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frankrizzo
04-24-2010, 11:13 AM
I know this is not a priority for most members here, but it is frustrating to me that in the 2+ years since the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 (NIAA) was signed into law, California, like most states, has done nothing to implement a Relief from Disabilities program.

First, a little background. As most of you are aware, under California law, the 5150 hold prohibits firearm ownership for a period of 5 years, but does not trigger a Federal firearms prohibition. During that 5 year period, a petition may be filed with the courts and the person may have his/her prohibition lifted early.

As some of you may not know, a more severe detainment under the 5250 statute (hold for up to 14 days after the 5150 ends) involves a "certification hearing" and, if upheld, is considered "adjudicated as a mental defective" under Federal law, thus triggering a lifetime Federal firearms prohibition, even though California law only prohibits ownership for 5 years (just like the 5150 statute). The patient may request a Writ of Habeus Corpus, in which case a judge will review the certification and possibly revoke it. If the patient, for whatever reason, cannot or does not request the writ, or the judge does not revoke it, the certification holds.

Currently, there is no legal mechanism for having firearms rights restored after a 5250 certification. The NIAA suggests, but does not require, that states implement a "Relief from Disabilities" program, whereby a person who has been so adjudicated may apply to have their firearms rights restored. California has not done so, nor has the state complied with the reforms mandated by the NIAA related to mental health reporting to the NICS database.

You may wonder why I care. The answer is simple: I was held under 5250 when I was 19. I made some mistakes and needed help, even though I would not have admitted it at the time. I don't know if this has changed since then, but I was also never informed that I was prohibited for life under Federal law. That was 14 years ago, and I have had no further issues or contact with the mental health system, or the criminal justice system for that matter. In fact, I am an upstanding citizen and positive contributor to society, and I would like my firearms rights restored.

I do not feel that lifetime denial of fundamental civil rights should be based on a sample size of 2 weeks or less of someone's life, yet that is currently the law. I imagine there are numerous others in a similar situation, as California has submitted hundreds of thousands of mental health records to the NICS database.

Since the NIAA became law, there has been 1 serious attempt by the California legislature to comply with the new reporting requirements. AB 2696, from the 2007-2008 session, would have complied with the reporting requirements without setting up a Relief from Disabilities program. Thankfully, the governor vetoed it in September of 2008.

Since then, the only bill I have seen that addresses mental health reporting is AB 302, from the current session. This bill requires all facilities to submit mental health reports to the California DOJ electronically, but does not address NICS, the NIAA, or Relief from Disabilities.

As I said, it is a frustrating situation for me. My primary purpose in posting this information is to draw some attention to an issue that is simply under most people's radar. I know that open carry, concealed carry, ridiculous ammunition laws, and the "assault weapons" ban is much more important to the majority of people, but I feel that denial of rights based on so little evidence should be a larger issue than it is.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and if you are interested, here are some links for further reading.

CA Mental Health Firearms Prohibitions:
http://www.mabpro.com/resource/docs/cal_firearmsProhibitionForm.pdf

NIAA:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-2640

AB 2696:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_2651-2700/ab_2696_bill_20080903_enrolled.html

AB 302:
http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_0301-0350/ab_302_bill_20100927_chaptered.html

GoodEyeSniper
04-24-2010, 12:20 PM
I was just wondering the other day how exactly this part of gun control worked. Thanks for the info and I definitely hope we can get it resolved, there definitely needs to be more scrutiny for something that can affect the rest of your life.

OleCuss
04-24-2010, 1:57 PM
Nice post, thank you!

I'd sorta think that if the state is not doing what it is required to do that you would have a court case which might force the state to discharge its responsibility to its citizenry.

I don't think you're going to get the legislature to do anything about this - ever! The courts will be your answer - and after McDonald incorporates the 2A against the states you should obviously have standing in both state and federal courts.

Wouldn't surprise me if there were a lawyer out there who was hungry and wanted to make a name for him/herself who would be happy to sue the state for you. . .

Really sucks 'cuz you're probably having to deal with the "once crazy, always crazy" mentality - and that can drive you crazy! And on top of that you're in a state which is legislatively anti-gun as well? You have to have considered moving to another state!

zhyla
04-24-2010, 9:51 PM
I do not feel that lifetime denial of fundamental civil rights should be based on a sample size of 2 weeks or less of someone's life, yet that is currently the law.

I've heard this argued before. There's a simple solution: don't flip out in the first place. It's hard to say whether you'll flip out again in the future and I don't want you holding a gun when you do.

I know it seems unfair but in a sense the once-insane cause me more worry than the once-felons. The felons have (in general) a lot more control over whether they screw up again.

NiteQwill
04-25-2010, 12:32 PM
Zhlya, you do realize that a person can be held for 5150 or 5250 for the most asinine reasons, right? Your spouse, neighbor, friend, etc. who hates you....

^^^Worked in Metro State Hospital for a short period.

OleCuss
04-25-2010, 12:58 PM
Yeah, there are many things that can drive someone genuinely nuts for a short period of time. They may then live the rest of their lives with perfect sanity and control.

You also have to remember that the 5150 determination could be made by a single cop or "Intake Coordinator". Interesting that you can then spend the rest of your life with firearms restrictions as a non-judicial punishment?

