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Thread: Here's a question on "Mental Disability"

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Here's a question on "Mental Disability"

    Was reading this news article about an incident in Tacoma where police shot a man that first shot at them.

    http://heraldnet.com/article/20110131/NEWS03/701319919

    Tacoma police said two officers on patrol saw a man acting suspiciously at a gas station Friday night and stopped to contact him. Police said he pulled out a gun and fired three shots at the two officers.
    Some questions came to mind from this.

    O’Connell had bipolar disorder but had not been taking his medication
    The individual had a mental condition that was apparently under control but ONLY if he regularly took his medication. My question is, if one has a mental condition that requires full time medication, are they still eligible to purchase and possess a firearm? This seems to be a frequent occurrence among those who have controlled mental issues. They're fine as long as they take the med's but when they stop--------.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    Form 4473

    On the 4473 the question reads: "Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes having been adjudicated incompetent to manage your own affairs) or have you ever been committed to a mental institution?"

    If the answer is no - for example, a judge has not said that the individual was mentally defective, or the individual had not ever been committed to a mental institution, that I'd have to say that the purchase was legal.

    There are, right now, a great bunch of people who are taking "anti-depressants" or some other medication for "mental health" issues. While I am sure that some of them need them, I really think the mental health industry tends to over medicate and over diagnose. Hey, it's in their own best interest...but that's just me...

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    My question is, if one has a mental condition that requires full time medication, are they still eligible to purchase and possess a firearm? This seems to be a frequent occurrence among those who have controlled mental issues. They're fine as long as they take the med's but when they stop--------.
    The criterion for disqualification, under Federal law, is "Adjudicated mentally incompetent". In other words, court-ordered into treatment, aka involuntarily committed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3fgburner View Post
    The criterion for disqualification, under Federal law, is "Adjudicated mentally incompetent". In other words, court-ordered into treatment, aka involuntarily committed.
    Wouldn't a voluntary commitment for more than 14 days bar you from firearm ownership as well? The form also states OR have you ever been committed to a mental facility?
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    SNIP
    The individual had a mental condition that was apparently under control but ONLY if he regularly took his medication.
    You're placing too much confidence in this sentence. Offenders who also happen to have psychological disorders rarely get to the point where they are completely "under control" with just medication. Psychotherapy in conjunction with medication is the correct approach for bipolar affective disorder. Plus, did the article mention what type of the disorder the shooter suffered from?

    As far as the original question posed, I agree with what has already been covered. Involuntary adjudication is required before one's firearms rights are removed.

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeroket View Post
    Wouldn't a voluntary commitment for more than 14 days bar you from firearm ownership as well? The form also states OR have you ever been committed to a mental facility?
    It hinges on the word phrase 'voluntary commitment'. The two words comprising the phrase are diametrically opposed conditions. If you are voluntary, then you are voluntarily admitted and are free to leave at any time, even AMA (against medical advice). The other option is that you are committed, this is done by a county MHP (mental health professional) who will evaluate your danger to yourself or others. They can commit you for 72 hours at which time you appear before an administrative judge or commissioner who make the determination if you will be committed for up to two weeks, in which case you are not free to leave and are essentially civilly incarcerated. If this is the case, you are given a form explaining that your right to possess a firearm under Washington state law has been terminated under RCW 9.41.040. See the bottom of page 5 and several more pages on this document (pdf) which is much too long to quote here. It also includes the subsequent possible civil commitments of longer duration.

    I have personal experience with this issue as my son's guardian. I vaguely remember them mentioning that it did not affect his federal right to possess a firearm, only his state right, but I don't remember enough to speak to it with any accuracy. [edit] Actually, there is a very good table on page 11 of the file.

    If you did AMA out on a Voluntary, there's nothing to say that the facility might not involve the MHP's if they felt that you were a danger to yourself or others.
    Last edited by Gene Beasley; 02-01-2011 at 07:12 AM. Reason: Add State v. Federal Table info

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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    There coming to take me away ha ha ,there coming to take me away ha ha he he to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time ...Their coming to take me away!



