Executive order on background checks


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wow6599
January 3, 2014, 02:37 PM
Has this been discussed yet? Is this constitutionally legal.......does the President have the power to do this?

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/03/obama-administration-proposes-new-executive-actions-on-gun-background-checks/

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jr45
January 3, 2014, 02:43 PM
"The proposed rule will not change the fact that seeking help for mental health problems or getting treatment does not make someone legally prohibited from having a firearm," the statement said.

Ya right! Anything this admin does will be an attempt to chip away at the 2nd amendment. I foresee individuals forgoing the needed treatment due to the fear of being labeled a "potentially dangerous" person. There already is a stigma with mental health and all this does is add more to it.:cuss:

Arkansas Paul
January 3, 2014, 02:45 PM
This is more than a little misleading.
The proposals are not to make executive orders regarding background checks. It is to allow certain mental health issues to be disclosed.

Your title suggests that they are thinking of making executive orders instituting UBC. Don't play the game of twisting things around like the other side does. If we do the same, our argument is no more valid than theirs.

jr45
January 3, 2014, 02:48 PM
Ark Paul, this has to do with back ground checks. What ever definition is used to be considered "dangerous", it is sent to NICS.

jr45
January 3, 2014, 02:50 PM
Here is the title of the article:

"Obama administration proposes new executive actions on gun background checks"

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/01/03/obama-administration-proposes-new-executive-actions-on-gun-background-checks/

wow6599
January 3, 2014, 02:50 PM
Your title suggests that they are thinking of making executive orders instituting UBC.

Sorry about my title. They don't want UBC on everyone...... :rolleyes:

wow6599
January 3, 2014, 02:52 PM
The Obama administration on Friday proposed two new executive actions to make it easier for states to provide mental health information to the national background check system, wading back into the gun control debate after a months-long hiatus.

If they are "executive actions", are they not done by the President?

jr45
January 3, 2014, 02:58 PM
Yes, they are done by him. Here is the list of 23 from last year that relate to gun control.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/share/meaningful-progress-23-executive-actions-reduce-gun-violence

Arkansas Paul
January 3, 2014, 03:00 PM
Here is the title of the article:

"Obama administration proposes new executive actions on gun background checks"

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014...ground-checks/

Yeah the title of the article from FOX NEWS. They're not biased at all. :rolleyes:

Sorry about my title. They don't want UBC on everyone......

Sure, I'm aware that they do, and I'm 100% against it. That doesn't change the fact that that is not what this is about.

The last several mass shooters have had mental illness issues. So all of us screamed, "Focus on the real problem, which is mental illness" and rightfully so. So now they want to allow mental illness information to be a part of the criteria and we have a problem with that.

It simply doesn't matter what this guy does, everyone is going to have a problem with it. I'm surprised when Michelle Obama said that everyone should eat healthy, some of you guys didn't go sit in your garage, crank the car and eat bacon grease out of a coffee can.

wow6599
January 3, 2014, 03:06 PM
Sure, I'm aware that they do, and I'm 100% against it. That doesn't change the fact that that is not what this is about.

I respect your opinion Paul, and I understand your point of view on the title.

But, IMHO, this is slowly chipping away our rights. If this type of "action" continues for years to come, will we not - by default - have UBC on everyone?

jr45
January 3, 2014, 03:06 PM
The last several mass shooters have had mental illness issues. So all of us screamed, "Focus on the real problem, which is mental illness" and rightfully so. So now they want to allow mental illness information to be a part of the criteria and we have a problem with that.

It simply doesn't matter what this guy does, everyone is going to have a problem with it. I'm surprised when Michelle Obama said that everyone should eat healthy, some of you guys didn't go sit in your garage, crank the car and eat bacon grease out of a coffee can.


You have to be kidding? When has this admin, EVER, performed any action that does not hurt the law abiding citizen? Every one knows that certain individuals should not own a firearm however; you are entrusting this admin with implementing something that is fair or right?:banghead:

jr45
January 3, 2014, 03:08 PM
But this is for your safety, this is common sense approach, this will stop the gun violence, this will not adversely affect law abiding citizens, etc...

Does this sound familiar?

Arkansas Paul
January 3, 2014, 03:12 PM
But, IMHO, this is slowly chipping away our rights. If this type of "action" continues for years to come, will we not - by default - have UBC on everyone?

While I think this action makes more sense than magazine restrictions, AWB and things like that, I do agree that anything is too much.
And sadly, I fear for the future if the 2A. They will do exactly what you said and eventually UBC will be on everyone. It won't happen overnight, it will be gradual. The next generation will be a little more open to restriction and the next a little more and so on. I'm glad I'll be dead by the time it happens.

jr45
January 3, 2014, 03:13 PM
But, IMHO, this is slowly chipping away our rights. If this type of "action" continues for years to come, will we not - by default - have UBC on everyone?

+1. No one who supports the 1st, 2nd, and 4th amendment trust this admin or this congress. This is just another step to UBC and bans. And those who don't trust "them" (rightfully so) may not seek the treatment they need in fear of being labeled "dangerous". This is like asking a wolf to babysit your sheep.

wow6599
January 3, 2014, 03:15 PM
It simply doesn't matter what this guy does, everyone is going to have a problem with it.

But that isn't what this thread is about.

wow6599
January 3, 2014, 03:16 PM
It won't happen overnight, it will be gradual.

See post #1

Mike1234567
January 3, 2014, 03:21 PM
Better be careful what you say and to whom. Don't tell them you think you should cut back on your drinking. Don't tell them you have a degenerative brain disease even if dementia and memory loss is still very minor. Will your doctor report that you may someday be slightly impaired? Don't tell anyone that you've been feeling anxious and depressed lately.

jr45
January 3, 2014, 03:32 PM
Better be careful what you say and to whom. Don't tell them you think you should cut back on your drinking. Don't tell them you have a degenerative brain disease even if dementia and memory loss is still very minor. Will your doctor report that you may someday be slightly impaired? Don't tell anyone that you've been feeling anxious and depressed lately.

My point exactly! And those who need help may not seek it due to this type of BS.

Frank Ettin
January 3, 2014, 03:52 PM
Phooey! So much heat and so little light. The fact is, we have no idea what's actually being done. It amazes me that some folks around here complain bitterly about the mistakes made by the popular press on gun related matters but happily swallow hook, line and sinker whatever vague, imprecise twaddle they publish on political and legal issues.

This does not involve Executive Orders. The term "Executive Order" has a precise meaning. Also, there are important limitation on what can actually be done by Executive Order as discussed here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=690089), here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=693360), here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=690391), and here (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=694556).


But the article refers to "executive action." That term has no precise meaning and could mean anything done by an executive -- including Obama putting on his shoes in the morning.


