Returning Vets and Purchases


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LubeckTech
November 22, 2012, 12:47 PM
My stepson just Med Boarded out of the Army. He has a knee problem and has been diagnosed with depression and PTSD. This summer he was in Afganistan and was knocked about 15ft. by the blast we all heard about involving a suicide bomber making it on to (or closer than he should have been) a US military installation. He suffered a mild concussion and was hospitalized briefly and currently takes medication for headaches as a result of this. Would he be likley to have a problem with a ATF instant check??
I ask because I have read things about problems with firearms sales and vets who have head injuries but don't if there is anything true about vets that have been treated for concussions being denied on gun purchases.

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alsaqr
November 22, 2012, 01:14 PM
Would he be likley to have a problem with a ATF instant check??

No.

NavyLCDR
November 22, 2012, 04:09 PM
Would he be likley to have a problem with a ATF instant check??

Yes.

Although I suppose that would depend upon the subjective definition of "likely".

mljdeckard
November 22, 2012, 05:17 PM
Not based on the details you have provided. As long as he was discharged honorably, he wasn't told by a court he is insane, and he isn't using any drugs illegally.

NavyLCDR
November 22, 2012, 05:35 PM
Everyone needs to remember that there is a huge difference between being denied by NICS and being prohibited from possessing/purchasing firearms. It happens every day that people who are not prohibited from possessing/purchasing firearms are denied by NICS. The VA is also an agency of the Federal government....

mljdeckard
November 22, 2012, 05:57 PM
But is there anything in the details provided that would fail a NICS check or prohibit posession? I'm fully aware there is likely more to the story than this, but last week I accompanied a freiend of mine to make a purcnase, he has all of the details described above and then some, yet still holds a TS clearance and works in the field.

NavyLCDR
November 22, 2012, 06:13 PM
But is there anything in the details provided that would fail a NICS check or prohibit posession? I'm fully aware there is likely more to the story than this, but last week I accompanied a freiend of mine to make a purcnase, he has all of the details described above and then some, yet still holds a TS clearance and works in the field.
It all depends on what the VA reports to NICS. Easy way to tell if there will be a problem is to go buy a gun!

alsaqr
November 22, 2012, 10:34 PM
It all depends on what the VA reports to NICS.


The VA can only report a veteran to the US Justice Dep't if that veteran has been found to be mentally incompetent by a court, board or commission, etc: A simple diagnosis of mental incompetence will not fly. i personally know numerous veterans who suffer from TBI and/or PTSD who legally purchase guns.

From the NICS Improvement Act of 2007 (Bold Mine):

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/110/hr2640/text

1. IN GENERAL- No department or agency of the Federal Government may provide to the Attorney General any record of an adjudication related to the mental health of a person or any commitment of a person to a mental institution if--

(A) the adjudication or commitment, respectively, has been set aside or expunged, or the person has otherwise been fully released or discharged from all mandatory treatment, supervision, or monitoring;

(B) the person has been found by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority to no longer suffer from the mental health condition that was the basis of the adjudication or commitment, respectively, or has otherwise been found to be rehabilitated through any procedure available under law; or

(C) the adjudication or commitment, respectively, is based solely on a medical finding of disability, without an opportunity for a hearing by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority, and the person has not been adjudicated as a mental defective consistent with section 922(g)(4) of title 18, United States Code, except that nothing in this section or any other provision of law shall prevent a Federal department or agency from providing to the Attorney General any record demonstrating that a person was adjudicated to be not guilty by reason of insanity, or based on lack of mental responsibility, or found incompetent to stand trial, in any criminal case or under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Ehtereon11B
November 22, 2012, 11:06 PM
No. I have almost same experiences as your father. Except I'm still in and mine were mortars. PTSD and depression are not disqualifiers from owning firearms, otherwise mine would all be gone. As long as any treatment he goes through for the PTSD/depression are not court ordered, he is well in the clear.

Shadow 7D
November 23, 2012, 03:58 AM
No. I have almost same experiences as your father. Except I'm still in and mine were mortars. PTSD and depression are not disqualifiers from owning firearms, otherwise mine would all be gone. As long as any treatment he goes through for the PTSD/depression are not court ordered, he is well in the clear.
It all depends on what the VA reports to NICS.
and who wrote what to whom
technically it takes a court to remove the right, but the issue is board and commission
until you dig in, it's not clear, BUT, unless he was med-boarded for being a danger to self and/or others
(um, helped on that one, and uh, they WERE trying to ship him from active duty to a locked VA psych facility, funny was, the VA said stop pissing him off and let him out of the army already...)