And tomorrow something might drive you nuts - I'd not be recommending that you should be restricted from your RKBA on the possibility that you'll go nuts.

Make the mental health system do a determination as to fitness/unfitness, have a judge review it, and either restore the rights or continue to deny them.

One other thing to remember. You can be placed on a 5150 not because you are a danger to anyone else but because you are not mentally fit to care for yourself. Means that even when you were "nuts" you weren't a danger to others. I'm not sure about the stats in California, but if I were to make a bet I'd be putting my money on the vast majority of 5150s's being due to danger to oneself - not to others.

Now if you have someone with schizophrenia or something similar I don't want them to have weapons ever (or at least until we have a cure instead of treatments).

turbosbox
04-25-2010, 1:41 PM
Clearly there must have been multiple people who ruined it for you in the past. They went from 5250 to gun violence. One week, one month, 10yrs later...

Also I don't think that not being under medical care or medications helps prove there is no continuing problem. Often it is the opposite. See it on the streets or e.g. on Cops TV, "...are you prescribed medications...are you taking them?".
Yeah who'da guessed they are not taking them during that episode.

Sure I see your argument, once a felon not always a felon, once a 5250 not a permanent 5250. But it does have statistical impact on the probability for future bad things. Or the law wouldn't exist. It may seem unfair, but we have to live under certain broad rules and laws.

It can take us only a few seconds to say or do something to negatively impact our or someone else' life. After the fact simply might be too late to undo it or the impacts.

OleCuss
04-25-2010, 2:36 PM
So far as I know the RKBA is an individual right. That means that in order to revoke that right the court should have to make a well-reasoned and substantiated determination that that individual cannot be trusted with a weapon.

I can think off-hand of a guy I knew who got into a stressful situation and depression. Ended up on a 5150 (not a 5250 though). Got his gun rights back and later went to Iraq where he served honorably and earned a Purple Heart. Not safe for weapons for a few days and later was a guy you'd be happy to have at your back.

It's an individual right and any revocation of that right should not be done lightly or as a group.

Sinixstar
04-25-2010, 2:54 PM
It's one of those really tricky situations in which a blanket policy really can't do justice 100% of the time.

Kind of like the debate about convicted felons getting their rights restored. Are there felons who were not convicted of violent crime, who after 20 years have proven they're not a danger, and should get their rights back? Sure. But there's also some that should have never been let out in the first place- and are the kind of people we have guns to protect ourselves from.

It's hard to determine who's really "cured" and who's not. It has to be handled on a case-by-case basis, and honestly, i'm not sure if a judge and a group of lawyers are the best to make that determination. It should be done by doctors and professionals who are trained to make those kind of determinations.

I don't know what your situation was, but it sounds like you are getting a bit of a raw deal. Unfortunately - I don't think anybody really has a real solution to the problem. One way or another, somebody is going to get screwed.

In that light, while it would be nice to find a way to change the situation, I doubt it will get changed. If somebody's going to get screwed, they'll get screwed by the status quo.. Nobody's going to stick their neck on the line to change policy to something that is more likely to get somebody killed. I can see the headlines now "ProGun policy leads to innocent lives lost". No thanks.

DarthSean
04-25-2010, 8:26 PM
The mental health field has little resemblance from what it was like in 1968 when the GCA was written. In 1968, there were only a small handful of psych meds, and mental health professionals were giving them to patients even though researchers had no clue how they worked (at that time the properties of psych meds were discovered by accident). Elctroconvulsive therapy was used arbitrarily and lobotomies had not been completely fallen out of practice yet. Many modern forms of psychotherapy were still in their early experimental stages.

Due to advancements ins psychiatry and psychology, as well as new medications being available many people that once would have been institutionalized had they lived in another era are now able to live completely normal lives. The vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not dangerous, and their portrayal as extremely volatile and unstable or portrayal as psycho killers comes from Hollywood and gun grabbers.

OleCuss
04-25-2010, 8:55 PM
There is much truth in what you are saying, but I'd go back to my opinion that the individual's case should be examined.

Frankly, if someone requires the ongoing use of something like anti-psychotics then I don't want them using firearms - too often they quit the meds and things get too unpredictable.

But there are a lot of people whom I think most of us would have happily gone shooting with who hit a really rough patch, got treatment and are now less prone to having another mental issue of significance because they've now got coping skills and know to get help if it gets difficult again. This is one kind of person we should be happy to welcome back into full citizenship.

Barkoff
04-25-2010, 8:58 PM
I think this will require the services of a lawyer and your doctor. Without know your details it is tough to even form an opinion. I'll tell you this much, I have a daughter with bipolar, I would never want to see her own a firearm, even if she had no episodes for ten or fifteen years. I think a lot will depend on whether your issues were physical such as bipolar, or mental issues such as a young person having problems coping with youth.

Good luck with your quest.

Sinixstar
04-25-2010, 9:05 PM
Frankly, if someone requires the ongoing use of something like anti-psychotics then I don't want them using firearms - too often they quit the meds and things get too unpredictable.


I have a good family friend who once a year or so somebody has to bail them of a suicide attempt because they went off their meds. They take their meds and everything's fine, their life is doing good - they don't see why they should have to keep spending the money on it. "The meds worked, i'm cured" So they stop.

Within a week or two they've gone off the deep end, have eaten a bottle of pills or slit their wrists or whatever - and they get a trip back to the doc. They get back on their meds, get cleared after 20 some days in a facility, and we start the cycle over again.