The article linked in the OP refers vaguely to "rules." Another article (http://firstread.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/03/22163660-white-house-announces-two-new-executive-actions-on-guns) on the issue refers to proposed regulations by the Department of Justice and a proposed rule by the Department of Health and Human Services.


Both those Departments are part of the Executive Branch of our Federal Government. Obama as President is the senior manager of the Executive Branch. Each Department has certain authority to promulgate regulations. That authority comes from Congress through laws enacted by Congress.


The adoption of regulations is a formal process. Proposed regulations must first be circulated for public comment. Regulations are subject to challenge in court and must be within the scope of the authority granted by the legislation authorizing their promulgation.


But we have seen nothing concrete yet.

So at this point this is nothing but idle and uninformed speculation. I really should close this now, but I'll leave it open for the time being to see if anyone can come up with some solid, meaningful information.

But if any more meaningless speculation shows up, I'll close the thread.

alsaqr
January 3, 2014, 08:00 PM
Many states are not reporting their adjudicated mental cases to NICS.

Found this:

Underlline=mine.


Some states have reported that certain barriers under current law make it difficult for them to identify and submit appropriate information to the federal background check system regarding individuals prohibited under federal law from having a gun for mental health reasons. Today, DOJ and HHS are taking steps that will help address these barriers.

•Some states have noted that the terminology used by federal law to prohibit people from purchasing a firearm for certain mental health reasons is ambiguous. Today, DOJ is issuing a proposed rule to make several clarifications. For example, DOJ is proposing to clarify that the statutory term “committed to a mental institution” includes involuntary inpatient as well as outpatient commitments. In addition to providing general guidance on federal law, these clarifications will help states determine what information should be made accessible to the federal background check system, which will, in turn, strengthen the system’s reliability and effectiveness.

•Some states have also said that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) privacy provisions may be preventing them from making relevant information available to the background check system regarding individuals prohibited from purchasing a firearm for mental health reasons. In April 2013, HHS began to identify the scope and extent of the problem, and based on public comments is now issuing a proposed rule to eliminate this barrier by giving certain HIPAA covered entities an express permission to submit to the background check system the limited information necessary to help keep guns out of potentially dangerous hands. The proposed rule will not change the fact that seeking help for mental health problems or getting treatment does not make someone legally prohibited from having a firearm. Furthermore, nothing in the proposed rule would require reporting on general mental health visits or other routine mental health care, or would exempt providers solely performing these treatment services from existing privacy rules.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/01/03/fact-sheet-strengthening-federal-background-check-system-keep-guns-out-p

Frank Ettin
January 3, 2014, 09:46 PM
...Found this:...Thank you. We now have some actual information.

So both the DOJ and DHHS are proposing regulations to effectively amend existing regulation relating to (1) the definition of terms under the GCA of 1968 (DOJ); and (2) the confidentiality of medical information (HIPAA) and disclosure rules (DHHS). These regulations must go through the formal rule making process to be adopted. So they will be published and the public will be invited to comment.

Of course we really need to see the proposed regulations. Given the subject matter I'd expect various professional medical/psychiatric organizations to weigh in. Those groups were very involved formulation of the HIPAA rules and are usually quite protective of the interests of persons with mental or emotional issues. They are also quite influential.

So it will be interesting to see how the process plays out.

MErl
January 3, 2014, 10:07 PM
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/01/07/2014-00039/definition-of-adjudicated-as-a-mental-defective-and-committed-to-a-mental-institution

The legislative history of the Gun Control Act indicates that Congress intended that the prohibition against the receipt and possession of firearms would apply broadly to ‘‘mentally unstable’’ or ‘‘irresponsible’’ persons. See, e.g., 114 Cong. Rec. 21780 (1968) (statement of Rep. Sikes); id.at 21832 (statement of Rep. Corman); id.at 22270 (statement of Rep. Fino); see also, e.g., id.at 21791 (statement of Rep. Thompson).
(page 7, first paragraph. Irresponsible? ouch)

In addition, the Department proposes amending the definition of “committed to a mental institution” to clarify that involuntary commitment to a mental institution includes both inpatient and outpatient treatment. ATF has received inquiries as to whether the definition applies to involuntary outpatient treatment. Although the term “committed to a mental institution” is not defined in 18 U.S.C. 922, the plain language of the statute incorporates both inpatient and outpatientcommitments as the statute requires commitment toa mental institution, not commitment ina mental institution. See United States v. B.H., 466 F. Supp. 2d 1139, 1147 (N.D. Iowa 2006). Mental institutions include mental health facilities and the auxiliary mental health services provided through those facilities.
Auxiliary mental health services to include substance abuse?

and the HHS link
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/01/07/2014-00055/health-insurance-portability-and-accountability-act-privacy-rule-and-the-national-instant-criminal

bsctov
January 3, 2014, 10:35 PM
The problem with the proposed changes is the ambiguity of the proposed regulation, also, they are expanding the law in such a way that traditionally required an act of congress to do.


I'll give you an example of how this can go terribly wrong, terribly fast.


The proposed regulation that was posted by the OP expands the prohibiting class of "Committed to a mental institution" to also include "Commitments" to outpatient mental health treatment. What does this mean exactly? Your guess is as good as mine..

Let's say John and Shirley are happily married and decide that they have grown too far apart in recent years, and that the resulting circumstances have led them to agree to a divorce, and that this would be the most amicable resolution for each side. They file a petition for divorce according to their state law and the judge feels as if they would benefit from marriage counseling before he agrees to finalize their divorce.

Would either of these people be prohibited under the proposed reading of the law?

Or how about this one..

A construction worker is at lunch at his favorite diner, when he notices a group of unruly kids sitting in the corner. He continues on to eat his meal when all of a sudden he starts getting spit balls shot at him, and packets of salt thrown etc.. He kindly asks them to stop, but they continue anyways....He finally loses his temper, and, against his better judgement.. starts yelling and screaming at the kids, causing them to become scared...The mother calls the police, and the man is cited for Disorderly Conduct in the 4th degree, he appears in court and is given no jail time, or probation, however, the judge makes anger management a condition of his probation.

This man is now prohibited from owning a firearm for life, because, under the proposed regulation, he was "Committed to a mental institution" because the law defines a "Mental institution" as follows :

27 CFR 178.11 Mental institution
Includes mental health facilities, mental hospitals, sanitariums, psychiatric facilities, and
other facilities that provide diagnoses by licensed professionals of mental retardation or
mental illness, including a psychiatric ward in a general hospital.





Does this sound reasonable to you? I know it's a scary thing when a government starts to abuse it's power, but if you cave and accept the president's explanation and justification for these changes, you are playing a role in the undoing of all the hard fought victories the RTKBA has enjoyed.

