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See a Psychologist & Lose Your Guns/CHL?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Sam Adams, Apr 11, 2007.

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  1. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Member

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    I have a good friend who, owns a bunch of guns and who has a CHL (he and I are both TX residents). His wife and he both come from families with a history of ADD or ADHD, and he told me that they both have lots of problems concentrating on tasks, etc. (i.e. signs of adult ADD, according to him). Neither of them has displayed any violent or truly irrational behavior, though I suspect that his wife is borderline bipolar (she has had a bunch of temper tantrums over the years, and he says that they were fairly severe over-reactions to minor problems). I'm a lawyer, so he asked me the following questions:

    1) Would voluntarily going to a psychologist for an evaluation hurt his ability to own a firearm, or to have a CHL?

    2) Ditto #1, except would her going to a psychologist impact his rights?

    3) If a drug such as Ritalin was prescribed for him or his wife, would that hurt his ability to own a firearm, or to have a CHL?

    4) What about other drugs that are more powerful than Ritalin?

    5) What would be the effect if his wife is diagnosed as bipolar?


    As I said, I'm a lawyer - but one that has nothing to do with firearms laws on the professional level. I'd appreciate any answers to, or comments regarding, these questions.
     
  2. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    From what I understand, the only way his mental health (perceived or otherwise) would affect the legality of his owning firearms or holding a CHL would be if he was involuntarily committed, or if he was adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court-appointed psychologist.
     
  3. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Member

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    That was/is my general impression. My only concern is that I know enough to be dangerous - i.e. making a decision or recommendation on an impression is like assuming something, and we all know what assumptions do.
     
  4. Superpsy

    Superpsy Member

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    that is my understanding as well....just a diagnosis or taking medication does not necessarily make you ineligible.
     
  5. Sean Dempsey

    Sean Dempsey Member

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    I worked for about 3 years as an intern with a state licensed therapist. While his clients are confidential, of course, I can tell you that many were avid outdoorsman, hunters, gun owners, competitive shooters, and more.


    In every case, it never once mattered. And I doubt it ever could.
     
  6. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Member

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    I would not worry about it. If he has ADD, that is not something that would affect his ability to be safe around firearms or his judgment. I have never heard of someone being involuntarily committed for ADD. It is not a "serious mental illness." If he was bipolar, severely depressed, etc, then that would be one thing--people have been committed due to complications arising from bipolar disorder, for example. But that is serious.

    Worrying about this is likely to cause your friend more stress than it's worth.

    However, his wife is another story. If she really is bipolar then that is another can of worms and I am not qualified to comment further.
     
  7. tegemu

    tegemu Member

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    I have PTSD from Vietnam and have been seeing a psychologist for many years now. I am always carrying when I am in her office, she knows I concealed carry and I'm sure that she is aware that I am armed when I see her. My gun safe is full of pistols, rifles, shotguns and lots of ammo. Seeing a psychologist should have no bearing on gun ownership, on the other hand, I think there are some mental disorders that would/should pre-clude gun ownership.
     
  8. Neo-Luddite

    Neo-Luddite Member

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    It will likely not matter today--but it might tomorrow. Case in point, in Illinois being a self-admitted patient in a mental hospital or any type of rehab facility (alcohol, drug, etc). causes an individual's FOID card to be automatically revoked for 5 years and all weapons either forfeit or transfered to another owner at once. This is simple ownership, too--Illinois has no carry at all.

    Any time something is open to the discretion of an issuing authority, and the authority can exclude based on psych issues of any kind, beware that they tend to see them all as 'crazy and dangerous'.

    With medical records going paperless, and liberals in congress anxious to find new catagories to exclude from ownership of firearms, tread with caution.
    It is a sad state of affairs for those needing help.
     
  9. Bubbles

    Bubbles Member

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    The ADD/ADHD should not be a factor.

    As for bipolar... I'll tell you about my experience with a good friend who is, and what happened when he went off his meds.

    DH and I met this friend through our political activities. We were all local GOP members, worked on candidates campaigns, attended fundraisers, etc. DH and I knew him for 10 years before the incident and never knew that he was bipolar. He and DH were hunting buddies. He was smart, funny, and owned his own business.

    When our friend went off his meds he ended up getting paranoid about being alone in his own home and called us for help. We didn't know then about the disease, just that he looked like hell. So we told him he could sleep on the couch that night. He and DH have a big fight the next morning and he stomps off toward home. On the way he steals a car since he doesn't feel like walking, then gets in a high-speed chase with the po-po across four counties in two states. He ends up in jail.

    Through our political activities we know the Sheriff and Commonwealth Attorney. Fortunately we get a call - go to XXX's house and get his guns NOW or they will be seized. We end up buying all of the friend's guns and he uses the $$$ to pay legal fees.

    Long story short, friend is involuntarily committed and has lost his RKBA. DH and I have also told him that if he goes off his meds again he'd better hope the cops catch him before we do.
     
  10. Sam Adams

    Sam Adams Member

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    That's another worry for all of us - mainly because alleged mental problems were a primary tool of the ultra-Leftists in the old USSR, and our homegrown variety know that it is a powerful tool. Simply say that someone must be crazy to act a certain way, or to believe a certain thing (which happens to be in opposition to those in power), and you lose all kinds of rights. And, of course, the trend in society is that everyone either does or should (according to the unresponsible libs) go to a shrink of some kind. The combination of the 2 could be deadly.

    Of course, that's not directly on point, but it is certainly something that all of us must be on guard against as new laws and regulations are proposed.
     
