept behind locked doors as suggested, and who do not exhibit these traits 100% of the time.That's life, in a nutshell. You're worried about the 1% extreme and I'm worried about the vast majority of folk who avail themselves of the mental health profession in good faith and with no long-term prognosis that would render them unsuitable for firearms ownership.

I would suggest that if is primarily a moot point, but if one is not sufficiently trustworthy to lawfully own a firearm due to mental illness, there is a pretty reasonable argument that they should not be licensed to drive.We agree. So if legislation precludes one, why does it not preclude the other?

I fundamentally agree, but the process of intercepting them, where mental illness is concerned, is difficult due to the transient nature of the condition(s), and keeping them contained is legally impossible at this juncture in history.

It's just not that simple.And that's my point. It's just not that simple. And yet legislators are trying to make it that simple, by linking mental health records to an individual right to keep and bear arms.

That's simply the wrong answer.

As OnlyOneAsterisk pointed out - we simply have to
ERR ON THE SIDE OF FREEDOM.

gotarheels03
April 22, 2007, 08:23 PM
I'm going to make this short........ NO they should NOT be part of NICS. They are PRIVATE RECORDS. Cho wasn't picked up because the judge in his case didn't order him to involuntary treatment. That was the fault of the judge not the "system" Opening up health records to the buying of firearms will inevitably lead to further restrictions on 2A rights as well as major invasions of privacy.

Like ive said before, who determines "mental illness" and what medical records will be used to determine eligibility to excersize rights? my fear is that this could be used in a highly restrictive manner.

freewheeling
April 22, 2007, 09:15 PM
I'm voting no on this one, after reading all of the replies so far. My first impulse was to say no, but I figured I'd at least hear the arguments. The problem is that the underlying intent of denying someone self-protection because they've had contact with a mental health professional is a nannyesque impulse. If a person is sufficiently dangerous to themselves or others to be automatically denied, then they're dangerous enough to be in a hospital. Giving in to the impulse to restrict indulges it, and ensures that it'll be just one more step toward the kind of confiscation that took place in the UK after Dunblane. Weapons were even confiscated without compensation, but the process really began back in the 1920s. The UK public is now completely disarmed.

I have a friend with a PhD in psychology who has been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the BBC that he feels that anyone who even suggests that concealed carry on the VT campus might have been a good idea is "mentally deranged", and he assures me that this opinion is widespread.

If the NRA is backing such a law then they'll not get any more dues from me, no matter how finely nuanced their argument is.

If you oppose this law then the place to write is Congressman Dingell's office, and the NRA.

JCF
April 22, 2007, 09:21 PM
Please show me where I did that.

I'm absolutely not qualified to answer that question. But then again, neither are many mental health practicioners, and certainly nobody that sits on a bench is qualified make that determination. That's my point.

Given your acknowledged lack of qualification to speak to issues of mental health, what is it precisely that qualifies you to render decisive evaluative judgments as to the ability of mental health clinicians to determine risk secondary to mental illness, or judges to render appropriately informed decisions within the context of a multidisciplinary environment? Surely Rbernie not the fact that you have been exposed to anecdote… stories of the system’s failures?

Let me explain something to you; the mental health system in this country is taxed to its absolute outer limit. There is no room, not one linear inch, for decisions of opportunity or nebulous political benefit. It is virtually impossible to obtain interventive services in any other than a dire and emergent context (read serious suicide attempt where there are no family supports to offer supervision, erratic behavior to the point that imminent death is likely, etc.). Law enforcement and Mental Health regularly come into conflict with one another because MH is legally unable to detain persons who LE feel strongly are about to kill themselves or someone else. People do not get committed “just because”. It is difficult and expensive to accomplish, and the likely outcome is that the patient will be released LONG before anyone feels that they are actually ready in order to make room for the next patient, and in order to comply with the laws that protect their rights.

Walk down the street in the downtown area of any major city and take a hard look at who IS NOT being detained. If you are being seriously considered for Emergency Detention in this country in this day and age, you are a mess.