Frank Ettin
January 3, 2014, 10:53 PM
The proposed regulation that was posted by the OP expands the prohibiting class of "Committed to a mental institution" to also include "Commitments" to outpatient mental health treatment....What are you looking at? The OP didn't post a proposed regulation. He posted a news story.

If you are going to try to discuss the proposed regulations, you need to be reading the actual proposed regulations -- not some reporter's guess about what they say.

MErl in post 22 provided a link to a government site at which one can get the full text (in pdf) of the proposed regulatory filing which will be opened for public comment. If you want to discuss what the proposed regulations say, that's what you have to be looking at.

ETA: MErl posted a link only to the pre-publication DHHS regulations modifying HIPAA. We'll need to find a copy of proosed DOJ regulatory filing as well. But there's nothing really to discuss without actually reading the proposed rules.

MErl
January 3, 2014, 11:05 PM
the first link at the top is from the ATF/DOJ, second one at the bottom is from DHHS

Frank Ettin
January 3, 2014, 11:08 PM
Okay, I see it now. Thank you.

Links to the pre-publication copies of the filing. For discussion of what the proposed regulation say, those are documents folks should be citing.

RetiredUSNChief
January 3, 2014, 11:11 PM
Of course we really need to see the proposed regulations. Given the subject matter I'd expect various professional medical/psychiatric organizations to weigh in. Those groups were very involved formulation of the HIPAA rules and are usually quite protective of the interests of persons with mental or emotional issues. They are also quite influential.

To say that they're "quite influential" would be putting it mildly.

Doctor/patient confidentiality is something that both parties hold onto quite rabidly, and rightfully so. A violation of that trust means a breakdown in the ability of professionals to provide their health services to patients...indeed, it means fewer people who really NEED help will seek the professionals who can give it because of a lack of trust.

Yes, there will be quite involvement of the medical/psychiatric organizations over this one.

bsctov
January 3, 2014, 11:33 PM
What are you looking at? The OP didn't post a proposed regulation. He posted a news story.

If you are going to try to discuss the proposed regulations, you need to be reading the actual proposed regulations -- not some reporter's guess about what they say.



The proposed rules want to expand "Committed to a mental institution" to include "Outpatient" commitments as well. It's really simple, and this has the potential to be the most significant setback for the RTKBA that we have ever seen.

I think a meaningful discussion about this would be more productive than splitting hairs over what the OP's post contains. He posted a link which describes what they are intending to do, and a quick Google search provides hundreds of results saying the same thing, unless those are all total, and complete fabrications, I think were safe to at-least preliminary discuss the merits of this proposed change, and it's undoubtedly potentially devastating consequences.

Frank Ettin
January 3, 2014, 11:45 PM
What are you looking at? The OP didn't post a proposed regulation. He posted a news story.

If you are going to try to discuss the proposed regulations, you need to be reading the actual proposed regulations -- not some reporter's guess about what they say.



The proposed rules want to expand "Committed to a mental institution" to include "Outpatient" commitments as well. It's really simple, and this has the potential to be the most significant setback for the RTKBA that we have ever seen.

I think a meaningful discussion about this would be more productive than splitting hairs over what the OP's post contains. He posted a link which describes what they are intending to do, and a quick Google search provides hundreds of results saying the same thing, unless those are all total, and complete fabrications,...What those links lead you to are news stories. Don't you understand the difference between a news story and a proposed regulation.

A regulation if/when adopted will be codified in the official federal Code of Federal Regulations. It will have the force of law. But its effect will be determined by its exact language -- not by what some reported said it was intended to do.

So if you want to discuss the regulations, you will need to work from the material which MErl linked to.

...I think were safe to at-least preliminary discuss the merits of this proposed change, and it's undoubtedly potentially devastating consequences.But you're wrong. What a regulation will do, and its merits or lack thereof, is determinable only from its exact language. What some reporter might say it means or does is meaningless.

HKGuns
January 4, 2014, 12:05 AM
This will be abused, you can count on it. Start writing letters and burning up the phone lines now. Can't get your way through the legislative process, you go around it by issuing executive orders.

He's not the only that has done this but this needs to stop now. In fact the whole idea of an "Executive" order needs to be examined in context of the Constitution and separation of powers.

This goes for both parties who each have a habit of abuse.

bsctov
January 4, 2014, 12:21 AM
https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-00039.pdf

Frank Ettin
January 4, 2014, 12:32 AM
...Can't get your way through the legislative process, you go around it by issuing executive orders....These are not Executive Orders. These are regulations proposed by regulatory agencies (DOJ and DHHS). Regulations are proposed and adopted pursuant to authority set out in statutes enacted by Congress.

...In fact the whole idea of an "Executive" order needs to be examined in context of the Constitution and separation of powers...Executive Orders, and regulations, are horse that long ago left the barn. they are part of our world, and we need to understand them and deal with them. They are not going away.

JSH1
January 4, 2014, 12:40 AM
You are fighting a losing battle Frank but I give you credit for trying. Some people don't want to know how our government works; they simply want to rant about the President and repeat what they heard on conservative talk radio.

Glocktogo
January 4, 2014, 01:17 AM
The .pdf document that bsctov just posted is THE exact language that will be posted in the Federal Register next week as a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking". The NPRM is a pre-determination comment period for enacting regulatory requirements under which regulated parties must comply.

The operative language in question is detailed on page 9:

Although the term “committed to a
mental institution” is not defined in 18 U.
S.C. 922, the plain language of the statute
incorporates both inpatient and outpatient
commitments as the statute requires
commitment
to
a mental institution, not commitment
in
a mental institution.
See United
States v. B.H.,
466 F. Supp. 2d 1139, 1147 (N.D. Iowa 2006). Mental institutions include
mental health facilities and
the auxiliary mental health
services provided through those
facilities.

In other words, any institution certified to provide mental health treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient is covered. Keep in mind that "institution" is not strictly a 100% mental health facility or "nuthouse". So, any court ordered treatment that would be legally considered to fall under "mental health" MAY be included under that umbrella. That could include drug or alcohol treatment, anger management, depression, etc. These court orders MAY include drug courts, family courts, etc.

I doubt any of the other proposals in the document would cause any reasonable person to take issue. Everything after the middle of page 10 is administrative in nature and no proposals are enumerated thereafter.

I deliberately use the word MAY, because the federal administration or department responsible for regulatory compliance with the NPRM (should it be enacted unamended) will have the option to include or exclude certain facilities, courts and court ordered treatments, via a clarification letter from the Administrator of said federal administration or department.

The law is the "what", the regulation is the "how". Federal regulations may apply to local, state and federal entities, to include courts, boards, commissions or any other legal lawful authorities. They may also include any segment of the public that would be covered under the rules. In this case, the regulated entities would be courts, boards, commissions or any other legal lawful authorities. They would be required to report to NICS any additional adjudications that would fall under the rules clarification(s). This has always been the case, but considerable confusion exists over what exactly a covered adjudication currently is.