Needless to say - I don't even tell this person, or anyone in their family, I have guns. I don't know what the clinical term is for what they have, but there's no way in hell would I want a person with a condition like that to own a gun, even if they are fine when they're on their meds.

advocatusdiaboli
04-25-2010, 9:17 PM
I am ambivalent about this topic having a very good friend I served in the military with develop Bipolar Disorder in the last decade. When he's medicated he's even tempered but he's had some serious delusions when he wasn't. The only indication of his potential for damage is his past, not his current state and I think, from firsthand experience, that consideration was just and important to safeguard the lives of the rest of us.

I really think the system is almost balanced correctly. Fight it in court over a long period while staying clean in your behavior and evaluations and you will have a chance. It isn't perfectly fair and has to err one direction or another to cover all contingencies: a system which errs on behalf of the innocent is not a flawed one but rather one that has the right group's safety in mind. Rule #1: don't wig out it will haunt you and your government and legal system will have to choose the rights and safety of the innocent over you for your transgression. And rightly so. Your choice brought this on you--no one forced you. But the innocent victims of the crazy made no such choice nor are offered one. Their needs and safety come before yours--by your choice.

Quemtimebo
04-25-2010, 9:54 PM
It's an individual right and any revocation of that right should not be done lightly or as a group.

:thumbsup: Spot on. I wonder how many crimes could have been prevented had people not been afraid to seek help in the first place for fear of being lumped into a category and having their right to self defense with a firearm permanently revoked. Hard data shows that mental illness rarely gets better on its own and when left untreated can get pretty bad. Kudos to those of you who have simply willed yourself out of a tight spot. Unfortunately, not everyone can do that.

cbn620
04-25-2010, 10:18 PM
I'm with you as a person who has dealt with depression/anxiety and other mental health issues. I have thankfully never been held under 5150 let alone 5250, but with our state government's "graceful" mental health care policies, I worry about it. I worry that all someone has to do is say I am insane or something, one thing leads to another, and boom my civil rights are done for. Luckily I haven't had anything resembling a serious problem with my mental health since I was a teenager, but it is still a very scary predicament in my mind.

It takes a lot of courage to even speak about this issue in the wake of all these school shootings and other such debacles, and how they've contributed to the stigma. Sad as it may be you will even find that some fellow gun owners have not even the slightest sympathy towards this problem.

One thing that particularly concerns me is on the CCW applications I've looked over, it's not just people with 5150's they are interested in. They want to know things like if you are currently taking a medication or if you have ever been treated for a mental illness. Even a bout of anxiety or depression you might have went through when you were younger or facing a death in the family counts, and you must be truthful about everything you put on the application. If you take so much as Prozac or ever have, you have to tell them. You can be invalidated to exercise one of your rights even if you're legally allowed to own firearms, simply because your doctor--a family doctor, not even a psychiatrist-- recommended you try a medication like Prozac or Paxil to get through some tough times.

neuron
04-25-2010, 10:24 PM
Frank,

Thanks for your honest post. I'm sure it wasn't easy for you.

As a medical professional with experience in this subject, I understand the complexities of this "mental health and guns" issue.

My personal and professional opinion is that some folks who have had episodes of "insanity" may get better and should be allowed to exercise their SA rights. I can think of a few guys I know who were combat vets who sought help at the VA for PTSD/depression, and who apparently got well with treatment.

Unfortunately for them and others, the gun laws are pretty Draconian for anyone who has ever been diagnosed with mental illness, especally for those who have been "involuntarilly" hospitalized.

This is a Catch-22 situation. If you are suffering from mental illness, you should be afforded treatment. But if you seek that treatment, you can be branded for life and lose your SA rights. A poster suggested, somewhat glibbly IMHO, that you should not "bug out" in the first place, so as not to have to worry about your RKBA... :(

NiteQwill
04-25-2010, 10:50 PM
One thing that particularly concerns me is on the CCW applications I've looked over, it's not just people with 5150's they are interested in. They want to know things like if you are currently taking a medication or if you have ever been treated for a mental illness. Even a bout of anxiety or depression you might have went through when you were younger or facing a death in the family counts, and you must be truthful about everything you put on the application. If you take so much as Prozac or ever have, you have to tell them. You can be invalidated to exercise one of your rights even if you're legally allowed to own firearms, simply because your doctor--a family doctor, not even a psychiatrist-- recommended you try a medication like Prozac or Paxil to get through some tough times.

:confused:

Where on the application does it say that? It only asks for hospitalization and treatment.

I find a "sole prescription of a medication" is a far stretch since many medications are prescribed to solely take advantage of side effects. For example, many drugs that are used to treat antianxiety/schizophrenia/bipolar disorder/etc (like quetiapine) and anticonvulsants (like zolpidem) are sometimes prescribed solely to treat sleeping issues and NOT mental health issues.

It seems highly unlikely that such a question would be relevant to a CCW (unless, of course, you answer YES to #2 on the application for being treated/hospitalized for a mental illness). And I have been interviewed for a CCW and never received a question regarding prescription drugs.

frankrizzo
04-26-2010, 12:22 AM
I want to thank everyone for the thoughtful and kind replies. It is not an easy thing to discuss.