I DO denigrate the ability of the .gov to use this information on an objective basis to render judgement as to who is allowed to retain their right to keep and bear arms.

So do I. And there are bound to be problems, as in any and every other system operated by the agents of the people. But I submit to you that this in and of itself is not sufficient justification to simply look the other way whilst proven mentally unstable persons arm themselves.

Quote:
Nor do (did) we detain nor restrict one's rights for homosexuality, female arousal disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, agoraphobia, etc.
But what's acting as the brake on that?

The MH system is becoming generally less restrictive, not more. The system is overburdened as it is. No one is looking to drum up business. The criteria for detention is plausible and demonstrated imminent danger to self or others. There is realistically no way to demonstrate imminent danger to self or others through Transvestic Fetishism, OCD (unless you obsessively and compulsively attempt to slash your wrists), etc.

The minute that mental health records (all records are included in the current legislation under study, not just involuntary committals) are allowed to bear upon an individual's 'suitability' to own a firearm, what's to stop the inclusion of these disorders in the list of disqualifying items?

I agree. I don’t believe that records in and of themselves should be automatically subject to review. I believe that it should be a process of active endeavor on the part of law enforcement, MH, etc. See my prior post on the matter.

That's life, in a nutshell. You're worried about the 1% extreme and I'm worried about the vast majority of folk who avail themselves of the mental health profession in good faith and with no long-term prognosis that would render them unsuitable for firearms ownership.

In the situation I advocated, viz., an active petition of the Court by LE, MH, etc., there is exceptionally little likelihood that those majority of good folk going through a little spell would have any issue whatsoever. It is the long-term and persistent problem children that repeatedly come to the attention of police and MH that are likely to be identified.

And yes I worry about the “1%”; the 1% of mental health patients, the 1% of violent criminals, the 1% of sex offenders, etc. They are not the biggest problem by far, but they do need to be addressed.

Quote:
I would suggest that if is primarily a moot point, but if one is not sufficiently trustworthy to lawfully own a firearm due to mental illness, there is a pretty reasonable argument that they should not be licensed to drive.
We agree. So if legislation precludes one, why does it not preclude the other?

I does in many circumstances. In most states one’s d/l application asks the question of mental stability. Enforcement is generally lax however. Should it be an issue, normatively speaking? Yes, I believe so.

Quote:
I fundamentally agree, but the process of intercepting them, where mental illness is concerned, is difficult due to the transient nature of the condition(s), and keeping them contained is legally impossible at this juncture in history.

It's just not that simple.
And that's my point. It's just not that simple. And yet legislators are trying to make it that simple, by linking mental health records to an individual right to keep and bear arms.

That's simply the wrong answer.

I agree. But that is not to say that there are no other alternatives.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 22, 2007, 09:32 PM
Should "mental health records" be part of NICS? Not in my opinion. Should a court finding where you are able to present evidence in your defense and have counsel that finds you are a danger to yourself or others or a court-ordered involuntary commitment be part of NICS records? Yes.

freewheeling
April 22, 2007, 09:34 PM
I also think that the best defense is offense. Someone ought to introduce a bill, at least in VA, that blocks universities from preventing permit holders to carry. That, at least, would compel the opposition to do more than name call, and people could hear arguments like those of Eugene Volokh in favor of CCW on campus. Otherwise people will just get the impression that the only possible reaction to these kinds of events are more restrictive laws, and the process will continue until we reach our Dunblane.

Coronach
April 22, 2007, 09:46 PM
I voted 'yes', but I agree with the poster who said, very early on,
'define mental health records'. Clearly there are privacy concerns in such a situation, and they're not trumped by a background check that your average brain-dead can circumvent.

If you are committed to a mental health facility by court order, or are found to be mentally unstable by a competent medical authority and it is affirmed by legal authority, it should absolutely come up on NICS and bar you from purchase.

That said, there needs to be a method of release from disability for those who are wrongly committed or who are genuinely healed (for instance, brain tumors can cause bizarre psychological problems and can be removed, sometimes with the effect of a complete alleviation of symptoms). You have to work pretty hard to get committed involuntarily, but I'm sure that some people are put there wrongly. So long as they actually are sane, that incident should not bar them from possession of firearms.