The "expansionism" concern here is how the feds would view court (or other lawful authority) ordered outpatient treatment that is currently excluded from NICS reporting. It could be used to "widen the net" as happened with domestic abuse under the Lautenberg Amendment. It could significantly expand the classification of prohibited persons in the "adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution" to include persons who heretofore have not been prohibited.


On background, I am a regulatory compliance inspector for the federal government. My job is to investigate allegations of non-compliance with federal regulations and prepare cases that may be heard before an administrative law judge. The concerns bsctov posted are not without merit. Hopefully there will be constitutional law scholars (who side with the 2nd Amendment) posting comments to the Federal Register on this one. :(

bsctov
January 4, 2014, 01:43 AM
The .pdf document that bsctov just posted is THE exact language that will be posted in the Federal Register next week as a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking". The NPRM is a pre-determination comment period for enacting regulatory requirements under which regulated parties must comply.

The operative language in question is detailed on page 9:



In other words, any institution certified to provide mental health treatment, whether inpatient or outpatient is covered. Keep in mind that "institution" is not strictly a 100% mental health facility or "nuthouse". So, any court ordered treatment that would be legally considered to fall under "mental health" MAY be included under that umbrella. That could include drug or alcohol treatment, anger management, depression, etc. These court orders MAY include drug courts, family courts, etc.

I doubt any of the other proposals in the document would cause any reasonable person to take issue. Everything after the middle of page 10 is administrative in nature and no proposals are enumerated thereafter.

I deliberately use the word MAY, because the federal administration or department responsible for regulatory compliance with the NPRM (should it be enacted unamended) will have the option to include or exclude certain facilities, courts and court ordered treatments, via a clarification letter from the Administrator of said federal administration or department.

The law is the "what", the regulation is the "how". Federal regulations may apply to local, state and federal entities, to include courts, boards, commissions or any other legal lawful authorities. They may also include any segment of the public that would be covered under the rules. In this case, the regulated entities would be courts, boards, commissions or any other legal lawful authorities. They would be required to report to NICS any additional adjudications that would fall under the rules clarification(s). This has always been the case, but considerable confusion exists over what exactly a covered adjudication currently is.

The "expansionism" concern here is how the feds would view court (or other lawful authority) ordered outpatient treatment that is currently excluded from NICS reporting. It could be used to "widen the net" as happened with domestic abuse under the Lautenberg Amendment. It could significantly expand the classification of prohibited persons in the "adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution" to include persons who heretofore have not been prohibited.


On background, I am a regulatory compliance inspector for the federal government. My job is to investigate allegations of non-compliance with federal regulations and prepare cases that may be heard before an administrative law judge. The concerns bsctov posted are not without merit. Hopefully there will be constitutional law scholars (who side with the 2nd Amendment) posting comments to the Federal Register on this one. :(

On second thought, since federal law mostly defers to the individual state in question to determine what is or isn't a "commitment" for the purposes of a federal firearms disability, it may not be as bad as I previously thought.

Like in my home state of Ohio for example, to be "Committed to a mental institution" requires a specific legal proceeding that is laid out in the Ohio Revised Code.


Would them adding the bit about "Outpatient treatment" change that triggering criteria? I don't see how it would, but then again, with the government, you never really know how they will interpret something.

gc70
January 4, 2014, 02:01 AM
The "expansionism" concern here is how the feds would view court (or other lawful authority) ordered outpatient treatment that is currently excluded from NICS reporting. It could be used to "widen the net" as happened with domestic abuse under the Lautenberg Amendment. It could significantly expand the classification of prohibited persons in the "adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution" to include persons who heretofore have not been prohibited.

The proposed rule (https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-00039.pdf) appears to address the previously cited fear of being a 'prohibited person' on the basis of something similar to having once been required to take an anger management class.

Congress amended the GCA in 2008 to provide that federal departments or agencies may not provide records of individuals “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to a mental institution” to the Attorney General for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) if:
(a) The adjudication or commitment was set aside or expunged, or the person was fully released or discharged from all mandatory treatment, supervision, or monitoring;

Glocktogo
January 4, 2014, 02:01 AM
Originally Posted by bsctov
On second thought, since federal law mostly defers to the individual state in question to determine what is or isn't a "commitment" for the purposes of a federal firearms disability, it may not be as bad as I previously thought.

Like in my home state of Ohio for example, to be "Committed to a mental institution" requires a specific legal proceeding that is laid out in the Ohio Revised Code.


Would them adding the bit about "Outpatient treatment" change that triggering criteria? I don't see how it would, but then again, with the government, you never really know how they will interpret something.

That's the real issue right there. Only the staff attorneys "advising" the Administrators can answer that one, at least until a definitive court ruling is issued. :(


Quote:
Originally Posted by Glocktogo
The "expansionism" concern here is how the feds would view court (or other lawful authority) ordered outpatient treatment that is currently excluded from NICS reporting. It could be used to "widen the net" as happened with domestic abuse under the Lautenberg Amendment. It could significantly expand the classification of prohibited persons in the "adjudicated as a mental defective or committed to a mental institution" to include persons who heretofore have not been prohibited.
The proposed rule appears to address the previously cited fear of being a 'prohibited person' on the basis of something similar to having once been required to take an anger management class.

Quote:
Congress amended the GCA in 2008 to provide that federal departments or agencies may not provide records of individuals “adjudicated as a mental defective” or “committed to a mental institution” to the Attorney General for inclusion in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) if:
(a) The adjudication or commitment was set aside or expunged, or the person was fully released or discharged from all mandatory treatment, supervision, or monitoring;

Notice that only applies to federal agencies. Notice that nowhere in the proposal is there any mention of a removal or dispute process for a person entered into the prohibited person database. These are still unresolved issues that need to be addressed first.

bsctov
January 4, 2014, 02:05 AM
The proposed rule (https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-00039.pdf) appears to address the previously cited fear of being a 'prohibited person' on the basis of something similar to having once been required to take an anger management class.


Only problem is that section only applies to adjudications or commitments that were made by a federal department or agency (i.e.. V.A and SSA etc..), not by a state/local court.

Frank Ettin
January 4, 2014, 02:08 AM
The .pdf document that bsctov just posted is THE exact language that will be posted in the Federal Register next week as a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking"....Yes, as is the material linked to in post 22. However, post 22 included links to both DOJ and DHHS NPRMs.

...The operative language in question is detailed on page 9:...But that's not really the operative language. That is part of the discussion of the background for the regulation. While it might influence a court in applying the regulation, it will not, as currently set out, be part of the regulation as codified in the CFR.