To address some of the comments, and I don't want to go too much into the specifics of my situation, but I had what is best described as an "episode." I did not attempt to harm myself or anyone else, but a number of things happened and I got overwhelmed. I simply couldn't deal with things at the time. I was 19, and while that is adult age and I must take responsibility for myself, I was also naive and inexperienced.

After release, I was treated as an outpatient for a few months, and then continued to see a psychiatrist and take medication for about another year. After months of steady improvement, my doctor decided that I had dealt with and moved past the issues I experienced and slowly took me off medication. I met with her a few more times to follow up, and I have been stable ever since.

I am not suggesting that every former mental health patient should have their rights restored. Clearly, there are cases where the person does not recover. What I am suggesting is that a legal mechanism should be in place to have individual cases reviewed, where evidence may be presented and the possibility of firearms rights restoration would exist.

That is the stated purpose of the "Relief from Disabilities" language in the NIAA. My only gripe with that law is that it did not require states to set up these relief programs, but only made the suggestion and specified incentives for states if they do so. To date, only a couple of states have set up relief programs. Oregon is one.

I also do not believe that a relief program would go against existing California law. The state firearms prohibition for 5250 is the same as for 5150, namely a period of 5 years after the date of discharge.

The way I understand it, that makes me eligible to own firearms under California law, but not Federal law. But, since the 5250 occurred under California law, the firearms prohibition must also be removed by the state of California. It seems to me that if the state considers me eligible to own firearms, there should be no opposition to restoring my Federal firearms rights as well, except that to my knowledge, there is no procedure in place to make it happen.

Regardless, it is good to see discussion of the issue.

Hunt
04-26-2010, 12:28 AM
Zhlya, you do realize that a person can be held for 5150 or 5250 for the most asinine reasons, right? Your spouse, neighbor, friend, etc. who hates you....

^^^Worked in Metro State Hospital for a short period.

Man, system is messed up worked in the system, till I could get another job, much injustice.

duldej
05-02-2010, 11:24 PM
i once was detained or shall i say kidnapped by police under section 5150 (wic) in los angeles county because i was allegedly violating section 415 of the penal code (disturbing the peace), and i was prohibited from owning a firearm for a period of 5 years.

i petitioned the superior court for relief from the prohibition, and was granted the relief.

the presiding judge had enough evidence from the district attorney but the content of the evidence did not outweigh my own 2a rights.

wheels
05-03-2010, 12:09 AM
I am ambivalent about this topic having a very good friend I served in the military with develop Bipolar Disorder in the last decade. When he's medicated he's even tempered but he's had some serious delusions when he wasn't. The only indication of his potential for damage is his past, not his current state and I think, from firsthand experience, that consideration was just and important to safeguard the lives of the rest of us.

I really think the system is almost balanced correctly. Fight it in court over a long period while staying clean in your behavior and evaluations and you will have a chance. It isn't perfectly fair and has to err one direction or another to cover all contingencies: a system which errs on behalf of the innocent is not a flawed one but rather one that has the right group's safety in mind. Rule #1: don't wig out it will haunt you and your government and legal system will have to choose the rights and safety of the innocent over you for your transgression. And rightly so. Your choice brought this on you--no one forced you. But the innocent victims of the crazy made no such choice nor are offered one. Their needs and safety come before yours--by your choice.

I disagree that in all cases the potential 5150 made a choice to act in a manner drawing the negative attention. We all have different tolerances for physical pain, and I'm sure that there are levels of mental stress that could break down any of us. (I am way out of my specialty here discussing Mental Health - something I usually avoid)

I hope that this is a potential focus point for legislative work. It just seems that someone with Franks circumstances should have a path to restore his rights, without going broke paying for attorneys.

duldej
05-03-2010, 12:13 AM
the 14th amendment assures us that we've made such a choice and so hence there is a hearing for 5150 gun prohibition sanctions.

it's a good point that you bring-up.

DarthSean
05-03-2010, 12:51 AM
Be careful about judging someone's character or competency to own guns based on them having a prior 5150. I've known some mentally healthy people who cracked under some very extreme circumstances that could happen to anyone and they got better.

duldej
05-03-2010, 12:53 AM
i tried unsuccessfully, once, to sue the people of los angeles over my having once been so detained [section 5150 (wic)] for $10,000.00.

again, i lost the case, and i refused to appeal it.

i was pro-se and the court proceedings were too expensive. that's why i ate my loss(es).

the principle that bugged me was mostly my 14th amendment rights having been compromised.

i was satisfied petitioning my 2a rights mostly because i got myself out of the water, but there's still problems, barring 5250 federal prohibitive measures, in detaining someone against his will, and annihilating his 14 th amendment rights.

i was stuck, as a matter of fact, with the $1,800.00 hospital bill.

third parties were notified about that, too which in my opinion is violating (the hospital) my fcra civil rights (fair credit reporting act), but to wit i'm entitled only to $1,000.00 settlement for fcra being compromised [section(s) 616, 617 fcra].

i tried to do it myself but shy of appealing the negative decision to the supreme court or an appellate court (i'm not a lawyer), it takes some sort if sleuth and some time to plan an adequate attack (in the civil courts).

frankly, i think nobody's had the courage and/or finances to fight 5250 lifetime prohibition in the supreme court and to win.

no legislator, to wit, is going to stick his neck out on the line to sustain your own individual rights.

heck, most psychiatrists (md's) and psychologists (phd's), unless he or she is a forensic psychologist will even lift the phone and talk to the judge for fear of malpractice lawsuit(s) or losing their licenses or jobs.

by way of reiteration, had i not stood-up for myself recently to get relief from 5150 sanctions it would not have happened.

you might argue that the superior court means nothing or that the 5-year statute will draw to a close anyway but i did something publicly for myself and so should you.