    You old guys here may remember that!
    Last edited by DEROS72; 02-01-2011 at 01:32 AM.

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    uhhu!

    You old guys here may remember that!
    ------------------------------

    i Do remember that!
    it made me worry, and it made me wary!!!

    they still have never been able to catch me!!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

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    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DEROS72 View Post
    There coming to take me away ha ha ,there coming to take me away ha ha he he to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time ...Their coming to take me away!



    You old guys here may remember that!
    Those nice young men in their pretty white coats.............

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    Regular Member Gene Beasley's Avatar
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    Question OT: Trivia

    Who remembers what was on side-B of that 45 RPM?

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    ... With trees and flowers and chirping birds, and basket weavers who sit and smile and twiddle their thumbs and toes ....

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    Remember THEY are looking for you! To take you YONDER !

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Beasley View Post
    Who remembers what was on side-B of that 45 RPM?

    It was the same song... in reverse.
    "All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke


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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    well,,,

    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Beasley View Post
    Who remembers what was on side-B of that 45 RPM?
    that was easy, with the help of wiki,,,,
    the lable, the lyrics, the whole song in reverse.
    i never knew that till just now!
    EMNofSeattle wrote: Your idea of freedom terrifies me. So you are actually right. I am perfectly happy with what you call tyranny.....

    “If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

    Stand up for your Rights,, They have no authority on their own...

    All power is inherent in the people,
    it is their right and duty to be at all times ARMED!

  15. #15
    Regular Member Tomas's Avatar
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    ...and to me the "B" side always sounded vaguely like it was in Russian. Strange, eh?

    "A" = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnzHtm1jhL4

    "B" = http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L47GQG12WHg
    No tyranny is so irksome as petty tyranny: The officious demands of policemen, government clerks, and electromechanical gadgets. -- Edward Abbey

    • • • Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Faciémus!• • •

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    I am not old....uh..well...anyway, I do remember the song....I think....sorta...could you hum a few bars?
    Last edited by oneeyeross; 02-01-2011 at 11:19 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oneeyeross View Post
    I am not old....uh..well...anyway, I do remember the song....I think....sorta...could you hum a few bars?
    I just hummed it. Did it help your memory?

    And yes, I do remember the song.

    Remember when you ran away and I got on my knees and begged you not to leave because I'd go berserk? Well, you left me anyhow...
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Now that "Name that Tune" or "Music Trivia" has been played, how about another question back on the original topic.

    Taking into consideration events like Virginia Tech and the Tucson shooting, where mental illness was a major contributor, what action can we expect from the Government in further regulating firearms? Does it continue to make sense that people who's minds don't operate on all cylinders have unlimited access to firearms? Does society, at some point have the right to limit their rights in order to protect the rest of society from their actions?
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    amlevin, that is the heart of the issue. At what point can we be restricted because of what we "might" do?

    For example, when it comes to publishing, the courts have been very reluctant to use prior restraint. In most instances that I can think about, in fact, the courts believe that the justice system has to prove that the potential for harm is so great that the person can not be allowed to publish, get out of jail, use a car, etc., etc., etc....

    In the case of 2nd Amendment rights, I would hope that the courts continue this tradition, and be very hesitant to restrict a "fundamental human right" just because of what some one "might" do "some time" in the future. I personally turned in my crystal ball, tarot cards and other fortune telling devices long, long ago....

  20. #20
    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oneeyeross View Post
    amlevin, that is the heart of the issue. At what point can we be restricted because of what we "might" do?

    For example, when it comes to publishing, the courts have been very reluctant to use prior restraint. In most instances that I can think about, in fact, the courts believe that the justice system has to prove that the potential for harm is so great that the person can not be allowed to publish, get out of jail, use a car, etc., etc., etc....

