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Mental Health & NICS

Discussion in 'Legal' started by illinoisburt, Feb 28, 2018.

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  1. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    A question from Facebook about background checks. An acquaintance has two teenage sons who are on spectrum with autism. She is usually very engaged in their daily lives, however she had a health issue recently and found other people basically didn't pay much mind to the boys activities. She is concerned because one just turned 18 and is about to graduate from high school. He has had issues in the past with hitting himself and becoming violent. However he has never been institutionalized and she has worked diligently to ensure there was never any "labels" put on them over the years.

    She doesnt have guns in her home specifically due to worries about what would happen if he was to find it. Her concern is if left to his own devises, he might be able to buy a gun and she wants to know what could be done to prevent that now he is 18. Is there any way for her to check whether or not he would be a prohibited purchaser? Is there a mechanism for having him restricted which doesn't effect other rights?
     
  2. george burns

    george burns Member

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    No he's either in the system or not. She should put him on the prohibited list before he hurts someone. There are plenty of people who would sell him a gun, even if he's on the list, "like private sales" or his friends. You need to get a handle on this quick. Just because she doesn't want her son labeled doesn't mean he should be allowed to possibly hurt or kill another person.
     
  3. Kendahl

    Kendahl Member

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    How does a private citizen put someone who is now legally an adult into the NICS database? It could get messy if the no-longer-a-kid hires a lawyer. The ACLU might take an interest.
     
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  4. george burns

    george burns Member

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    Baker act them. I did it to a girl who attacked me in my home, I didn't want to hit her and lose my rights, so I called the cops, they spoke to her, she became combative , actually smacked the one female cop, and that was that. they kept her for 3 days. After that you need to find out in your state what you can do, to have their rights to own firearms removed, I am sure now there are laws that deal with this. In this climate I would think they would respond immediately.
     
  5. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    She is in Illinois if that matters. The only advise I had for her was the FOID requires parent/guardian signature prior to 21. I doubt she is going to initiate a fight with her son to get him involuntarily committed so pretty sure that is out, besides being very unethical to entrap someone into incarceration.
     
  6. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    This is a tough one. There are specific criteria for being disqualified from buying a gun because of mental issues. Question 11.f. on the Form 4473 spells them out: an adjudication of being mentally defective, or an (involuntary) commitment to a mental institution. It doesn't appear that either applies in this case.

    A domestic violence misdemeanor conviction would be another avenue. But, again, it would have to be adjudicated. But does she really want to brand her son with that, autism or not?
     
  7. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    I've never met her kids. Honestly they don't seem like bad people, she just worries what could happen in the future without her vigilent oversight. I suspect her situation is extremely common.
     
  8. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I would not want just anyone to have the ability to simply "put someone on the list."

    Oh, and while I've never exhibited behavior of a self-harming, self-neglecting, or harmful-to-others nature, I am an autistic, the kind that was diagnosed nearly fifty years ago, when you really had to be "out there" to get such a diagnosis. I didn't find out about it until I was over 30, but learning that about myself answered a LOT of questions about my youth.
     
  9. Double_J

    Double_J Member

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    My wife and I are both "on the spectrum" as it is called now (former diagnosis Asperger Syndrome) and while we both have issues with sensory overload we each learned how to handle it. Neither of us was diagnosed until after age 30 so we missed out on prime therapy time. I believe that PROPER therapy will help the child in question learn to handle any issues he may have.

    My mother-in law is an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) with 25 years of hard earned experience. she and I have discussdd this topic many times and she truly believes that people underestimate "Autism" and what we can handle. she also said the Baker Act is a VERY DANGEROUS tool that can be abused; plus the child is 18 and can make his own decisions in most states. I would try to guide the young man to a COMPETENT therapist, and a proper firearms safety class. Both will help, but it different ways if he has an interest in firearms.
     
  10. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Not a helpful observation, but I think this is one of the biggest failure points in terms of preventing mass shootings. Parents of kids with bad tendencies are faced with a pretty awful choice - get their kid involuntarily committed, with all the permanent, lifelong consequences that carries for employment and other things (gun rights being only one of many); or do nothing and simply hope for the best.

    We really need to devise some sort of middle ground that isn't as draconian as the involuntary commitment, that could be revisited in terms of impacts on rights over time, etc., but that does get someone into the prohibited category during a crisis and/or until they "grow out of" a violent phase. JMHO, of course, but the OP's question and the answers really illustrate how lacking we are in a sensible option.
     
  11. AlexanderA

    AlexanderA Member

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    Yes -- temporary disqualification, not permanent, lifetime disqualification. But of course, that flies in the face of the antigunners' plans to disqualify half the country by constantly expanding the classes of people who are disqualified. As far as they are concerned, the designation of classes of disqualified persons is irreversible.
     