Gray Peterson
05-03-2010, 1:39 AM
I've heard this argued before. There's a simple solution: don't flip out in the first place. It's hard to say whether you'll flip out again in the future and I don't want you holding a gun when you do.

I know it seems unfair but in a sense the once-insane cause me more worry than the once-felons. The felons have (in general) a lot more control over whether they screw up again.

Sorry, pal, but it doesn't work that way. There are too many ways that mental health system can be abused by non-mental health practitioners for their political gain.

I have to concur with whoever stated that mental illness was differently considered in 1968.

I really do think that the anti-gunners want to make gun owners afraid of going to a shrink. If a person does have a mental health problem, and they are a gun owner, they won't go to a shrink because they're afraid that A) the shrink will be anti-gun or prosletyze anti-gun statistics and so on and B) they're afraid they'll end up in a hospital merely by mentioning in conversation that they are a gun owner.

So they don't go. They get worse and worse and worse, and eventually they off themselves, do something violent, or do harm to members of their family. The anti-gunners LOVE this because honestly, it's a great additional statistic they can point out for more gun control.

Here in Washington, there was a proposal a few years back to make it where a diagnosis for certain mental illnesses to be automatically a disqualifier for firearms possession under Washington State law.

It was not only fought by the gun rights movement up here, it was fought by a huge coalition of mental health practitioners who basically flat out told the Legislature that they would not report to the state this due to HIPAA, and some of their patients would refuse to see them any further and then start fighting to have their medical records destroyed or scrubbed, causing an adversarial situation between therapist and patient. They basically said "We'd rather them be seeing us, as it's difficult enough given the huge amount of FUD they've heard all of their lives about going to a shrink taking away their gun rights, and some of our patients are ALREADY pulling out merely due to the bill's existence".

It died in committee, and it was NEVER reintroduced ever again.

DarthSean
05-03-2010, 1:52 AM
Here in Washington, there was a proposal a few years back to make it where a diagnosis for certain mental illnesses to be automatically a disqualifier for firearms possession under Washington State law.

It was not only fought by the gun rights movement up here, it was fought by a huge coalition of mental health practitioners who basically flat out told the Legislature that they would not report to the state this due to HIPAA, and some of their patients would refuse to see them any further and then start fighting to have their medical records destroyed or scrubbed, causing an adversarial situation between therapist and patient. They basically said "We'd rather them be seeing us, as it's difficult enough given the huge amount of FUD they've heard all of their lives about going to a shrink taking away their gun rights, and some of our patients are ALREADY pulling out merely due to the bill's existence".

It died in committee, and it was NEVER reintroduced ever again.

Wow, I never heard about that. Not only would that have chased away all the gun owners, but I can't even imagine how many people prone to paranoia would stop seeking treatment because they would get put on a special government registry.

duldej
05-03-2010, 5:43 PM
referring to gray peterson (above), and i'm not sure about 1968, but 1974 and 1976 in the state of california there was the tarasoff precedent where a uc berkeley student communicated his own premeditated plans to kill his girlfriend to his school psychologist who then unsuccessfully tried ti warn the woman that tarasoff succeeded in killing.

tarasoff was extradited back to india in exchange for no prison time over the incident (and no death penalty).

regarding psychiatry/psychology and after tarasoff, to wit, and i'm only a bachelor, spawned tarasoff warnings where a psychiatric practitioner's duty involves ratting on his client to local authorities when he or she communicates a threat to his psychiatrist or psychologist and against some one distiguishable individual.

if i'm not mistaken suicide threats that someone communicates to his psychiatrist/psychologist also follows the same tarasoff protocol whe in the case of suicide threats the distinguishable victim is the same person that's talking to his shrink.

to wit, psychologists that question the ethics of tarasoff mostly invoke the 14th amendment that and on the other hand would prohibit kidnapping or detaining somebody against his will and as a result of a tarasoff warning.
i, myself, i see a psychiatrist, off the record. i just am careful what i tell him, and which works-out in a freudian sublimation sort of way.
in my experience psychology involves lots of cowardly sorts and psychiatry, too, say where even a licensed forensic psychologist will not administer for the courts a danger test and will evade the justice system when they have to, but then will probe into tarasoff sorts of situations where their recourse is to rat on you to local authorities and thereby stab you in the back more or less on the same front that you confronted him or her with.

it's (psychology) is in a bad way so i can conclude that it's not for everybody.

if it's not tarasoff then you've got other nightmares in conservators, being deemed incompetent to stand trial, being mandated to swallow a pill, etc.
in my humble opinion there's not much ethics to go around and there's even less integrity.

kcbrown
05-03-2010, 6:47 PM
It's one of those really tricky situations in which a blanket policy really can't do justice 100% of the time.


That tends to be a characteristic of most blanket policies.



