California Gun Confiscation and Mental health


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LNK
March 12, 2013, 01:03 PM
"Wearing bulletproof vests and carrying 40-caliber Glock pistols, nine California Justice Department agents assembled outside a ranch-style house in a suburb east of Los Angeles. They were looking for a gun owner who’d recently spent two days in a mental hospital.

They knocked on the door and asked to come in. About 45 minutes later, they came away peacefully with three firearms."

How would this encourage someone who needs mental health help, to want to seek it? Also, how does HIPA allow this information to be tracked? Is there a way to legally fight this?

LNK

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-12/california-seizes-guns-as-owners-lose-right-to-bear-arms.html?cmpid=yhoo

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swalton1943
March 12, 2013, 01:19 PM
Having a Claymore mounted on the front porch might be an option. JMO.

Bubbles
March 12, 2013, 02:07 PM
1) Link?
2) Since I haven't read the article yet (no link), was the gun owner adjudicated mentally defective or not?

rodinal220
March 12, 2013, 02:19 PM
Since half the country is/has been on anti-depressants of some kind,looks like the new tactic to disarm America.

Frank Ettin
March 12, 2013, 03:19 PM
Since half the country is/has been on anti-depressants of some kind,looks like the new tactic to disarm America. The bottom line is that the people losing their guns are legally prohibited, under either state law or federal law, from possessing a gun, and possession of a gun by them is a criminal act. That's current law, and current law can be enforced. No one can have any reasonable expectation that it will not be enforced.

If you don't like the law, our system provides a number of means to seek to change the law or challenge it. Until such laws are changed or successfully challenged, persons who violate them risk losing their guns (and perhaps arrest and jail).

Alaska444
March 12, 2013, 03:34 PM
They are also taking ALL guns in the household, not just those "registered" to the owner in question.

They had better luck in nearby Upland, where they seized three guns from the home of Lynette Phillips, 48, who’d been hospitalized for mental illness, and her husband, David. One gun was registered to her, two to him.

“The prohibited person can’t have access to a firearm,” regardless of who the registered owner is, said Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

First, don't tell me CA doesn't already have registration even though they tell us that they don't and secondly, what is your right to keep and bear arms if someone in your house cannot? As long as you are able to secure the weapon from the person in question, why are they taking other guns out of the house?

Frank Ettin
March 12, 2013, 03:50 PM
They are also taking ALL guns in the household, not just those "registered" to the owner in question.

They had better luck in nearby Upland, where they seized three guns from the home of Lynette Phillips, 48, who’d been hospitalized for mental illness, and her husband, David. One gun was registered to her, two to him.

“The prohibited person can’t have access to a firearm,” regardless of who the registered owner is, said Michelle Gregory, a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office.

First, don't tell me CA doesn't already have registration even though they tell us that they don't and secondly, what is your right to keep and bear arms if someone in your house cannot? As long as you are able to secure the weapon from the person in question, why are they taking other guns out of the house? In California handguns have been registered upon transfer beginning in around 1991. Long guns are not currently registered, but registration of long guns will begin with transfers on and after 1 January 2014.


There is good law to suggest that if a person who may lawfully possess firearms is cohabiting with a prohibited person, the former may possess a gun as long as the prohibited cohabitant doesn't have access, e. g., the gun is stored in a safe to which the prohibited person does not have a key or combination.


However, the news story provides limited information. We don't know that the guns taken from the non-prohibited cohabitant were indeed secured against access by the prohibited cohabitant.

Bubbles
March 12, 2013, 03:52 PM
...what is your right to keep and bear arms if someone in your house cannot?
Looks like in CA you lose it also. Best be very careful who you marry or select as a roommate if you're a gun owner.

Alaska444
March 12, 2013, 04:13 PM
In California handguns have been registered upon transfer beginning in around 1991. Long guns are not currently registered, but registration of long guns will begin with transfers on and after 1 January 2014.