Mike

JCF
April 22, 2007, 09:50 PM
Should "mental health records" be part of NICS? Not in my opinion. Should a court finding where you are able to present evidence in your defense and have counsel that finds you are a danger to yourself or others or a court-ordered involuntary commitment be part of NICS records? Yes.

+1

And, while many will undoubtedly disagree, IMHO there should be a facility in place whereby LE, MH, et al have the ability to petition the Court for a competency hearing and firearm restriction based upon repeated and persistent contact and demonstrations of danger to self and/or others due to uncontrolled (if transient) mental illness, regardless of whether the individual currently resides independently in the community, in a secure facility... or drives a car, rides a bike, or glides to his destination in a Radio Flyer.

JCF
April 22, 2007, 10:14 PM
Excerpt from SF Chronicle / SFGATE; April 22, 2007.

PATIENTS' RIGHTS VS. PUBLIC SAFETY
Virginia Tech shootings highlight how mental health laws that prohibit forced treatment make it difficult to intervene
Victoria Colliver, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, April 22, 2007


Even after Rae Belle Gambs' son held a gun to her head, he was not considered an imminent enough threat to himself or others to be forced into treatment for schizophrenia.

After years of trying to get help for her adult son, the woman from Atascadero (San Luis Obispo County) thought she had no choice other than to pursue criminal charges that ultimately landed him in jail in 1998, where he received treatment for four months.

For Gambs, last week's shootings at Virginia Tech highlight major failings in our nation's mental health laws: Long-standing laws protecting patients' rights make it difficult for authorities and family members to intervene and order a loved one to receive treatment.

"It absolutely breaks my heart and makes me so sad that so many people died because we, as a society, didn't treat this man," said Gambs, San Luis Obispo County's president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness of California. Her son, now 34, lives in community housing and is successfully stabilized on medication.

Emerging details about Seung-Hui Cho's interactions with the mental health system more than two years before the shootings have stirred up long-standing debate around how state and local authorities should handle mentally ill people who refuse treatment but show signs of potentially dangerous behavior.

Some experts and family members say scarce resources combined with well-intentioned laws that reversed decades of inhumane treatment of the mentally ill give them few options to prevent patients from hurting themselves or others. Other mental health advocates say involuntary treatment frightens away people who might otherwise seek help.

"If there's any one issue that polarizes the mental health community, it's forced treatment," said Sally Zinman, executive director of the California Network of Mental Health Clients, an advocacy group vehemently opposed to imposing treatment on the mentally ill and linking the disease with violence.

While experts say Cho showed signs of a mental illness -- possibly paranoia and psychosis -- they are quick to point out that the vast majority of people with emotional diseases are not violent or are more likely to harm themselves than others.

Concern over potential suicide led an acquaintance of Cho's, in December 2005, to contact police, who referred Cho to a mental health center. Counselors petitioned a local magistrate for a temporary detention order based on an initial assessment that Cho might be a danger to himself or others.

The order required that Cho be evaluated further at an off-campus psychiatric hospital, but he was released after a brief stay and ordered to receive outpatient treatment. Officials have not confirmed whether Cho received further treatment.

California has a historic role in establishing the laws that restrict involuntary treatment. The law behind Cho's temporary hold and subsequent release was modeled after a bill passed in this state almost 40 years ago to stop the abuse of people who were labeled mentally ill and thrown indefinitely into state hospitals.

The Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, a product of the civil rights movement signed by California's then-Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1967, required that a judge determine a patient to be an immediate threat before ordering an involuntarily commitment. Such commitments are limited to 72 hours, with a subsequent evaluation and court order needed to justify a longer stay.

The law coincided with the closure of state hospitals. Later, funding and support for community psychiatric services and board-and-care were severely curtailed, leaving many mentally ill people with fewer places to go. With insufficient outpatient resources, many people with serious illnesses ended up on the streets or in jail. Even with the passage of recent reforms, the problem persists.