The actual proposed text of the ATF regulation which, if adopted as proposed, will find its way into 27 CFR 478.11 is found beginning on page 16 of the DOJ NPRM (https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-00039.pdf):§ 478.11 Meaning of terms.

* * * * *

Adjudicated as a mental defective.

(a) A determination, order, or similar finding 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 self or others; or

(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his or her own affairs.

(b) The term shall include—

(1) Those persons found not guilty by reason of insanity, mental disease or defect, or lack of mental responsibility by a court in a criminal case;

(2) Those persons found guilty but mentally ill by a court in a criminal case in a jurisdiction that provides for such a finding; and

(3) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial by a court in a criminal case.

(c) The term shall not include —

(1) Any person adjudicated by a department or agency of the Federal Government, if any of the conditions of section 101(c)(1) of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 apply; or

(2) Any person who has been adjudicated and subsequently received relief from disabilities under 18 U.S.C. 925(c) or under a program authorized by section 101(c)(2) or section 105(a) of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007.

* * * * *

Committed to a mental institution.

(a) A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes an involuntary commitment to a mental institution for inpatient or outpatient treatment. The term includes an involuntary commitment for mental defectiveness, i.e., mental illness, to a mental institution. It also includes a commitment to a mental institution for other reasons, such as for drug use.

(b) The term does not include a person in a mental institution solely for observation or evaluation, a voluntary admission to a mental institution, or voluntary outpatient treatment.

The term shall not include any person so committed by a department or agency of the Federal Government, if any of the conditions of section 101(c)(1) of the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 apply, or any person who has received relief from disabilities under a program authorized by section 101(c)(2) or section 105(a) of that Act or under 18 U.S.C. 925(c).

* * * * *

And just to be comprehensive, let's look at the proposed revised HIPAA rule (45 CFR 164.512) set out beginning on page 48 of the DHHS NPRM (https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2014-00055.pdf):§ 164.512 Uses and disclosures for which an authorization or opportunity to agree or object is not required.

* * * * *

(k) * * *

(7) National Instant Criminal Background Check System. A covered entity may use or disclose protected health information for purposes of reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System the identity of an individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(4), provided the covered entity:

(i) Is a State agency or other entity that is, or contains an entity that is:

(A) An entity designated by the State to report, or which collects information for purposes of reporting, on behalf of the State, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; or

(B) A court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that makes the commitment or adjudication that causes an individual to become subject to 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(4).

(ii) Discloses the information to:

(A) The National Instant Criminal Background Check System; or

(B) An entity designated by the State to report, or which collects information for purposes of reporting, on behalf of the State, to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; and

(iii)

(A) Discloses only the limited demographic and certain other information needed for purposes of reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; and

(B) Does not disclose diagnostic or clinical information for such purposes.

* * * * *

TennJed
January 4, 2014, 02:21 AM
You are fighting a losing battle Frank but I give you credit for trying. Some people don't want to know how our government works; they simply want to rant about the President and repeat what they heard on conservative talk radio.






well said

Glocktogo
January 4, 2014, 02:24 AM
And that was all well and good, right up to the part where they state:

Committed to a mental institution.

(a) A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes an involuntary commitment to a mental institution for inpatient or outpatient treatment. The term includes an involuntary commitment for mental defectiveness, i.e., mental illness, to a mental institution. It also includes a commitment to a mental institution for other reasons, such as for drug use.

Why would everything be so specific, and then suddenly in one sentence buried in that wall of text, go so vague as to say "for other reasons"? The example of "such as for drug use" is a red herring. It draws the uninformed to assume that this means illegal drug use (which is already covered elsewhere), when what it really means is that the inclusions are not entirely enumerated.

Remove that one sentence and it completely changes the scope and specificity of the NPRM. ;)

bsctov
January 4, 2014, 02:32 AM
And that was all well and good, right up to the part where they state:



Why would everything be so specific, and then suddenly in one sentence buried in that wall of text, go so vague as to say "for other reasons"? The example of "such as for drug use" is a red herring. It draws the uninformed to assume that this means illegal drug use (which is already covered elsewhere), when what it really means is that the inclusions are not entirely enumerated.

Remove that one sentence and it completely changes the scope and specificity of the NPRM. ;)
Perhaps they were comfortable with that vagueness because they intended "Adjudications" and "Commitments" to follow the respective state's laws regarding such procedure and it was an intended mechanic of the law.

For example, A judge telling you to get treatment for drug addiction is a far cry from being "Committed to a mental institution." if the law is read properly and as intended..

Now if you were subject to a commitment hearing under the mental health law in your state and the judge issued an order saying you had to attend inpatient/outpatient treatment for drug use, and it was an adversarial type hearing where you had an opportunity to respond and a right to counsel, that would be disqualifying under the new proposed language.


It's really all about due process.

If they require a commitment hearing under the mental health section of your respective state's law to trigger the firearms disability, outpatient or otherwise, then this is an appropriate exercise of power.

If they arbitrarily declare that all people who were required by a lawful authority such as a court to receive treatment for mental illness or "other reasons" are to be considered "Committed to a Mental Institution" that would be the very apex of insanity, and almost certainly unconstitutional. This reading would probably add 10-20 million to the "Prohibited" category.

Glocktogo
January 4, 2014, 02:38 AM
Perhaps they were comfortable with that vagueness because they intended "Adjudications" and "Commitments" to follow the respective state's laws regarding such procedure and it was an intended mechanic of the law.

For example, A judge telling you to get treatment for drug addiction is a far cry from being "Committed to a mental institution." if the law is read properly and as intended..

Now if you were subject to a commitment hearing under the mental health law in your state and the judge issued an order saying you had to attend inpatient/outpatient treatment for drug use, and it was an adversarial type hearing where you had an opportunity to respond and a right to counsel, that would be disqualifying under the new proposed language.

That was already a disqualifier as I stated above:

These prohibitions apply to any person who:
4
(1)
Has been convicted in any court of
a crime punishable by imprisonment for a
term exceeding one year;
(2)
Is a fugitive from justice;
(3)
Is an unlawful user of or addict
ed to any controlled substance;

bsctov
January 4, 2014, 02:41 AM
That was already a disqualifier as I stated above:
Yeah you're right, but the point I'm trying to make is about those "Other reasons". Drug use wasn't the best example, maybe if the judge required someone to get treatment for sex addiction or something that wouldn't make them prohibited otherwise like illegal drug use. In my opinion, even with the proposed regulation expanding this to outpatient treatment, it should still require a mental health style commitment hearing as prescribed by state law where applicable.

Also, the substance does not necessarily have to be a controlled substance, like if a person was addicted to chugging OTC cough syrup, and was committed for outpatient drug abuse treatment, the proposed regulation would include them as prohibited under "Committed to a Mental Institution" without triggering that unlawful user prohibition.