There is good law to suggest that if a person who may lawfully possess firearms is cohabiting with a prohibited person, the former may possess a gun as long as the prohibited cohabitant doesn't have access, e. g., the gun is stored in a safe to which the prohibited person does not have a key or combination.


However, the news story provides limited information. We don't know that the guns taken from the non-prohibited cohabitant were indeed secured against access by the prohibited cohabitant.
Thanks Frank, hopefully our house will be sold soon and I can become a full time Idaho resident.

Librarian
March 12, 2013, 04:48 PM
There are larger things going on.

Here's State Senator Mark Leno (http://sd11.senate.ca.gov/sites/sd11.senate.ca.gov/files/outreach/sd11-201302-ealert.php)
Unfortunately, there are still nearly 20,000 people in California who illegally possess an estimated 40,000 handguns and assault weapons, and this list grows by about 15 to 20 people each day. In San Francisco and Daly City alone, 172 people who once made legal purchases of guns now own them illegally due to subsequent issues that disqualify them from possessing weapons.

To address the growing backlog of people on the APPS list, I recently introduced SB 140, which is jointly authored by Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. SB 140 will directly fund the hiring and training of more investigators who can aggressively enforce the APPS system and take more guns out of the hands of people who should not own them. The bill expands upon my previous legislation that helped the Department of Justice confiscate illegally-possessed weapons. With only 33 agents tasked with disarming individuals who have lost the right to own a gun, state and local law enforcement officials simply do not have the resources needed to confiscate the enormous backlog of weapons, nor can they keep up with the daily influx of newly-prohibited persons.

(Note that he is very precise with 'handguns and assault weapons' - owner information about long guns in general has not been sent to the CA-DOJ; that becomes a regular thing beginning Jan 2014.)

Leno's bill SB 140 (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140SB140&search_keywords=) just passed the CA Senate and moved to the Assembly. He wants to take money collected from the DROS (Dealer's Record Of Sale) funds. Stories like this are to support that bill.

The bill appears to have two longer term goals. (1) Establish that the State can create new uses for those funds, and (2), given (1), in the future it will be reasonable to raise the fees - currently $19 per transaction.

Tom from WNY
March 12, 2013, 05:58 PM
In today's Buffalo News, the lead story line (print) is that the Veteran's Administration will not comply with the mental health reporting provisions of the NY SAFE Act. According to the article; "VA spokesman Mark Ballesteros said Monday that federal protections of veterans' mental health records takes precedence."

Here's the article on the web, it is good reading. http://www.buffalonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130312/CITYANDREGION/130319814/1003.

Arbo
March 12, 2013, 06:14 PM
This seems to be just one of the paths that the anti-gun crowd is going to go about getting rid of guns.. Declare as many people ineligible to own, ban all mags made, and I'm not sure that the DHS 1.6 billion bullet buy isn't part of limiting ammo...

Zoogster
March 12, 2013, 06:40 PM
Divide and conquer.

In California to become a prohibted person you only need have an up to 72 hour psychiatric evaluation.
There is no review process, no appeals process, no process by which to challenge it. If you are reviewed you are a prohibited person for 5 years from that date.
(This is different from the 2 week involunatry commitment that prohibits someone for life at the federal level.)

They were looking for a gun owner who’d recently spent two days in a mental hospital.
This sounds like someone given an evaluation. In fact by releasing him after only 2 days they probably were pretty certain he didn't even need to be there, as they will generally keep people the full 3 days and it would be even more work to let them go early.

Any police officer can have just about anyone be given an evaluation, no crime need be committed. It has been a technique used to seperate people in domestic disputes when no crime has been committed but they don't want to just leave those involved together for example.
So people who have not even commited so much as a misdemeanor (some of those disarm people in California that do not elsewhere as well) become prohibited persons.




The number will increase after 2014 when long guns are part of the list referenced as well.