Kind of like the debate about convicted felons getting their rights restored. Are there felons who were not convicted of violent crime, who after 20 years have proven they're not a danger, and should get their rights back? Sure. But there's also some that should have never been let out in the first place- and are the kind of people we have guns to protect ourselves from.
"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." -- Thomas Jefferson to Archibald Stuart, 1791.

The arguments you're using here mirror those used against us by the anti-gunners.

You need to stop cherry-picking which freedoms people should have and which they shouldn't have (and/or the degree to which they should or shouldn't have them), and instead recognize that liberty has a price. That price is the additional risk that someone who has that liberty may abuse it to the detriment of others.

Either you stand for liberty for all (where said liberties are stripped only through due process and only for as limited a time and in as limited a way as is demonstrably necessary) or you stand for some modified version of a nanny state. Which is it?

duldej
05-03-2010, 10:48 PM
i'd like to chime in and state for the record that it's important to be duly diligent of things you said that you would do even if they're arduous or they seem too small to matter because you, yourself is the only one that you're calling-upon to accomplish your own tasks.

a cop, for instance, is liable to prove what he did even if that deed that he did was seemingly of no consequence and probably it matters in a statuary way because time is on his side but that says nothing for an individual like you or me that was too lazy to get up at a decent hour and to get to work where nothing got done and there's nothing to do but complain or complain about the man.

take for instance petitioning a prohibition relief hearing for 5150 section sanctions. sure the clocks going to eventually run-out and i'll get what i want anyway but there's also making history so that then historians can puzzle over it and today's man is slightly more encouraged to get up and at 'em today and maybe is a little hopeful.
the district attorney will not fail to appear so the man is at bay and you've got either a win or a loss to record in california jurisprudence.

sure a win is cutting 5 years to 6 mos (maybe), and is just tine-related, but your neighbor's not going to do it for you and when he does then still you're left behind.

when the man does something in court then that's more cause for paranoia or to complain about the justice department or attorney general's office so it's on your shoulders to fight the power in court even if it's the superior court that's too small to amount to much.

i'd like to assure you folks in psychological problems vis a vis 2a and 14a that a, win or lose you'll be glad you challenged it, and b, there's psych hearings that's even less vainglorious that you should win, too if you have to.

in a word, i can't proudly condone kidnapping not because i'm anti establishment and that's the way it is, but simply because i'm proud to be american.

some people like yours, truly, were raised to think always outside the box and california law permits that but there's a lot of red tape involved even sometimes just being yourself.

personally i studied psychology at uc and graduated and humbly this sort of thing is mostly what i'm called-upon to fight.

duldej
05-04-2010, 11:02 PM
i hope this (the following) helps delineate crazy and incompetent which are two distinct problems [box (f)]:

again barring 5250, and which is certification hearing that frank talks about, cf above,

i talked with a forensic psychologist in los angeles county mental health courthouse late 2009 that clarified to the presiding judge and on my behalf that (he) might be crazy but he's competent to stand trial
which was acceptable to the judge.

box f was obviated that day by yours, truly crazy or no.

psychology and the law parts ways at that point so that's what forensic psychologists are good for.

i can honestly answer no to every question on 4473, including box f whether or not its suspected that i've got a screw loose mostly because psychology is mostly confidential and court information is public and classified.

an attorney would have probably to file a lawsuit against me and subpoena my confidential psychiatrist's notes for them to make a legal difference.
i'm trying to say for the record and calguns that you can be crazy and competent and not have to worry about your gun rights because of psychology.

a fellow mentioned in an earlier item that psychology is rat-infested and maybe it is, but crazy, competent, and not dangerous person are different concepts.

if mobody's been hurt by you, in my bachelor opinion, then probably you're ok or will make-out ok even in court.
i had a 242 (pc) conviction from 1995 and that was expunged in 2003 and that, for instance, has given me more grief than anything (not domestic violence).
forensic psychology has this way of being distracting, if you know what i mean.

duldej
05-14-2010, 10:43 PM
this is just a thought, frank:

since competency and sanity are treated by the superior court as distinct, for instance, you can be crazy and be ok to stand trial, maybe you can use as a building block to your case a competency test that is administered by a forensic psychologist that states yes twice, if you will,
a) he's crazy
b) he's competent
so give him his guns.

another tack might be an ordinary firearms prohibition relief hearing in the state of california.

i read once either in ccr or fcr 27 that so long as it's substantially in the better interest of justice your job is argument enough to let your guns slide, say if you're seeking licensure as a private investigator or the like.

the bsis, for instance, has got a form 4040 bcia that licenses professionals that carry guns.
i've read in either ccr or fcr that you (or i) shouldn't let the contemporary laws stand in your way again because justice is better served in so letting you go about your business.
the bsis, to wit, is a good back-door plan to the justice system that's not the usual song and dance about self defense that, say, the suttet county sheriff claims is good enough reason to apply for a ccw.
it surprises me some that sacramento is more restrictive than other parts of the state, and in terms of ccw but maybe some licenses slip out from under scrutiny say the fbi population that's in sac that registers their guns in d.c..
they've got (the fbi) reasons to carry guns that circumvent ccr (california codes of regulations) laws.
i hope i'm not too far off the mark.
this is not news, per se.
i wonder if you don't want to sue the state of california over 5250 gun rights.
i think california is a good place to start because gun control measures here are not restrictive per se, 5250 being case in point, but are more or less methodical such that if you jump through the hoops then you get what you want.
i bring up the ptofessional tack by way of a legitimat(ed) alibi.