Glocktogo
January 4, 2014, 03:02 AM
Agreed. I can't see an effective case where a judge ordering treatment for sex addiction would merit the regulatory agency requiring reporting to NICS. The problem comes when you get closer to the fringes. Sizzurp or "purple drank" would be a fringe element. As always, there will be gray areas. The .gov gets to decide yea or nay until a court decides otherwise.

I will say this. The Lautenberg Amendment is a cautionary tale. There were plenty of folks who plead out to a lesser misdemeanor charge of domestic violence for MANY years, in order to avoid a long, costly court battle and possible felony incarceration so they could stay out of jail and retain their rights. Then along comes the Lautenberg Amendment and POOF! Overnight they became prohibited persons. People in law enforcement and the military lost their jobs and careers without Due Process. How many of them would've fought that battle if they knew that years later it would cost them dearly?

It bears keeping in mind when dealing with any medical treatment that could eventually be construed in a negative way under color of law. :(

JohnBT
January 4, 2014, 11:56 AM
"And those who need help may not seek it due to this type of BS. "

You can always pay cash and be treated under an assumed name. People have been avoiding the mental health system for years. Some with good reason based on experience and some for not so good reasons.

I think the president means well, he's just misguided. Or maybe rudderless.

Arizona_Mike
January 4, 2014, 01:10 PM
I'm wondering how an executive order can compel a state to do anything? Executive orders apply only to the executive branch, not to states, not to Congress, not to the Supreme Court, and not even to the Office of the Vice President.

Mike

Frank Ettin
January 4, 2014, 01:32 PM
I'm wondering how an executive order can compel a state to do anything. Executive orders apply only to the executive branch, not to states, not to Congress, not to the Supreme Court,...If you have been following this thread it should be clear that we are not discussing Executive Orders.

The subject is two Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) relating to reporting of certain mental health information for NICS use and the definition of the sorts of mental health incidents which can disqualify one from possession of a gun under the GCA68. These NPRM are the first step in the adoption of regulations by DOJ and DHHS and involve proposed amendments to existing regulations under the GCA68 and HIPAA.

Links to those NPRMs are in posts 22 and 39.

We are discussing those NPRMs and the proposed regulations -- what they say, what they mean, how they might apply, what might be acceptable about them and what might be wrong with them.

We are NOT discussing general politics, liberal vs. conservative, why we like or don't like the current administration, why the system is or is not corrupt, or otherwise bellowing about the tyranny of it all.

Part of formal rule making is the inviting of public comment on the proposed regulations. Each of you may comment directly to the proposing agency on the proposed rules, and each NPRM tells you exactly how to go about it.

If any one of you finds something in one of the proposed rules to be objectionable, I urge you to comment. You will need to comply with the formal process described in the NPRMs. And a focused, disciplined discussion here might help you frame your comments.

Derry 1946
January 4, 2014, 02:00 PM
It would be preferable to have clearer language than "includes commitment to a mental institution for other reasons, such as for drug use." (Forgive me if the quote is imprecise: working from memory here.) Under normal rules of construction, "such as" indicates that drug use is not the only reason, but also that the other included reasons should be similar in kind. "Commitment" conceivably suggests "involuntary," but other sections explicitly say so, and this one does not. A court could potentially cognize a self-commitment to a drug program as falling within this section. What about prescription opioid dependence treatment as a condition of avoiding penalties on a DUI? This is a very common real-world phenomenon that could affect a lot of people. The various sections of the regs are not perfectly harmonized. There are increasingly a lot of adults on Adderall and/or Vyvanse for ADHD as a holdover from childhood diagnoses (made before they reached an age of consent to treatment). Are they going to become prohibited persons? It's a very big can of worms.

Master Blaster
January 4, 2014, 03:14 PM
it's really all about due process

Actually it's really all about expanding what can be reported to nics or LE and used to deny a sale or continued ownership.

Frank Ettin
January 4, 2014, 04:22 PM
Some more off-topic posts have disappeared. Once again, (from post 48):

...The subject is two Notices of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) relating to reporting of certain mental health information for NICS use and the definition of the sorts of mental health incidents which can disqualify one from possession of a gun under the GCA68. These NPRM are the first step in the adoption of regulations by DOJ and DHHS and involve proposed amendments to existing regulations under the GCA68 and HIPAA.

Links to those NPRMs are in posts 22 and 39.

We are discussing those NPRMs and the proposed regulations -- what they say, what they mean, how they might apply, what might be acceptable about them and what might be wrong with them....

Matno
January 4, 2014, 05:05 PM
As a physician, I think that the biggest concern here should be that the federal government has ANY access to private medical information. It's done in the name of "public health" or "safety," but the underlying intentions are more nefarious than we like to admit. I'd be willing to bet that there are a LOT of members of this forum whose wives have been asked by a pediatrician whether they have guns in the house. Those records are now in the possession of the federal government, as run by the IRS. With the new "executive order" it's just another step on the path toward total gun confiscation through back door channels. They will use any excuse they can to promote evil.

Torian
January 4, 2014, 05:21 PM
"The proposed rule will not change the fact that seeking help for mental health problems or getting treatment does not make someone legally prohibited from having a firearm," the statement said.

Ya right! Anything this admin does will be an attempt to chip away at the 2nd amendment. I foresee individuals forgoing the needed treatment due to the fear of being labeled a "potentially dangerous" person. There already is a stigma with mental health and all this does is add more to it.:cuss:
Exactly.

Indeed it is one thing to say what it will or will not do...an entirely another thing to see its actual effects after implementation. The trust just isn't there anymore with this administration when it comes to the RKBA. POTUS showed his true colors late last year after a couple mass of shootings. Yes, I realize we are not talking about an Executive Action...but the President can and does influence policy and decision-making within all these agencies. We are kidding ourselves if we think he wasn't involved in pushing for this.

There is a very small segment of the supposed "mentally ill" who should not own firearms. Removing a Constitutional right is something that should be taken very seriously, and only done on a case-by-case basis after a review from qualified medical and legal professionals. As a combat-wounded veteran myself, I worry for some of my brothers and sisters in uniform who may be seeking treatment for something like PTSD. The term "mental illness" or is very ambiguous and can be used to describe a litany of mild to extreme medical conditions.

I won't even elaborate on the patient/doctor confidentiality issues here as they are obvious. As the resident Physician in this thread has already noted...their motives are highly suspect.

shootingthebreeze
January 4, 2014, 08:37 PM
Matno, it could be done thru an agency which screens applicants and sends a YES or NO to the gun dealer WITHOUT a diagnosis. The agency would have access to records but would not reveal to the gun dealer any medical information. Yes for a sale No for a no sale. Period.
I've thought about this for quite a while and the agency would be bound by medical confidentiality.
Got to start somewhere.
I'm an RN and I am also concerned about patient confidentiality. The agency would be bound legally to only give a yea or nay to the gun dealer and it could be done by computer eliminating potential questioning by the gun dealer.