Registration leads to confiscation.
In this case it may be after the person is declared prohibited for one reason or another (in California this includes various things that don't prohibit you elsewhere.) But the registration came first. They established registration in 1991 and within a decade they were creating a database to check and disarm those on the list of firearms they had registered (handguns and later registered 'assault weapons', and all long guns transferred after 2014).
When firearms are registered they are emboldened to implement new ways to restrict, reduce freedom or increase hoops to retain ownership or default to unlawful, or remove firearms, when they have a database that clearly tells them who has the guns and thier addresses.

splithoof
March 12, 2013, 09:30 PM
This is really scary. We are getting closer to the point that everyone who keeps any firearm that is not registered (after a "grace period" in which even wall-hangers must be listed) will be an instant felon or otherwise prohibited person upon waking up some morning in the near future. What some observant moderators have said here before is true: that if you don't like the way things are going, you can change it at the ballot box. Fine. But in the meantime, everyone likely will have to make a personal choice about what they are going to do or not. You may think that you will be OK, but we never know how broad the scope will become, and what additional factors will be thrown in. Hold on folks, it could get rough!

Frank Ettin
March 12, 2013, 09:41 PM
This is really scary. We are getting closer to the point that everyone who keeps any firearm that is not registered (after a "grace period" in which even wall-hangers must be listed) will be an instant felon or otherwise prohibited person upon waking up some morning in the near future...Get a grip guys. This is not "big news."

These are people who are prohibited persons the "old fashion way" -- felons, domestic abusers, persons determined to be disqualified by reason of an involuntary psychiatric confinement, etc. There is nothing novel or unexpected about the authorities collecting from them guns they're not permitted to possess.

Folks might disagree with the laws disqualifying those people from having guns, and perhaps folks need to focus on changing those law if they don't like them. But as long as these people are disqualified from having guns, we shouldn't be surprised that LEOs are rounding up those guns.

Ohio Gun Guy
March 12, 2013, 09:48 PM
I dont think anyone is saying that they are surprised at the fact that mental health problems = prohibited.

The concern is how easily a person could be "declared" to have mental heath issues through somewhat obscure means, ie no due process.

joeschmoe
March 12, 2013, 10:09 PM
I dont think anyone is saying that they are surprised at the fact that mental health problems = prohibited.

The concern is how easily a person could be "declared" to have mental heath issues through somewhat obscure means, ie no due process.
No. It's not "obscure". There is a "due process". Maybe a lot of gun owners are running scared and "suddenly" realizing that you can get locked up just for making threats and acting crazy enough to scare people to call the cops, convince a panel of doctors that you're a danger and go thru a forced commitment hearing. Or wind up in a hospital/jail after trying to kill yourself, or someone else.
Most of these forced commitments are due to people saying they were going to hurt themselves or others, or already tried it. Not just somebody feeling lonely and talks to a shrink and "pesto" he "declares" you mentally ill and puts you on a list to get your guns. No. It doesn't work that way.
These people all did something to get locked up and they did get some "due process".
Everyone of these recent shooting rampages was by someone who was seeking mental health and didn't get it or the doctors/cops ignored repeated threats and pleas by others that they were dangerous.

These ARE the people who should lose their gun rights (at least temporarily). Not the rest of us.

docsleepy
March 12, 2013, 10:18 PM
No. It's not "obscure". There is a "due process". Maybe a lot of gun owners are running scared and "suddenly" realizing that you can get locked up just for making threats and acting crazy enough to scare people to call the cops, convince a panel of doctors that you're a danger and go thru a forced commitment hearing. Or wind up in a hospital/jail after trying to kill yourself, or someone else.
Most of these forced commitments are due to people saying they were going to hurt themselves or others, or already tried it. Not just somebody feeling lonely and talks to a shrink and "pesto" he "declares" you mentally ill and puts you on a list to get your guns. No. It doesn't work that way.
These people all did something to get locked up and they did get some "due process".
Everyone of these recent shooting rampages was by someone who was seeking mental health and didn't get it or the doctors/cops ignored repeated threats and pleas by others that they were dangerous.



The above is not necessarily true. It only takes one health professional to create a Baker act in my state. As far as I know that is all the due process you get. One person can send you out for an involuntary evaluation, and you lose your firearm rights. I've practiced medicine for a quarter century.