  11. budney

    budney member

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    [blockquote]
    [blockquote]
    From what I understand, the only way his mental health (perceived or otherwise) would affect the legality of his owning firearms or holding a CHL would be if he was involuntarily committed, or if he was adjudicated mentally incompetent by a court-appointed psychologist.
    [/blockquote]

    that is my understanding as well....just a diagnosis or taking medication does not necessarily make you ineligible.
    [/blockquote]
    That's right. Only involuntary committal disqualifies you (at least on the federal level).

    Considering how many adults these days take Prozac and the like, though, I've wondered whether it might become a factor in the aftermath of a defensive shooting. If you're actually charged, the prosecutor could potentially use that information to paint you as somehow dangerous or irresponsible. Does anyone know if that has ever actually happened?

    --Len.
     
  12. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Member

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    Yeah but then again your traffic tickets, where you live, what race you are, how much money you make, and a whole host of other factors could matter in the future.

    What seemed outrageous 20 years ago is commonplace today. Prohibitionist Democrats have demonstrated the capability to be very thuggish in the way they operate. If a political win can be achieved with no consequence, they will discriminate against anyone. While we do have the civil rights act, "public health" could cause that to be narrowly construed in the future.

    It is up to the individual whether or not he or she wants to worry about those things.
     
  13. General Geoff

    General Geoff Member

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    The only way I could see that mattering in a defensive shooting aftermath is if you were diagnosed with a mental disorder and you weren't taking your medication.
     
  14. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    And the converse is also true.

    Still, we can neither predict the future nor live in paranoia of it. We do the best we can, but as others have been screwed many years after the fact by such abominations as the Lautenberg Amendment, others of us may be screwed by some other unpredictable law. That just means paying attention to politics at all times. It can actually matter to you.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2007
  15. jamz

    jamz Member

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    Never seemed to affect me, for my ADD, even when I lived in MA.
     
  16. F4GIB

    F4GIB Member

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    That is the general rule on ownership/possession of firearns.

    The Texas rules of CHL's are more restrictive. They might, indeed, catch this guy or his wife. Sam Adams contact the TSRA to arrange a consultation with a Texas "gun" lawyer.
     
  17. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Member

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    Yeh? I Delaware I had my right "revoked" for seeing a psychiatrist voluntarily. Delaware has bar none the highest rate of state level denials for background checks in the country, though.
     
  18. RavenVT100

    RavenVT100 Member

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    Zero_dgZ: You were denied by NICS?

    Without being involuntarily committed?

    I am not questioning your honesty but rather, very curious. If you were "committed to a mental institution or sanitarium" under Delaware law "without a certificate of rehabilitation," you are not allowed to own a gun under DE law.

    Did you voluntarily commit yourself? That is different than merely seeing someone. Then again, I'm not an attorney.
     
  19. mek42

    mek42 Member

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    In NY failure to report prior mental health treatment is grounds for denial of the issuance of a Handgun License (required to possess as well as to carry). However, such mental health treatment is not in and of itself grounds for such denial.

    It is sad that there seems to be so much apathy and fear regarding mental health services in the US.
     
  20. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    First of all, I am not a lawyer so keep that in mind when evaluating my input.

    Federal firearms law requires that you be "adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution" (18 U.S.C. 922(g)) in order to be deprived of your right to own firearms. So under federal law, I don't see a problem.

    Texas Penal Code 46.04 governs unlawful possession of a firearm and only restricts felons as far as I can see. So you shouldn't face any problems there.

    Texas Government Code 411.172 describes the eligibility requirements for CHL. The two sections that would concern your friend are 411.172(a)(7) which requires a person "is not incapable of exercising sound judgment with respect to proper use and storage of a handgun"

    This section is further elaborated upon at GC 411.172(d)-(f) which describes the following psychiatric issues as being disqualifying:

    Subdivision F goes on to explain that (e) is merely evidence and may be overcome by a certificate from a physician explaining that the condition is in remission and not likely to be develop at a future time.

    CAVEAT: This was in PDF format, so I had to type it in myself. You probably want to go to the link just in case I mistyped something.

    So looks to me like federal firearms possession, state firearms possession and eligibility for CHL are all unaffected by the above conditions (assuming no dependency issues and judgment is not affected by more powerful drugs).

    In this case, she would be ineligible for CHL; but would still be allowed to possess firearms under federal and Texas law IMO.
     
  21. Zero_DgZ

    Zero_DgZ Member

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    No. I was denied by the check with the Delaware state police. The surly woman who I finally got ahold of via the number that I was instructed to call curtly told me that "I had in my file that I had 'been admitted' to a state recognized mental institution or had on record that I was under the care of a psychiatrist" (she wouldn't tell me which) and curtly informed me that if I "attempted to buy a gun in the state again I would be arrested."

    I did attempt to buy a gun in the state again some years later. I was not arrested, and I was not turned down.
     
  22. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Member

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    How does Delaware handle peace officers who need to see a mental health professional, especially after an on-duty shooting? Are they automatically decertified and unable to work?

    Pilgrim
     
  23. doubleg

    doubleg Member

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    Tell him hes better off without that medicine. Took that stuff and it made me feel like a mindless drone and gave me seroius anger problems, even more than usual that is. :p
     
  24. WeThePeople

    WeThePeople Member

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    Bartholomew:

    Maybe you're not a lawyer, but you definitely should be. I have read a few of your legal posts and they are better written & more well-reasoned than most of the documents that land on my desk every day. You seem to have a better understanding of the application of the law than most lawyers.
    Keep it up!
     
  25. News Shooter

    News Shooter Member

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    Be careful

    There was a guy in Newton, MA who checked himself into rehab. They went through his wallet and found his LTC and called the cops who promptly arrived and confiscated it. He'll never get it back.
     
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