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Thread: Mental Health Facility

  1. #1
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    Without divulging too many details, I need some clarifications on 9.41.300 (c) that prohibits weapons in mental health facilities.

    (c) The restricted access areas of a public mental health facility certified by the department of social and health services for inpatient hospital care and state institutions for the care of the mentally ill, excluding those facilities solely for evaluation and treatment. Restricted access areas do not include common areas of egress and ingress open to the general public;

    I have recently started in a staff position at a county mental health facility and no version of any weapons policy was addressed during my orientation. I obviously don't want to bring it up with HR.

    The section doesn't offer any clarification on what what "restricted access areas" means nor about the exclusion of "facilities solely for evaluation and treatment."

    Has anyone ever come across any clarification on this? The employee exemption (d) which is the over 21 premises section does not apply to (c).

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Pretty straightforward really. Restricted access areas are just that, areas that are not open to the general public and are restricted to only certain persons.

    Also areas solely for treatment and evaluation would seem straightforward. If the room is used ONLY for the purpose of examining or treating a patient then it would fit that description.

    IANAL.

    Welcome aboard, hope this helps.

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    Restricted access could mean anything from long term residential state hospitals to short term inpatient units to offices that are keycard access only. That is an awfully big range and the law doesn't clarify at all.

    My initial reading of "facility" brought up the idea of a building, not individual rooms in a building.

    The more I deal with laws, the more I like specifics, definitions, and clarification. None of which do I feel I am getting in this particular RCW.

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    Wait a minute - I thought a Gun Range was a mental health facility ???

    -adamsesq

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    Regular Member shad0wfax's Avatar
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    adamsesq wrote:
    Wait a minute - I thought a Gun Range was a mental health facility ???

    -adamsesq
    +1 !

  6. #6
    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    adamsesq wrote:
    Wait a minute - I thought a Gun Range was a mental health facility ???

    -adamsesq
    Sorry gentlemen that is classified as a Anger Management Course

  7. #7
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    I too work in a community mental healthcare center. The bottom line is that really the only place you can carry would be the hallways, waiting rooms, and bathrooms.

    In my center every room is multi-purpose, so while it may be a treatment room one day, it could be a staff meeting room the next.

    Now, as for the evaluation and treatment clause, that could also mean dedicated E&T centers as opposed to individual rooms.

    But I agree with you that the law is very vague, and I do not want to be the test case that clarifies it lol.

    Did you get a copy of policy and procedures manual? If you didnt get one, ask HR for a copy, because I am almost certain that some form of weapons policy will be in there. If it isn't you are wise to let sleeping dogs lie.

    But the bottom line is probably, since you are an employee, and like me work in the "non-public" areas of the building, your best bet is to secure your weapon in your car. I know its a poor choice, but we are kinda in the same boat as teachers and such in that we are limited by statute as to what we can carry into work.

    Of course, I am not a lawyer lol, but if you want to talk further PM or email me, Mental Health is a small field after all, we probably know some of the same people

  8. #8
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    I also used to work for several mental health .orgs.

    If you work in an outpatient facility, none of it applies. So if your workplace is a counseling center, not a hospital, no law says you can't carry. But check the private policies of course. My experience was it's a pretty liberal environment and they all have anti-gun policies anyway.

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