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  12. CLP

    CLP member

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    With all due respect- you don't know what you're talking about. First, in Alabama involuntary hospitalizations fall under Act 353. The Baker Act is another state's law. The laws for involuntary hospitalization vary from state to state, but in Alabama if the kid isn't an imminent risk of harm to himself or others and isn't psychotic or manic, then he doesn't meet the criteria for involuntary hospitalization- let alone the filing of a petition to probate court (and it is only this proceeding that leads to the "being adjudicated mentally whatever blah blah blah ..." on the 4473.
    The kid the OP references is stable. Suppose the mother embellishes his history to the ED physician and they admit him out of an abundance of caution. The simple fact that he was involuntarily hospitalized does not get him placed on NICS. Of course, I think some states have their own state-level version of NICS. But the OP is in central AL. I've admitted hundreds of patients over the years on Act 353 and testified in probate court over a hundred times as well.
    In your case, how do you know she was eventually placed on NICS? Or had any firearms taken away? They don't "come get your guns" in Alabama if you've been involuntarily admitted.


    There's some truth to this- but when you admit anyone to the hospital there's tons of documentation and when it comes to involuntary hospitalizations your level of documentation increases substantially. In other words, it's a lot of work. We avoid involuntary hospitalizations whenever we can. Explain to the patient why there's a concern for their safety. Often, if they check in voluntarily they get discharged much sooner that if they refuse and have to be involuntarily admitted. It's ideal when no one on your census is an involuntary admission. Yes, it can be abused but rarely. Just like a cop or a judge and any other number of people in society can abuse powers.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  13. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    So I think the consensus from here and people's comments on Facebook that there is very little under current law which a parent can do to prevent their children from purchasing a gun other than refusing to sign off on a FOID application (Illinois law). Once he turns 21 she really won't have any control at all. I can understand her apprehension and concern as a parent however adulthood comes with a break from parental control, good and bad. Hopefully he will mature more emotionally with age.
     
  14. CLP

    CLP member

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    This is a common misconception. Being involuntarily hospitalized in a psychitatric unit is not the same as being "committed to a mental institution" (language per question 11.f). Being involuntarily hospitalized does not get one placed on NICS. The distinction between being "adjudicated as a mental defective" vs. "committed to a mental institution" relates to the de-institutionalization of severely mentally ill psychiatric patients that has occurred over the past 30ish years. It's simple economics. It's too expensive to keep them in institutional settings for years on end. So the current trend is to transition them into the community and have teams (ACT) of docs, social workers, and nurses monitor them for ongoing stability, medication compliance, etc. The use of long-acting injectable antipsychotics is one tool to ensure this. The patients who are adjudicated mentally defective but are sent back into the community have a disposition of "outpatient commitment". They have to take medication, go to doctor's appts, etc. They are placed on the NICS (or at least should be), but they're not being confined to an institutional setting. However, as an example, an acutely psychotic schizophrenic who's brought to the emergency dept and refuses admission and is subsequently involuntarily hospitalized is not placed on the NICS. You guys can discuss the merits of whether such a person should be placed on the NICS.

    As I reread the post I quoted, the poster does state involuntary commitment. It's redundant terminology. If someone is committed, then it's involuntary. If someone is a patient in a state mental institution, they've been committed and they're there involuntarily (whether they're agreeable with it or not). No one is simply admitted to a mental institution (which is completely different than a psychiatric unit in a hospital or even a standalone psychiatric hospital). My point is that involuntary hospitalization (Act 353, Baker, etc) doesn't get someone placed on the NICS (though it may get them placed on a similar background screen at the state level).
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2018
  15. Berger.Fan222

    Berger.Fan222 Member

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    I'm pretty sure a restraining order does this.
     
  16. DeepSouth

    DeepSouth Random Guy

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    Call me crazy but I think she needs to ask a lawyer, and not trust Facebook or Internet forums.

    That’d be my advice.
     
  17. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator In Memoriam

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    She is worried about labels, but has concerns about him and guns.?
    It she is that concerned maybe the kid or her needs more treatment and services.
    Time to talk to professionals not Facebook or the internet
     
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  18. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    What steps has she taken to keep him away from other tools that can be used to hurt or kill people, including himself?

    I don’t think I have ever been in a house that had no knives and even prisoners locked up with no shoelaces hang themselves with bed sheets.

    It might be scary to some people but sometimes you just have to hope for the best, after you have done your best.

    It’s not like he’s just a dog you can “put down”.
     
  19. Theohazard

    Theohazard Member

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    Not necessarily. It has to be a restraining order that prevents you from “harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner or child of the intimate partner”.

    https://www.atf.gov/firearms/identify-prohibited-persons
     
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  20. rfscjeep

    rfscjeep Member

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    27CFR Part 478.11 defines
    Adjudicated as a mental defective.
    (a) A determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease:
    (1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or
    (2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.

    The determination needs to be done in a legal/lawful manor, the mother/neighbor can't just call NICS.

    I come from a large family with a large extended family, we have family members on both ends of the Autism spectrum. Luckily none are a danger to themselves or others. This story brings to light one of the problems I see as becoming more prevalent; parents who see their children as a "danger" but don't want them "labeled"
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
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