Ohio Gun Guy
March 12, 2013, 10:21 PM
Due Process is a legal term, has a definition.

Due process is not testimony of an individual or officer that yields a pre-determined result. If I took your post as threatening, should you lose your rights?


(I didnt, and you did nothing wrong, but see the problem?)

joeschmoe
March 12, 2013, 10:28 PM
Really? No other requirements like evidence of mental illness and evidence of a harm to themselves/others?

Zoogster
March 12, 2013, 10:30 PM
The above is not necessarily true. It only takes one health professional to create a Baker act in my state. As far as I know that is all the due process you get. One person can send you out for an involuntary evaluation, and you lose your firearm rights. I've practiced medicine for a quarter century.

That is how it is in California as well. In California it is called a 5150.
It is the same thing, a 72 hour psychiatric hold.
All it takes is an officer to take someone to the hospital and check them in.
Sign a form that they feel they may be a danger to self or others.


They are then held for up to 3 days initially, at which point some who work there determine based on what they have observed or discussed with the individual if they should be released, or it should be extended to a 5250 for another 14 days.

There is no court process. There is not presenting any evidence. The initial 5150 takes nothing but an officer's signature. There is no appeals process, no trial.
At that point even if the professionals at the hospital find no reason to keep them any longer they are a prohibited person for 5 years.

That sounds exactly like the case in the OP, a man that spent 2 days in a mental hospital, not even the full 3 days of an observation, and releasing someone earlier would take extra work on the part of those working there to expedite the process. So they really probably saw nothing to keep him over.

joeschmoe
March 12, 2013, 10:30 PM
Due Process is a legal term, has a definition.

Due process is not testimony of an individual or officer that yields a pre-determined result. If I took your post as threatening, should you lose your rights?


(I didnt, and you did nothing wrong, but see the problem?)
Do you see where there is a threat to you or others? Do you see where there is other evidence of mental illness? Do you see what (2) important factors are missing from your claim?

Making threats is a crime. It will get you locked up in jail or in a hospital.

JohnBT
March 12, 2013, 10:34 PM
"One person can send you out for an involuntary evaluation"

Which why that process doesn't meet the level of "adjudicated" as the federal law is written. At least in Viriginia, you don't get to see the administrative law judge/hearing officer until after the eval. That's the due process part.

After nearly 40 years of working with individuals with disabilities, I've got a zillion stories. One guy, with an M.S. degree, was sent for a 72-hour psych eval - or as we call them, green warrants. Why? Because he was so high on coke that he went down to the police station and tried to swear out a warrant on the devil. Some of the folks working on the psych unit wanted to know where he got the coke because he had the highest lab work reading they'd ever seen.

John

Zoogster
March 12, 2013, 10:40 PM
Now compare that with someone that actually is arrested and goes to jail.
Has behavior problems at the jail (in the hospital that would probably get them an extended stay turned into an involuntary commitment prohibiting them for life at the federal level), has various problems in jail, cusses out the jailers, bangs on doors, has to be put in restraints or otherwise dealt with. Who then calms down or sobers up and gets out.

The person that actually broke the law and committed a crime and was actually trouble at the jail facility would retain thier rights (unless it was a prohibiting offense) while the person guilty of no crime that was taken to the hospital for a 72 hour evaluation at the word of an officer, behaved great, and was even released early, would be a prohibited person and have lost thier rights in California. They would then be on the prohibited armed person list, the topic of this thread which is being granted more manpower and funding to hunt down and disarm such people.

SHR970
March 12, 2013, 10:41 PM
IANAL

I have been present several times when a 5150 hold has been put on some one. I have twice assumed massive CIVIL liability in the course of my job when I provided the LEO's the PC necessary to invoke 5150 on suicidal people.

For your reading pleasure California Welfare and Institutions Codes 5150 - 5157 C.W.I.C. 5150 (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=wic&group=05001-06000&file=5150-5157)

You might as well know what our law is so we can have an intelligent conversation on the matter.