Most likely, no, as it would involved pushing paperwork to the FBI,
So. I'd say take him out to buy a gun.

Tim the student
November 23, 2012, 04:39 AM
No. Not unless there is a lot more to the story.

I have a TBI. I also have PTSD. (I have knee problems too :D) The VA knows this.

I buy guns with no issues, and have a carry permit, as well as a C&R.

NavyLCDR
November 23, 2012, 11:30 AM
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL32842.pdf

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of May 1, 2011, there were 130,886 files in the NICS mental defective file, which had been referred to the FBI by the VA. Those VA files accounted for 99.2% of mental defective files (131,979) referred to the FBI by any federal department or agency. In the view of some Members of Congress, it may be incongruous that other federal agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, that provide similar disability and income maintenance benefits to persons who are mentally incapacitated refer relatively few, if any, firearms-related disqualifying records about beneficiaries whom they serve to the FBI.

The VA is not an organization known for protecting veterans rights to bear firearms. Still, the easy answer remains to buy a gun from an FFL...

mljdeckard
November 23, 2012, 01:37 PM
But does that not put the buyer at risk if they state something on the 4473 that is contradicted by the report that is returned? I would never tell someone to go attempt a purchase to find out if they are a prohibited person.

bikemutt
November 23, 2012, 01:57 PM
But does that not put the buyer at risk if they state something on the 4473 that is contradicted by the report that is returned? I would never tell someone to go attempt a purchase to find out if they are a prohibited person.
I believe what could put the transferee at risk is if they knowingly lie on form 4473. Since these are yes/no questions, truthfully not knowing the answer, and having no practical way to determine the answer using other means, I don't think answering no would be considered lying.

NavyLCDR
November 23, 2012, 03:20 PM
But does that not put the buyer at risk if they state something on the 4473 that is contradicted by the report that is returned? I would never tell someone to go attempt a purchase to find out if they are a prohibited person.
It is only illegal to knowing lie on the form 4473. What NICS determines as a disqualifying factor may in no way disqualify the person at all. That is why there is an appeal process.

USAF_Vet
November 23, 2012, 05:01 PM
Something similar happened to me in Iraq (blown out of a Humvee, mild concussion and some spinal disc damage). As a result, I have chronic migraines and PTSD. I have meds for the migraines, and counseling for the PTSD. I have had no problems buying guns, or getting my CPL.

I've not been adjudicated mentally insane/ incompetent, so I have not had my rights to own a gun removed. As long as the case for your step-son is similar, he should not have any issues. FWIW, I've bought all my guns after my discharge from the service.

Spats McGee
November 23, 2012, 05:12 PM
On the issue of PTSD and the issue of "committed to a mental institution," one relevant inquiry is whether the commitment was voluntary or involuntary:

Committed to a mental institution. A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily. The term includes commitment for mental defectiveness or mental illness. It also includes commitments for other reasons, such as for drug use. The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution.
27 CFR 478.11

Source: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=76f78a7823fa367a06559e53b543a724&rgn=div8&view=text&node=27:3.0.1.2.3.2.1.1&idno=27

USAF_Vet
November 23, 2012, 05:16 PM
On the issue of PTSD and the issue of "committed to a mental institution," one relevant inquiry is whether the commitment was voluntary or involuntary:


27 CFR 478.11

Source: http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=76f78a7823fa367a06559e53b543a724&rgn=div8&view=text&node=27:3.0.1.2.3.2.1.1&idno=27
The VA hospital in Battle Creek, MI where I went for my initial evaluation is one of the State hospitals, i.e. a mental institutions. I voluntarily sought treatment at the mental hospital, but since I was not committed, voluntarily or otherwise, it did not show up on NICS. I did have to mention it on my CPL application, though.

Spats McGee
November 23, 2012, 05:39 PM
That may be, USAF Vet. State law may vary on the CPLs.

Owen Sparks
November 25, 2012, 02:30 PM
I know a man who was honorably discharged from the Navy because of a medical condition, mental illness. He is not allowed to own firearms yet he receives full retirement pay plus disability.

Ehtereon11B
November 25, 2012, 03:57 PM
Being discharged because of mental illness is almost the same as being declared mentally incapable. Hence the ability to own a firearm and one of the questions on the 4473. While PTSD and depression are considered "mental illness" by the large scope of medical terms, they are not and hopefully never will be disqualifiers to firearm ownership.