Some health experts argue the pendulum has swung too far in favor of protecting patient rights, giving authorities and family members few options to protect potentially violent individuals.

"Being completely and absolutely overcome with illness -- walking around and thinking you're on Mars and that everyone is a Venusian -- is not enough to get someone into treatment. They have to be in physical danger at the time," said Jonathan Stanley, assistant director of the Treatment Advocacy Center, a national group based in Arlington, Va., that supports forced treatment.

That standard often prevents authorities from stepping in until after something terrible has happened.

"A person has to commit a crime -- there has to be blood on the ground -- before we can act," said Randall Hagar, director of governmental relations for the California Psychiatric Association. "That's a pretty darn high bar."

Hagar said the requirement of imminent danger is too strict because people are generally being observed for a short period of time.

"The person who can hold it together for 20 minutes while they're being interviewed by a police officer on a street corner may be highly dangerous," he said, "but they can evade detention."

As a mother, Gambs said she was mystified by a system that encouraged her to allow her adult son to become homeless and ultimately jailed before he could be hospitalized against his will. She said police officers actually encouraged her to let her son live on the streets in hopes he would be arrested and get help.

"My personal opinion is it costs too much money, and we don't want to treat them," she said of the mentally ill. "It is cheaper to keep them in jail."

The unintended consequence of patient rights laws, such as the criminalization of the mentally ill, is a growing movement among states to find a middle ground.

In 2003, California passed a forced outpatient law known as "Laura's Law," after Laura Wilcox, a 19-year-old college student from Nevada County. She was shot to death by a man with paranoid delusions who refused his family's efforts to get help.

The law, fashioned after one in New York called "Kendra's Law," which is named after a 32-year-old woman who was pushed in front of a subway train in 1999 by a schizophrenic man who was off his medications, requires those deemed likely to become dangerous if left untreated to receive outpatient care.

But the California law, now more than 3 years old, is not being enforced because it requires that counties show that they are not cutting back on voluntary services to pay for involuntary care.

Forty-two states now have some ability to require outpatient treatment with varying degrees of effectiveness.

But forcing outpatient care isn't acceptable to some mental health advocates.

"The threat of that forced treatment turns people away from the system and causes them to choose not to engage in mental health services," said Zinman, of the California Network of Mental Health Clients.

A recent California reform that seems to draw wider support from mental health experts is Proposition 63, which was passed by voters in 2004.

Known as the "millionaire's tax," Prop. 63 collects almost $1 billion a year for mental health programs by placing a 1 percent tax on Californians with incomes greater than $1 million. Supporters view it as a way to provide funding for community-based mental health services, thus making up for the broken promises made almost 40 years ago.

"Clearly, something is happening in California," said Dr. Ken Duckworth, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, who described the new law as "awesome." "The voters of California somehow assessed the care system in California was inadequate for poor people."

Because the law is new, its effects are unclear, but mental health advocates say it gives them hope.

"California is unique in that there's this opportunity to put in place a whole system that would support people where they're at in a preventive way," Zinman said, "and avoid people escalating and getting worse and worse."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
How California treats mentally ill
-- More than 50,000 mentally ill people live on the streets and 20,000 are imprisoned.

-- An estimated 300,000 adults with serious mental illnesses don't have access to needed services.

-- The state spends about $4 billion annually on services, most of any state.

-- The state has lost 30 percent of its inpatient hospital beds over 10 years.

Sources: California Psychiatric Association; California Mental Health Planning Council; National Alliance on Mental Illness; California Hospital Association

E-mail Victoria Colliver at vcolliver@sfchronicle.com.

trondossa17
April 22, 2007, 10:23 PM
Pretty easy to go with "Err on the side of Freedom". At this point, I'm inclined to say that any infringement (i.e. please abolish NICS) is bad.

If a person is known evil (i.e. already a multiple murderer, etc.) or is obviously dangerous to others but not sane, why are they free to move among the flock?