Also remember (its in the article) the LEO's don't have enough PC to secure a warrant simply based on the records....they need to be invited in. ;)

joeschmoe
March 12, 2013, 10:43 PM
That is how it is in California as well. In California it is called a 5150.
It is the same thing, a 72 hour psychiatric hold.
All it takes is an officer to take someone to the hospital and check them in.
Sign a form that they feel they may be a danger to self or others.
Period.

They are then held for up to 3 days initially, at which point some who work there determine based on what they have observed or discussed if they should be released, or it should be extended to a 5250 for another 14 days.

There is no court process. There is not presenting any evidence. The initial 5150 takes nothing but an officer's signature. There is no appeals process, no trial.
At that point even if the professionals at the hospital find no reason to keep them any longer they are a prohibited person for 5 years.


Do you see where those 2 parts contradict each other.

Zoogster
March 12, 2013, 10:49 PM
In court evidence can be refuted, challenged, determined to be poor.

A cop saying he feels someone may be a danger to themselves or someone else is pretty pathetic for something that results in what amounts to automatic conviction with no trial option or appeals process.



Loss of a right that "shall not be infringed" at the word of a lone individual without even a crime being alleged to have been committed.

joeschmoe
March 12, 2013, 11:06 PM
How is that different from being arrested for making threats? The officer locks you in a cage for the weekend based on nothing more than his say so. Monday morning you do not get to challenge the evidence, officer or anything else. You can be released on bail, or if they decide not to you don't. Usually you must surrender your arms while on bail for making threats or domestic violence.
I agree that losing your rights for 5 years without additional due process or appeal is wrong, but it is the current law and not that much different than the criminal process.
I think the people who are acting surprised by this don't know we have 5 million Americans in prison, millions more out on parole and millions more who have had their rights taken away forever. Most of who are not violent criminals.

I hope more start waking up to the reality of how little it takes for our government takes peoples rights. People think it's just murderers and rapists who are prohibited. No. It used to be serious felonies, then it was lowered to 5 years in prison, then 2 years. Now it's any misdemeanor crime which you COULD have received 1 year in jail.

Soon it will be speeding more than 4 miles over the limit or raising your voice at work.

Bubbles
March 12, 2013, 11:08 PM
The woman in the article spoke with a reporter from TheBlaze and claims she admitted herself voluntarily at the suggestion of her psychiatrist.
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/12/calif-gun-owner-who-says-she-admitted-herself-to-mental-hospital-for-medication-adjustment-has-guns-confiscated/

Frank Ettin
March 13, 2013, 12:53 AM
And indeed in California, to be admitted to a facility for evaluation under 5150, the facility must be convinced that probable cause exists for the admission. Admission for an evaluation can not exceed 72 hours, and a longer commitment requires a hearing before a judge.

This isn't a new thing. These sorts of things have been going on for a long time. It's not like someone just decided yesterday to start tossing folks in mental institution so that "
the Man" can take their guns.

splithoof
March 14, 2013, 12:59 AM
I agree with Zoogster 100%.

JohnBT
March 14, 2013, 09:50 AM
"Soon it will be speeding more than 4 miles over the limit or raising your voice at work."

Do you truly believe this?

JohnBT
March 14, 2013, 10:04 AM
"I have twice assumed massive CIVIL liability in the course of my job when I provided the LEO's the PC necessary to invoke 5150 on suicidal people."

That's a very good point - it takes at least 2 people. The cop on the street can't simply have a person admitted for a 72-hour eval. I believe the phrase I've heard is that the 5150 form only gets them to the front door; then the staff has to agree they need an evaluation. (And there has to be a bed available. Big bottleneck.)

John

Fwiw - Around 1980, we had a client at the office who decided to clean off a couple of desks and throw some papers around and then he locked himself in an office for 10 minutes. I got there by the time two officers responded to the call (to evict the guy) and they said they wouldn't do anything because the man was now calm and they hadn't witnessed the behavior...

Then the guy got mad and dropkicked his parka out into traffic. Off to the hospital he went.