Frank Ettin
January 4, 2014, 09:05 PM
As a physician, I think that the biggest concern here should be that the federal government has ANY access to private medical information...Of course disclosure of individually identifiable medical information to the federal government (or anyone else) is a matter of concern. Such disclosure is regulated, limited and controlled under the HIPAA regulations; and this proposed regulation is only a minor change.

But I would hope to see health care providers and mental health professionals to be taking the lead on commenting on these proposed regulations. They can be very influential. But comments to be credible need to focus on the proposed regulation, not the overall public policy. So consider how this proposed regulation is potentially harmful or otherwise threatens the interests of patients.

...I'd be willing to bet that there are a LOT of members of this forum whose wives have been asked by a pediatrician whether they have guns in the house. Those records are now in the possession of the federal government, as run by the IRS....Why? How? How would the federal government, especially the IRS, have access to such records? Indeed disclosure to the federal government, and especially the IRS, would be prohibited under existing HIPAA regulations.

...it could be done thru an agency which screens applicants and sends a YES or NO to the gun dealer WITHOUT a diagnosis. The agency would have access to records but would not reveal to the gun dealer any medical information...How would anything in the proposed regulation result in disclosure of medical information to gun dealers?

...POTUS showed his true colors late last year after a couple mass of shootings. ...but the President can and does influence policy and decision-making within all these agencies...Of course he does. These are agencies in the Executive Branch of the federal government, and the President is the boss in the Executive Branch. And it would also be fatuous to expect Obama not to act following those school shootings in a manner responsive to the interests and expectations of his core constituency.

That all is a given. The question for us is how we can deal with this reality effectively to best protect our interests.

JohnBT
January 4, 2014, 09:26 PM
"I've thought about this for quite a while and the agency would be bound by medical confidentiality."

You know, the doctors were supposed to be bound by medical confidentiality because it was important. Now we're going to include an agency in this one-to-one relationship? What's next? Data mining? Nevermind.

An agency would be privy to all the details of the doctor-patient relationship. There is no good excuse for breaking confidentiality by including an agency. It serves no good purpose to make doctors stool pigeons. Informers. Dirty rats. Someone will be mad a every doctor - they didn't do enough, they did too much too soon, blah, blah, blah. Court case. If the patients don't sue them the government will.

I predict the end of medicine in the U.S. All the doctors will quit.

alsaqr
January 5, 2014, 12:01 AM
Nothing from the mental patients health record is transmitted to NICS.

How NICS works:

http://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=49



Some states presently report adjudicated mental cases to NICS. Indiana is one of those states. This is how it works in Indiana:

https://secure.in.gov/judiciary/jtac/2652.htm

And there is this:

In the wake of the Virginia Tech shootings, ten states changed their laws to require that mental health records be sent to NICS: Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Two others – Maine and Virginia – passed Executive Orders to require the sharing of these records.
http://www.news-medical.net/news/20110129/Ten-states-change-their-laws-to-require-that-mental-health-records-be-sent-to-NICS.aspx

Texas:

www.txcourts.gov/oca/pdf/NICSRecordImprovementPlan.pdf

shootingthebreeze
January 5, 2014, 11:09 AM
My view of an agency was hypothetical. Ideas are exchanged to puzzle out this complex issue. An agency which gives the gun dealers a yea or nay may not work.
One thing I do agree on: there has to be better firearm control and better sealing of loopholes which exist.
I'm a firearm owner and have a CPL. I'm retired military and I can say that weapons security in the US Army is strict. Securing firearms could be a step people can take to prevent theft. If better firearm control is not done the Second Amendment could be in danger. That's why I stopped my subscription with the NRA which has been rigid towards any better firearm controls in the United States.
Violence is not predictable. However, a pattern of domestic abuse for example should not be allowed to escalate to the point of a murder suicide even if the shooter has had a history of open threats, and mental treatment. Such a case occurred in our community.
Firearm ownership is a great responsibility which must be taken very seriously.

Mike1234567
January 5, 2014, 11:18 AM
<snip> Why? How? How would the federal government, especially the IRS, have access to such records? Indeed disclosure to the federal government, and especially the IRS, would be prohibited under existing HIPAA regulations.<snip>

I was civil service for nearly a quarter century. When my medical symptoms began to cause occasional lengthy absences (any event longer than 3 work days) my management insisted that I have my doctors write them a letter explaining my diagnosis and treatments... directly to them. When I refused, citing HIPAA, they made threats. I insisted on going through Human Resources... and they demanded that I comply. My managers... all of them... and HR... all of them... either didn't know HIPPA or were deliberately challenging my HIPPA rights. I refused to give them my private medical information directly and asked them to use the proper channels on post. There are correct/legal ways of doing this kind of thing. I was asked to have a medical evaluation done. I complied and was found fit to hold my position. I did have to give the examining doctor my medical information. I was able to work another couple years though.

Bottom line is they have my diagnosis and treatments on file.

HIPPA? What's that to me?

EDIT: What about all the people who comply with illegal demands to hand their private medical information directly to their management or their HR department? It becomes a permanent part of their employment record... not safe in their doctors' files.

Frank Ettin
January 5, 2014, 11:43 AM
...I complied and was found fit to hold my position. I did have to give the examining doctor my medical information. I was able to work another couple years though.

Bottom line is they have my diagnosis and treatments on file.

HIPPA? What's that to me?...Wrong bottom line.

The reality is the sometimes others have a legitimate need for personal information which is otherwise private.

If you are claiming sick leave benefits or workers' compensation benefits, you may need to permit disclosure of private information to justify your claim.


If there's a question of whether you're medically fit to do a particular job, you may need to permit disclosure of private information to establish your fitness.


If you're asking for a loan, you may need to disclose private financial information.

There are a number of laws protecting the privacy of your personal medical and financial information. What those laws essentially do is give you a measure of control over when that information may be disclosed, to whom and for what purposes. But those laws do not guarantee that there won't be circumstances under which you might be required to permit disclosure, especially when the information can be reasonably required to determine if you qualify for something you want.

Derry 1946
January 5, 2014, 12:20 PM
Some clarification: Civil servants who take three days of sick leave or take leave in a pattern (e.g., sick every other Friday) may be required to present a doctor's note -- not turn over all their medical records. If one seeks a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, ADAA, or Rehab Act, the employee or applicant must show a disability, but is not required to disclose wholesale all their medical records. Workers Comp is likewise not open season on medical records wholly unrelated to the claimed injury. On topic: medical record disclosure for any purpose, including firearm regulation, will likely not just be open season on all medical records. If past is precedent, there will have to be a showing of relevance.