[and yes, most of the flock are sheep, not sheepdogs; just IMO]

pcosmar
April 22, 2007, 10:24 PM
CFriesen
You really need to watch this. So does anyone concerned with mental health issues.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...99239524875493
It is long, but worth the time.

rbernie
April 22, 2007, 10:33 PM
Given your acknowledged lack of qualification to speak to issues of mental health, what is it precisely that qualifies you to render decisive evaluative judgments as to the ability of mental health clinicians to determine risk secondary to mental illness, or judges to render appropriately informed decisions within the context of a multidisciplinary environment? Surely Rbernie not the fact that you have been exposed to anecdote… stories of the system’s failures?
Direct and personal experience, starting in 1973 or thereabouts. I have a copy of the DSM-IV on a bookshelf around here somewhere just in case I need to refresh my memory. :)

Just as engineering has specialties, so does the mental health community. I no more expect the average mental health practicioner to be able to discuss the relative goodness of each and every section in the DSM-IV than I expect an embedded realtime software engineer to be able to discuss the relative merits of a Controller pattern vs. a Chain of Authority pattern. While design patterns (e.g. Controller, Chain of Authority) are as much a part of Software Engineering in general as MOV operations, they are simply not a notion that is germane to a realtime assembly-language programmer.

You challenged me with the following:Which of the currently defined diagnoses that are criteria for mental health detention do you feel are invalid?
I pleaded honest ignorance - my experiences and a copy of the DSM-IV does not make me qualified, only opinionated. I then stated that many in the mental health community were also incapable of addressing that question. Do you really wish to maintain that I was incorrect in that statement?

This speaks volumes to why I've been disagreeing with you. I do not want mental health RECORDS (created by folk who may or may not have subject matter expertise in the specifics at hand) made a part of NICS. That's not to say that I want to place a loaded pistol in the hand of someone who has clearly demonstrated a desire or inability to NOT harm themselves or others.

Let me explain something to you; the mental health system in this country is taxed to its absolute outer limit. There is no room, not one linear inch, for decisions of opportunity or nebulous political benefit.I do not doubt this to be true. From your responses, I gather that you are fighting in this battle. Good luck, and all that.

But that is tangential to the question at hand. The issue being debated (I thought) was whether mental health RECORDS should be made a part of the NICS database and ostensibly used to approve or deny authorization to buy a firearm. This has little to do with involuntary detention, and a lot to do with all sorts of far more mundane issues that *could* be used to deny authorization to purchase a firearm.

Should "mental health records" be part of NICS? Not in my opinion. Should a court finding where you are able to present evidence in your defense and have counsel that finds you are a danger to yourself or others or a court-ordered involuntary commitment be part of NICS records? Yes.I can live with that.

dfaugh
April 23, 2007, 08:50 AM
I was just about to post a poll, when I saw this one, because of Schumer and McCarty's comments on last nights news.

HOWEVER, I don't see this as a yes/no, black/white: What I was gonna put in the poll was :

A) no
B) Only if the individual is a current threat to others
C) Only if the individual has been a potential threat to others
D) For any mental illness requiring treatment in the past
E) For any mental illness requiring treatment in the present
F)yes

I know several people (all gun owners) that have been treated for various mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD. All are uite capable of handling and owning guns responsibly.

In fact, someone who has been treated is probably safer than someone who hasn't, for obvious reasons. Adding this to NICS might mean people who need help, won't go and get it.

P.S. I saw one statistic (sorry, will have to find the referenece) that 1/3 of the people in the US are currently taking anti-depressants. Considering the people I kow I would say this is probably accurate.

Autolycus
April 23, 2007, 09:30 AM
It will only be abused by the government. Any power given to the government will eventually be abused by the government.

freewheeling
April 23, 2007, 10:33 PM
If you are committed to a mental health facility by court order, or are found to be mentally unstable by a competent medical authority and it is affirmed by legal authority, it should absolutely come up on NICS and bar you from purchase.