    In the case of 2nd Amendment rights, I would hope that the courts continue this tradition, and be very hesitant to restrict a "fundamental human right" just because of what some one "might" do "some time" in the future. I personally turned in my crystal ball, tarot cards and other fortune telling devices long, long ago....
    And yet we restrict drunks from driving on the basis that they are more likely to have an accident. Many are stopped while just "lane wandering" and haven't had that accident yet so isn't this a form of prior restraint?

    How many here have driven while legally impaired (over .08 BAC) yet have made it to your destination without incident.

    Letting those with known severe mental issues have full access to firearms is sort of like letting that drunk continue on his way, hoping he doesn't kill someone.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Beasley View Post
    It hinges on the word phrase 'voluntary commitment'. The two words comprising the phrase are diametrically opposed conditions. If you are voluntary, then you are voluntarily admitted and are free to leave at any time, even AMA (against medical advice). The other option is that you are committed, this is done by a county MHP (mental health professional) who will evaluate your danger to yourself or others. They can commit you for 72 hours at which time you appear before an administrative judge or commissioner who make the determination if you will be committed for up to two weeks, in which case you are not free to leave and are essentially civilly incarcerated. If this is the case, you are given a form explaining that your right to possess a firearm under Washington state law has been terminated under RCW 9.41.040. See the bottom of page 5 and several more pages on this document (pdf) which is much too long to quote here. It also includes the subsequent possible civil commitments of longer duration.

    I have personal experience with this issue as my son's guardian. I vaguely remember them mentioning that it did not affect his federal right to possess a firearm, only his state right, but I don't remember enough to speak to it with any accuracy. [edit] Actually, there is a very good table on page 11 of the file.

    If you did AMA out on a Voluntary, there's nothing to say that the facility might not involve the MHP's if they felt that you were a danger to yourself or others.
    Gene, Nice to hear from you again. Thanks for the explanation. That clears up my question.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Quote Originally Posted by amlevin View Post
    And yet we restrict drunks from driving on the basis that they are more likely to have an accident. Many are stopped while just "lane wandering" and haven't had that accident yet so isn't this a form of prior restraint?...
    Difference here is that driving on public roads is not a right, it is a licensed activity. Public speech, worship, assembly, owning a firearm, not having soldiers quartered in your home, no warrant less searches, trial by jury, etc, etc. are RIGHTS, that shall not be infringed or impaired. Big difference in what the state can restrict between the two...

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    Regular Member DEROS72's Avatar
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    To bear arms is a God given right reiiterated by the founding fathers in the Constitution. It cannot be given or taken away. Driving is not.
    No and I mean no one has the the right to judge me in that manner.I am the only one that can judge weather I can own and bear arms.We can't live in a society where we judge people on what you think the may do someday.
    If they start doing that the left will use that to deny everyone for some ridiculous reason or other.Anyone tries to judge me in that manner could feel the full impact of my rights.
    Last edited by DEROS72; 02-03-2011 at 12:57 AM.

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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEROS72 View Post
    To bear arms is a God given right reiiterated by the founding fathers in the Constitution. It cannot be given or taken away. Driving is not.
    No and I mean no one has the the right to judge me in that manner.I am the only one that can judge weather I can own and bear arms.We can't live in a society where we judge people on what you think the may do someday.
    If they start doing that the left will use that to deny everyone for some ridiculous reason or other.Anyone tries to judge me in that manner could feel the full impact of my rights.
    Mostly agree except.....

    The right to freely travel is a God given right. But that's a debate for another thread.
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sudden valley gunner View Post
    Mostly agree except.....

    The right to freely travel is a God given right. But that's a debate for another thread.
    The right to free travel is, the right to drive a car on a publicly built, public maintained road is a licensed activity.

    I've never heard of someone being arrested for Walking Under the Influence. Oh, wait. Public intoxication is illegal....so, yes, you can be arrested for WUI.

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