duldej
05-15-2010, 2:36 AM
thanks for letting me hog this thread....
i see a parallel between 5150 danger to self and others vs 5250 mental defective where, and setting aside 2a for the most part, in 5150 you petition the judge to be an honest man and not "a danger."
in the case of 5250, you petition the judge with a writ of habeas corpus to be a man and not "a mental defective," that clinicians said was so.

either way so far there's a thesis and an antithesus, except in the case of 2a rights.
in crime, a misdemeanor violation 242(pc) involves a statuary 2a problem that can be petitioned before 10 statuary years elapses and felonies carry a permanent prohibition of 2a rights, if i'm not mistaken.
i do sincerely wonder why 2a is golden in forensic psychology where pills are a bad apple so to speak.
that's bad, but in my life i've not started anything that i can't finish, too, so it just seems inaccurate to me that 5250 vis-a-vis 2a is not fixable.
let me pose to you this question, please:
what are you going to do with that writ of habeas corpus once it's served and honored by a judge?
then you're a man that has got a 2a problem.
why not sue somebody at that point?
americans are scared sh*tless about falling prey to forensic psychology and for good reason.
translating a bit, the losing defendant or cross complaint reads that you've got to pay me for my devastating legal classification $100,000.00 because it's a big deal.
the superior court of the state of california is a good venue.
get paid and then let the politicians follow suit.
that brand of suffering fetches a price now of $100,000.00.
then the politicians will listen and act accordingly.
maybe find a good civil attorney that's willing to take a piece of that sum.

sholling
05-15-2010, 7:23 AM
Interestingly enough they discussed this a couple of weeks ago over at the Volokh Conspiracy. It might be interesting to see what the legal scholars are saying.

http://volokh.com/2010/05/12/guns-and-mental-illness/

duldej
05-15-2010, 11:16 PM
i've brought it up to professors in psychology here at uc and they'll give me the time of day but then explain that their research is too time consuming to warrant getting into this passion of mine for forensic psychology, but good luck to you.
i don't have any law school friends or connections so u can't account for academia there but there's a few upstanding doctors at both csus and uc irvine criminology departments that "get that alot," in reference to psychology and the law.
i conclude that either law school or criminal justice or both is the avenue in academia that takes this sort of thing to task so far as research goes.
i can assure you that researchers in psychology at stanford, uc and csus don't get into it except for an occasional social scientist, but i can't give any names because i've looked for resrarchers pretty carefully at stanford, uc and csus psychology departments and there are none.
csus can't afford to pay their researchers enough money to get into 5150, etc so they seldom entertain the topic.
frankly the only motion that i've seen on this front and also bearing in mind gun control is to play along with it in the courts and if you think you've got a case then fight city hall if you can.
i think 5150 and box f in 4473 is primarily an applied or practical problem and in a way i wouldn't have it another way because of box (a) where it's my gun and nobody else's.
by the same token, it's me that's taking the chances and it's i that enjoys the spoils so it's "yes" in box (a), in principle and in reality as well.
i would like to find do it yourselfers such as myself that have got some courage that is enough merely to testify in court or otherwise represent himself when something legal is objectionable to him.
i was not always interested in the superior court.
i was dragged into it and so i made a business out of it.
i tokd the judge as much, too, incidentally after a 5150 spiel and the next day (or so) i was at the secretary of state's office organizing my company on paper.
i typed my affidavits on my company letterhead then and the judge saw that i had meant what i said.
i had been accused of a crime 415 (pc) and refused to back down.
it was in conjunction with section 5150 detention in l.a..
eventaually i beat it.
academia is lax by contrast, but the case is there for posterity in jurisprudence 2d, so probably it's not happening again that way.
i hope i haven't taken this thread too far astray. if so then i apologize.

frankrizzo
04-27-2011, 8:32 PM
I have revived this thread because I feel that this issue tends to get lost in all of the other issues that CA gun owners must deal with. Obviously, it is more important to me than most, and my goal is simply to get more people thinking about it and discussing it.

Well, another year has gone by and there has been no movement in the California legislature on the issue of relief from the Federal mental health firearms prohibition.

As an update, I did consult with an attorney last year and petitioned for a hearing in the CA Superior Court. The judge told me about what I expected: that the 5-year CA prohibition specified in the 5250 statute had long since expired, but that the Federal firearms prohibition still applies and there's nothing anyone can do about it until CA law changes. He did sympathize with my situation and said that if he had the authority, he would restore my firearms rights, but he was limited by the law.

At some point, the legislature will have to address and comply with the NIAA, but whether they do so while also implementing a "Relief from Disabilities" program or not will be an open question until the law is drafted.

Personally, my life is better than ever. I got married to a wonderful woman last year, and recently jumped at the chance to take a job out of state as an engineer with one of the largest technology companies in the world. My wife and I are now looking into purchasing our first home, and we're very excited about it.

The only way life could be better is if I was finally able to remove the last remnant of a turbulent period of my youth. I have my fingers crossed that I will someday be allowed to exercise all of my rights.

Jack L
04-28-2011, 7:03 AM
I've heard this argued before. There's a simple solution: don't flip out in the first place. It's hard to say whether you'll flip out again in the future and I don't want you holding a gun when you do.