That said, there needs to be a method of release from disability for those who are wrongly committed or who are genuinely healed (for instance, brain tumors can cause bizarre psychological problems and can be removed, sometimes with the effect of a complete alleviation of symptoms). You have to work pretty hard to get committed involuntarily, but I'm sure that some people are put there wrongly. So long as they actually are sane, that incident should not bar them from possession of firearms.

Typically an involuntary commitment can be expunged after a standard time period, but I don't recall how long it is. The problem for me isn't the reasonableness of the rule, it's the fact that by establishing an incrementally more stringent rule the law is giving in to the impulse to regulate human behavior, and ultimately there can only be one outcome of that: Dunblane. It took the U.K. over 60 years to reach that point, but the outcome was more or less inevitable.

Ultimately the issue is whether or not humans are responsible for their own actions (up to and including suicide) or we train them to be dependent on "intervention," even if they aren't seeking it. The underlying impulse is perverse, because it presumes that those who aren't intimate with the lives of others somehow know what's best for them. No doubt sometimes they do, but is this the way we want to train society?

Ultimately the price for such a choice is vastly higher than an occasional rampage, and there are a lot of things that can be done to reduce the incidence of rampages that don't involve universal disarmament or universal armament (http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2007/04/healing.html).

freewheeling
April 23, 2007, 10:48 PM
P.S. I saw one statistic (sorry, will have to find the referenece) that 1/3 of the people in the US are currently taking anti-depressants. Considering the people I kow I would say this is probably accurate.

I don't know anyone that I know for a fact is on anti-depressants, and I know a lot of people (say, a few hundred in some detail). I therefore find the stat somewhat hard to swallow. It could be that they're hiding things from me... but all of them?

Ray P
April 23, 2007, 10:59 PM
IIRC, It is already in the GCA of 1968 and the Brady Law.

NICS DOES require states to provide info on mentally defective people that pose a threat to themselves or others, but since the feds did not provide funding to the states to collect & forward that info, that portion was struck as an unfunded mandate.

According to the Bureau of Justice (http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/pub/ascii/nchip03.txt):

If under State law, you are prohibited from
providing mental health records to the NICS mental
health file, NCHIP funds may be used to enter the
names of persons prohibited under the mental health
prohibition into the Denied Persons File. This file
can be an important resource for improving both the
timeliness of NICS checks and the efficiency that
comes from avoiding unneeded record research.
Addressing "open arrests" in older records

and

Mental Health Records Availability. States should
indicate whether their mental health records are
checked, either by the State POC or the FBI, during a
NICS check. Where mental health records are
accessible, please include the number of records
currently available and any plans to improve
availability. If mental health records are not
currently accessible at the time of a background
check, please describe factors which limit or prohibit
exchange of mental health records.

Bottom line? Right now, it is optional for a state to include mental health info to NICS.

RealGun
April 24, 2007, 05:02 AM
Typically an involuntary commitment can be expunged after a standard time period

Does an order to expunge records extend to NICS? By what authority and method of enforcement?

dfaugh
April 24, 2007, 07:18 AM
I know a lot of people (say, a few hundred in some detail). I therefore find the stat somewhat hard to swallow. It could be that they're hiding things from me... but all of them?

If you know that many people (whether the 1/3 figure is correct or no), I'll bet you $1000 SOME of them are on anti-depressants, a pretty significant percentage probably. I have one good friend of 10 years, who just recently mentioned that she's been taking anti-depressants for years.

Few people will voluntarily admit to any mental health issues. Just as many have had some type of major depressive episode (usually "situational", due to loss of loved one, loss of job, financial problems, etc.) These are treated (often w/ anti-depressants) and usually pass eventually.

JohnBT
April 24, 2007, 07:27 AM
A) no
B) Only if the individual is a current threat to others
C) Only if the individual has been a potential threat to others
D) For any mental illness requiring treatment in the past
E) For any mental illness requiring treatment in the present
F)yes
_______

G)ever been declared not guilty by reason of insanity

There are probably some more we could come up with.

Bottom line for me, only info related to the legal system should be included - judicial decisions based on the person's mental health.

JT

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