SHR970
March 14, 2013, 07:53 PM
Zoogster originally said:They are then held for up to 3 days initially, at which point some who work there determine based on what they have observed or discussed with the individual if they should be released, or it should be extended to a 5250 for another 14 days.

There is no court process. There is not presenting any evidence. The initial 5150 takes nothing but an officer's signature. There is no appeals process, no trial.

Nope, sorry that is not what the law says.

In 5150 an assessment needs to be performed.

WIC 5151. If the facility for 72-hour treatment and evaluation admits
the person, it may detain him or her for evaluation and treatment for
a period not to exceed 72 hours. Key words: If the facility admits.

5250 can only be invoked by two designated professionals, and the specificity is laid out in the law. Further a 5250 certification also comes with the right to a hearing WIC 5255 and 5256. The person heading up the hearing is a court officer WIC 5256.1

CWIC 5250-5259 (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/displaycode?section=wic&group=05001-06000&file=5250-5259.3)

Under an even more narrow set of circumstances they can go beyond 14 days CWIC 5260-5268 & 5270.

It still comes down to this...a LEO can not just say you are a threat to yourself in Ca. and get you a 72 hour hold. He must be able to qualify the statement with something real and tangible that will pass the smell test. If you go tinfoil hat; you may just qualify.

WIC 5150.4. "Assessment" for the purposes of this article, means the determination of whether a person shall be evaluated and treated
pursuant to Section 5150. The assessment is performed by a licensed mental health professional at a designated facility.

-Xero-
March 14, 2013, 11:26 PM
Disabled veterans, diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and preliminarily classed as "at risk" (a vague, non-specific and non legal designation) were barred by NICS from purchasing firearms. Evidently no restrictions on prior ownership, no confiscation of currently owned firearms.

This ruling was overturned by the courts. Lots of people are statistically "at risk" for all sorts of stuff while not being a threat to themselves or others.

There's a HUGE LEGAL DISTINCTION between being admitted to a psychiatric facility and being "adjudicated." Nonetheless, this seems the current "slippery slope" being pushed in the legislatures.

Mental Healthcare Professionals -- particularly those who work through the Vets. Admin. -- are extremely concerned about patient confidentiality and legal requirements to "report" those "at risk." The consequence of "reporting mandates" is that those with problems -- particularly veterans -- simply decline to seek help.

Currently more veterans commit suicide than are lost in battle.

VINTAGE-SLOTCARS
March 15, 2013, 12:14 AM
xxx

Frank Ettin
March 15, 2013, 12:23 AM
Disabled veterans, diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and preliminarily classed as "at risk" (a vague, non-specific and non legal designation) were barred by NICS from purchasing firearms. Evidently no restrictions on prior ownership, no confiscation of currently owned firearms....Please provide documentation.

...This ruling was overturned by the courts....What ruling, exactly? Please provide a citation.

Zoogster
March 16, 2013, 12:27 AM
It still comes down to this...a LEO can not just say you are a threat to yourself in Ca. and get you a 72 hour hold. He must be able to qualify the statement with something real and tangible that will pass the smell test. If you go tinfoil hat; you may just qualify.


The cop on the street can't simply have a person admitted for a 72-hour eval. I believe the phrase I've heard is that the 5150 form only gets them to the front door; then the staff has to agree they need an evaluation. (And there has to be a bed available. Big bottleneck.)


The official formalities and what happens in real life may sound the same but are not quite as protective of your rights as you may think.
If LEO shows up with someone and says they are a threat the credible law enforcement officer will typically be believed and they will go along with thier initial assessment that the individual needs to be at least evaluated as a threat to themselves or others.
He may need to articulate a reason, but once done it is almost a certain thing.