Bubbles
November 25, 2012, 06:04 PM
The only state I'm aware of where it could potentially be an issue is Illinois. Illinois requires gun owners to get a FOID (firearm owners ID card) before purchasing a gun. Even seeking voluntary treatment at a mental health institution will DQ someone from getting a FOID for five years.

At the federal level I don't see a problem.

HorseSoldier
November 25, 2012, 06:16 PM
+1 on the no problem side of the argument. Treatment for PTSD or depression (or anything else) is not the same thing as being adjudicated mentally defective, which has a specific legal meaning. The long story being short, someone coming out of military service with a mental health history that disqualifies them from purchasing firearms is not going to unaware of or surprised by this fact.

Tim the student
November 25, 2012, 07:17 PM
Even seeking voluntary treatment at a mental health institution will DQ someone from getting a FOID for five years.

Well that seems wise :rolleyes:

Ragnar Danneskjold
November 26, 2012, 10:47 AM
This is what's wrong with the military mental health system. They make so many PowerPoint briefings, posters, little pocket cards, and presentations about how you should definitely bring it up to your chain if you're having any feelings of depression, PTSD, etc. You go through a dozen different stations at pre-Mob and de-Mob where they constantly ask you about your mental health, how you're feeling, etc. You take "resiliency" classes and have to do personality surveys in country.

And all of this seems like a great idea, like they're really trying to help and encourage people to seek treatment and care.

And yet if you do, you get your weapon taken away, you look like an idiot for being the only guy in your unit without a weapon. You get pulled off missions and stuck someplace "safe" like the TOC or chow hall, and now not only are you singled out, but your buddies resent you for getting an easy job. You get passed over for things. You get red flagged at all subsequent evaluations, which may mean you're stuck at the de-Mob station for another month while everyone goes home. It's in your personnel record, so if you ever want a job in law enforcement or some other secure environment, you get denied.

In reality, it all backfires. A soldier is depressed and feels like his world is crumbling. So the Army's solution is to single him out, ostracize him, pit his buddies against him, and remove any hope of pursuing the career he wants.

And now there's a good chance he'll even get stripped of his Constitutional rights. Great way to give someone a positive outlook on life. Destroy or remove any positive hopes he may have left. Awesome idea.


This is why you answer "NO" to absolutely every question they ask you at on all of the surveys and evaluations. You never know how screwed the rest of your entire life can get from even one "YES" answer.

alsaqr
November 26, 2012, 04:40 PM
This is why you answer "NO" to absolutely every question they ask you at on all of the surveys and evaluations. You never know how screwed the rest of your entire life can get from even one "YES" answer.

My godson is a Special Forces soldier on his 7th combat tour since 911. When he visited here prior to leaving for Afghanistan he would not hog hunt with me using a gun. The man was afraid he would return fire if i shot a hog. He did get a hog with my crossbow.

There's no one active duty troops with depression, PTSD and/or TBI can turn without getting shafted.

1 old 0311-1
November 26, 2012, 05:16 PM
My godson is a Special Forces soldier on his 7th combat tour since 911. When he visited here prior to leaving for Afghanistan he would not hog hunt with me using a gun. The man was afraid he would return fire if i shot a hog. He did get a hog with my crossbow.

There's no one active duty troops with depression, PTSD and/or TBI can turn without getting shafted.


Amen to that. I go to the VA, 100% disabled with back injury, and there are a LOT of guys I talk with there that are afraid to seek PTSD help for fear it MAY restrict their gun purchases.

Ehtereon11B
November 26, 2012, 05:59 PM
The best part is when they say "seeking help will not hurt your career." I always laugh quiet a bit. It was a humbling experience when my unit went through de-mob and our 1SG dropped a phone book on the ground (intentionally) to see who would jump. Everyone did.

knifestuff
November 26, 2012, 08:13 PM
VA can make a determination that a veteran is incompetent and they do it all the time. That determination has the authority of a Federal adjudication as it is being done under established procedures of a Federal agency--it is a functionally the same as a board process. Further, VA is required to report same to the NICS if they do find a veteran to be incompetent.
if VA does propose to make such an adjudication, they are required to give the veteran notice of their intent and he can seek a hearing to rebut/refute such a proposal.
I know a little about this as I have succesfully represented several veterans in opposing a VA incompetency determination.

FMF Doc
November 26, 2012, 09:49 PM
ATF...probably not. Each state has their own detrmination of what disqualifies someone for various reasons of mental illness/incompetance.