But yes, when people ask for things (sick leave, medical benefits) they may need to disclose relevant medical records. How exactly that will or should intersect with Constitutional rights (like RKBA) versus other interests (not expressly Constitutionally protected) is a complex question.

Mike1234567
January 5, 2014, 12:34 PM
Thank you, Frank. I understand that. But that wasn't the intended point of my post.

My point is to let folks know that many government workers, even those working in Human Resources, don't know, understand, or even care about HIPAA Law. Once those people have our private medical information there is no telling who they'll release it to.

Think about those people who receive demands from other government agencies. Do you think they're going to "fight for your or my HIPAA rights" after, even they, they demand you release your private medical information directly to your management without even the slightest privacy protection to the worker? No... many don't know and don't care!!

Derry is absolutely correct... but I defer to my previous paragraph above.

Torian
January 5, 2014, 01:36 PM
My view of an agency was hypothetical. Ideas are exchanged to puzzle out this complex issue. An agency which gives the gun dealers a yea or nay may not work.
One thing I do agree on: there has to be better firearm control and better sealing of loopholes which exist.
I'm a firearm owner and have a CPL. I'm retired military and I can say that weapons security in the US Army is strict. Securing firearms could be a step people can take to prevent theft. If better firearm control is not done the Second Amendment could be in danger. That's why I stopped my subscription with the NRA which has been rigid towards any better firearm controls in the United States.
Violence is not predictable. However, a pattern of domestic abuse for example should not be allowed to escalate to the point of a murder suicide even if the shooter has had a history of open threats, and mental treatment. Such a case occurred in our community.
Firearm ownership is a great responsibility which must be taken very seriously.

Strict is an understatement. Active duty Army guy here. The firearms and ammo on an Army installation are locked down so severely that they are practically inaccessible in the event of an emergency or active shooter. You literally have thousands of trained shooters in a Brigade footprint, yet not a single one can gain access to a firearm to defend themselves. Makes sense right? Also, trying to keep ANY ammo in your vault long-term is such a headache that most units get rid of it after a few days. This is coming from someone who actually conducts the inspections for these arms rooms to determine if they are compliant.

This "solution" to gun theft merely leaves the unarmed population of soldiers quite vulnerable...as evidenced by the Ft. Hood shooting. I believe there are methods that can be undertaken to make it more difficult for weapons to be stolen, but I won't support ANY method for doing so presents barriers to getting to a loaded weapon quickly when needed. I agree with the NRA in their efforts to prevent such laws from being passed...and will continue to support them.

I purchased a safe to store all my guns in because I CHOSE to do so...as well as a lockbox for my ammo. It was a significant investment of money and time, particularly due to the frequency of moves I have to deal with. Personal responsibility with firearms is just that...a personal choice. It is not for the government to make it for you, nor come into your house to tell you whether your guns should be loaded/unloaded, accessible/inaccessible.

Frank Ettin
January 5, 2014, 01:46 PM
...Civil servants who take three days of sick leave or take leave in a pattern (e.g., sick every other Friday) may be required to present a doctor's note -- not turn over all their medical records. If one seeks a reasonable accommodation under the ADA, ADAA, or Rehab Act, the employee or applicant must show a disability, but is not required to disclose wholesale all their medical records. Workers Comp is likewise not open season on medical records wholly unrelated to the claimed injury... Correct. But note that I never said that one would be required to permit disclosure of all medical records. I said:...you may need to permit disclosure of private information to justify your claim....Whatever medical information might be necessary to support your claim is private information. Exactly what information and how much might be relevant will depend on the exact nature of one's claim and circumstances.

...My point is to let folks know that many government workers, even those working in Human Resources, don't know, understand, or even care about HIPAA Law...Actually that hasn't been my experience. In that later part of career as a law I dealt extensively with HIPAA matters. It was my experience that, at least in the HR departments of larger employers, folks who dealt with medical information were well educated in privacy and HIPAA matters.

...Think about those people who receive demands from other government agencies. Do you think they're going to "fight for your or my HIPAA rights"...And again, that wasn't my experience. And health care providers in particular tend to be extremely careful about requiring the appropriate HIPAA formalities be adhered to before disclosing information.

Mike1234567
January 5, 2014, 01:52 PM
Frank... that was my experience at the AMEDDC&S and MEDCOM at Ft. Sam. Things like that went on for years unchecked. How many peoples' HIPAA rights have they violated over the last 20 years, do you suppose?

EDIT: And, yes, private health care professionals/organizations are far more careful about HIPAA violations because they're not as powerful and unchecked as government agencies like the AF or Army that seem to get by with whatever they want... at least some of them. Please take me for my word at least with my personal experience on the matter. The government agencies I dealt with are poorly trained and there are no consequences for violations so they do whatever they want. They don't care about individuals' healthcare privacy and they try to bully/threaten people into their "compliance" regardless of legal correctness.

Arkansas Paul
January 5, 2014, 01:53 PM
Actually that hasn't been my experience. In that later part of career as a law I dealt extensively with HIPAA matters. It was my experience that, at least in the HR departments of larger employers, folks who dealt with medical information were well educated in privacy and HIPAA matters.

That hasn't been my experience either. Mine has been similar to Frank's though mine has not been nearly as extensive as I have only been working with HIPPA related issues for about 3 years. However, every time I've ever had to deal with it the HR people at the medical care institutions have been extremely knowledgeable and very much concerned with patient confidentiality.

Now Mike, the reason could be because in the past maybe it wasn't as strictly adhered to so they're getting better as a result of lawsuits.

Mike1234567
January 5, 2014, 02:13 PM
Arkansas Paul... My latest experience with this was four years ago. If they didn't care to train better and adhere to HIPAA law by then, I doubt they're much better now.

shootingthebreeze
January 5, 2014, 02:53 PM
Torian, quite right. Weapons security in the US Army is something else to include key security!!
Yes I have a gun safe and on top of it have ADT so when we leave the house is alarmed. I take security of weapons very seriously and, when I carry I have physical control of my firearm at all times. Common sense. The ADT has really increased my peace of mind beyond belief.
If one has firearms then one has to take steps to secure them and deny access to those who want them. I don't want my firearms to be used in a crime. I think security is the first line of defense against any perp who wants to steal a weapon.
As far as firearm control that is an extremely complex issue especially with mental sick people. But again, how can we prevent the person who goes postal? Like the local case recently of a man who had a history of spousal abuse and killed his estranged wife and kid then killed himself...somehow, if abuse is documented and threats are documented then something has to be done to place that person on some type of probation if he or she has weapons. Complex, tough issues.

Walkalong
January 5, 2014, 03:04 PM
Frank has been more than patient, but this one is all over the place, partly because the topic wasn't too clear to begin with. If someone wants to continue the debate, please start a new thread with a more precise question.

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