As for 5250 you are correct that it takes a little more, I kept it simple for the sake of the thread. Even there the specific professionals that do such things on a regular basis go through the motions, make an educated determination and move on to the next guy. These are professionals that make thier rounds check forms, and deal with such things on a regular basis.
While a hearing may sound professional and give images of a court room to the average person, some guys set up in an office or available area or designated area and make a determination on various cases, then move on to thier other work. Its not like there is a criminal trial, or the burden of proof required in a criminal court with witnesses challenges to evidence, a jury, or bias towards the defendant with reasonale doubt criteria.
The way these things can remove rights is with much lesser difficulty than in a criminal court with all the rights accused get there, and bias towards the defendant. It is less likely than a 5150 and more difficult, but it also prohibits people for life federally.

In a nation that prides itself on giving rights to the criminally accused and an intended bias towards not guilty built into the system, this mental health system certainly sidesteps a large percentage of those rights and is more in line with the criminal justice system of some third world nations.


(And there has to be a bed available. Big bottleneck.)

Which is essentially saying one of the big things protecting people from excessive abuse is a lack of mental health funding for more hospitals and beds.

Frank Ettin
March 16, 2013, 12:48 AM
...The official formalities and what happens in real life may sound the same but are not quite as protective of your rights as you may think.
If LEO shows up with someone and says they are a threat the credible law enforcement officer will typically be believed and they will go along with thier initial assessment...And you know this how? What evidence or documentation can you provide to support your claim?

...Even there the specific professionals that do such things on a regular basis go through the motions,...And you know this how? What evidence or documentation can you provide to support your claim?

You are basically accusing professionals of shirking their legal and professional obligations. If you're going to do that, you need to provide some pretty strong, convincing evidence to support your claim.

joeschmoe
March 16, 2013, 12:57 AM
The official formalities and what happens in real life may sound the same but are not quite as protective of your rights as you may think.
If LEO shows up with someone and says they are a threat the credible law enforcement officer will typically be believed and they will go along with thier initial assessment that the individual needs to be at least evaluated as a threat to themselves or others.
He may need to articulate a reason, but once done it is almost a certain thing.

While a hearing may sound professional and give images of a court room to the average person, some guys set up in an office or available area or designated area and make a determination on various cases, then move on to thier other work. Its not like there is a criminal trial, or the burden of proof required in a criminal court with witnesses challenges to evidence, a jury, or bias towards the defendant with reasonale doubt criteria.You do not get those things at arrest for a criminal offense. You may get them months later at trail, but less than 1% of cases end in trail. So that point is largely moot. If an officer thinks you are a threat to yourself or others you're going to jail or the hospital. You do not get to challenge evidence or the officer that night. You will spend a few days in jail or the hospital. As they love to say; "You may beat the rap, but you won't beat the ride".

HorseSoldier
March 16, 2013, 02:53 AM
How would this encourage someone who needs mental health help, to want to seek it? Also, how does HIPA allow this information to be tracked? Is there a way to legally fight this?

There are HIPAA exceptions for some law enforcement matters.

Skylerbone
March 16, 2013, 04:21 AM
At some point, IMO, it must be conceded that barring a massive conspiracy effort on the part of legislators, law enforcement, mental health professionals, lawyers and judges, that the system has a reasonable number of safeguards built in to protect those who are lawful and separate those who are not. Without any mechanism for removing rights, we as firearm owners would need shoulder the burden of allowing every citizen unlimited right to bear arms without restriction regardless of mental state or criminal disposition. I for one would never choose to defend that position as there are and must be limits on any right given an individual by a society.

It has been pointed out in the case cited in CA that the woman in question allowed officers into her home; read invited. Her failure to comprehend the law or request a valid search warrant does not relegate the actions taken by those officers to be nefarious. A legitimate reason for their dispatch was present and they did their job. As to the individual woman and what we know of her, she 1) sought out mental health assistance, 2) was asked by a professional to seek more comprehensive help, 3) complied with that advice, 4) may not have considered the consequences of her actions as a firearms owner and 5) may not have considered the consequences of inviting law enforcement into her home for a look around without a warrant.

In any case it is, again IMO, a more fitting example of ignorance of law being no excuse. I may hold personal opinion of such an individual beyond what's been stated given the events leading up to the seizure but they might be considered reaching to the point of recklessness.

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