PTSD, TBI, meds...etc...I find it shameful that honorable vets in any condition are prohibited from exercising the rights they defended with their lives. Now it seems that being a vet is often more of a liability than anything else. Sorry for the minor hijack and soapbox.

Jim K
November 26, 2012, 11:35 PM
Having read both the law and the BATFE instructions on Form 4473, I don't see how he would fit into a prohibited category. The 4473 section is too long for me to type, so I am making it an attachment.

Jim

knifestuff
November 27, 2012, 06:31 PM
The exception language is pretty clear--VA can make an adjudication that a vet is mentally incompetent, and if that adjudication is not overturned or the vet hasn't completed treatment or satisfactorily resolved his mental issue (to the VA's satisfaction), the vet is in a prohibited category. Yup, its a scary world; that's why I enjoy representing vets in challenging these determinations.

xfyrfiter
November 27, 2012, 11:37 PM
i've never been "in" or in combat , but I jump at unexpected loud noises too. Does this mean I have PTSD? Reference #29

Shadow 7D
November 28, 2012, 12:23 AM
i've never been "in" or in combat , but I jump at unexpected loud noises too. Does this mean I have PTSD? Reference #29
Um, buddy, we can tell that
now, did you orientate, while drawing and attempting to identify targets
have you ever had the sudden urge to put a car off the road that suddenly pops into you awareness and is closing/crowding you for fear it may suddenly go Kaboom....

there is MUCH more to it, and they tell you 'it's OK'
but then you get shafted, like the guy in Maryland that called the late night 'if you need help, the VA cares...' number, except the fine print is that this 'help hotline' is actually the VA suicide prevention hot line...

there were a few threads, see the guy wasn't suicidal, and wasn't helped by the guy concerned about him how suicidal he might be, and was rather pissed actually that this guy thought he might be suicidal...

well this disgruntled vet was pulled out of his house by the local LE, seems telling the 'help line' operator to do naughty and or mean things to himself can be taken as being a danger to yourself or others.....

and it's crap like this, and that in the military that there is NO privacy that establishes a US/them mentality, which is reinforced.

Ehtereon11B
November 28, 2012, 04:49 PM
i've never been "in" or in combat , but I jump at unexpected loud noises too. Does this mean I have PTSD? Reference #29

Nope. Its not just jumping because a car backfired and you got rattled. Its shouting up to the gunner of your truck(who isn't there) to raise is crew served over the direction of the noise in traffic. Its looking for POI and POO when you hear IDF. And if you don't know what those are it isn't PTSD. Its going underneath a table when the phone rings because it sounds like the incoming siren. Its waking up screaming from a nightmare in the middle of the night because you remember that time you rode on the back of a bouncy truck holding the back of your friend's skull on after getting shot. That is PTSD.

Back to topic though. The VA and all those other "help groups" have an agenda, and depending on which one depends on which it is. The best help I get from my PTSD is not in any hospital, VFW, or clinic. Its talking to other vets. I was in a class when I got back from overseas that was open to only veterans, even the teacher was. We wrote about how experiences, more therapy than a grade. That helped more than any jingle phone number on some card from de-mobilization

Tim the student
November 28, 2012, 05:11 PM
PTSD isn't limited to war veterans. Sometimes people forget that, and could use a gentle reminder. Not intended for any specific person here, just commenting.

Shadow 7D
November 28, 2012, 05:11 PM
amen brother

Ragnar Danneskjold
November 28, 2012, 09:05 PM
Orientate?

bikerdoc
November 28, 2012, 09:45 PM
The best help I get from my PTSD is not in any hospital, VFW, or clinic. Its talking to other vets.

Worked for me after Viet Nam. Not saying the dark moods or the nightmares go away but they are less frequent.

Ehtereon11B
November 29, 2012, 09:18 PM
PTSD isn't limited to war veterans. Sometimes people forget that, and could use a gentle reminder. Not intended for any specific person here, just commenting.


True. I often times forget that myself. PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Not Post Traumatic War Disorder. I have seen people try to claim they have PTSD from getting in fender benders so they can get out of work. So I tend to get a little defensive sometimes.

Ehtereon11B
December 3, 2012, 09:47 PM
Saw this article on FOX and immediately thought of this thread.

"I love our veterans, I vote for them all the time. They defend us," Schumer said. "If you are a veteran or not and you have been judged to be mentally infirm, you should not have a gun."


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/12/03/veterans-gun-rights-sticking-point-in-defense-bill/

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