I know it seems unfair but in a sense the once-insane cause me more worry than the once-felons. The felons have (in general) a lot more control over whether they screw up again.


You do not have to be "flipped out" to be held on a 5150. There are a number of reason and not all of them mean you are mentally unstable for any longer than 48 - 72 hours, if that.

For instance, an old timer who I know who's grandson was sexually molested by a older man. So the old timer was really pissed off. He became intoxicated one day after everyone found out about the incident and grabbed a baseball bat and told his wife he was going to go beat the man who molested his grandson. His wife called LE, they found him and had him placed in a facility to be evaluated. They released him after a week and now he has the legal status of not being able to purchase a firearm. He is about as mentally stable as anyone I know.

GSwain
04-28-2011, 7:56 AM
Working as an EMT, you would not believe the people that are put on a 5150 or a 5250. People are far too quick to place an individual on a hold, many times I have actually picked up patients that the DMH or PET teams have placed on holds that they have not even made contact with! They are writing holds based on what family members say or roommates say when they make contact with the family, and not even talking to the person that the hold is affecting. I would say that at least 50 % of the people I see placed on a hold had no business being placed on a hold. What really upsets me about this is the caviler attitude taken by the individuals writing the holds, it shows a blatant disregard and lack of respect for a person's fundamental rights. The system is so broken right now it is not even funny.

cc4usmc
05-05-2011, 12:30 PM
I was just recently held under a 5150 and I'm in the process of selling my Glock that was confiscated by EGPD. I'll be petitioning to have the prohibition lifted as soon as I figure out what it is I need to do.

2Bear
05-08-2011, 11:33 AM
It gets worse...

Mental health records could be more accessible in firearm purchases
Published March 30th, 2011
Senators advanced a bill March 29 that would make mental health records accessible when conducting background checks for firearm purchases.

LB512, introduced by Imperial Sen. Mark Christensen, would remove a maximum five-year retention requirement for mental health records at the state Department of Health and Human Services. Records would include whether a person is disqualified from purchasing or possessing a handgun and would be made available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The Nebraska State Patrol could access the system when determining a personís eligibility to own a gun.

Additionally, the bill would enable a person who has been barred from buying or possessing a gun for mental health reasons to resubmit an application if he or she no longer suffers from the disqualifying condition. An individual could request a mental health board hearing at which the board would consider:
ē circumstances surrounding the subjectís mental health commitment;
ē the subjectís record, including mental health and criminal history records; and
ē the subjectís reputation, developed through character witness statements, testimony or other character evidence.

This bill provides a necessary piece of information that could prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands, Christensen said, while it provides an opportunity for others to own a firearm if they are no longer considered a threat to society.
http://update.legislature.ne.gov/?p=4119

Hunt
05-08-2011, 2:34 PM
to the OP--- if the Neocons were able to control our military and media then the OP should be able to have a gun.

frankrizzo
05-11-2011, 6:36 AM
Here is the full text of the article:

Senators advanced a bill March 29 that would make mental health records accessible when conducting background checks for firearm purchases.

LB512, introduced by Imperial Sen. Mark Christensen, would remove a maximum five-year retention requirement for mental health records at the state Department of Health and Human Services. Records would include whether a person is disqualified from purchasing or possessing a handgun and would be made available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The Nebraska State Patrol could access the system when determining a personís eligibility to own a gun.

Additionally, the bill would enable a person who has been barred from buying or possessing a gun for mental health reasons to resubmit an application if he or she no longer suffers from the disqualifying condition. An individual could request a mental health board hearing at which the board would consider:
ē circumstances surrounding the subjectís mental health commitment;
ē the subjectís record, including mental health and criminal history records; and
ē the subjectís reputation, developed through character witness statements, testimony or other character evidence.

This bill provides a necessary piece of information that could prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands, Christensen said, while it provides an opportunity for others to own a firearm if they are no longer considered a threat to society.

A proposed Judiciary Committee amendment outlined the process to appeal a denial of requested relief and also would require the courts to send an order to remove a subjectís firearm-related disability to HHS and the state patrol within 30 days.

Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh offered an amendment to the committee amendment that was originally introduced as LB138. The provisions, adopted 35-0, would recognize valid handgun permits issued by previous states of new Nebraska residents.

The committee amendment was adopted 39-0 and the bill advanced from general file on a 38-0 vote.


Believe it or not, this is actually a good thing for people in Nebraska who have mental health prohibitions.

1) It complies with the NIAA. This was not negotiable for any state. The new reporting requirements are Federal law and there are penalties for noncompliance.

2) It outlines the "relief from disabilities" process for that state. Without a relief process in place, the Federal mental health prohibition is a lifetime prohibition. At least with a relief program, individual cases can be reviewed and relief granted if it is determined that the person no longer suffers from the condition that caused the prohibition.

3) Because there is a relief process component, it makes Nebraska eligible for Federal grant money to assist in setting up their database. That can help their state budget.

It appears that Nebraska will join a growing list of states that have complied with the NIAA and have relief programs in place. California has informally implemented #1 already, but at some point, the legislature will have to codify it as a matter of law. As there is no requirement that states also set up a relief program, #2 may remain elusive for myself and other Californians (or former Californians!) who may have an isolated incident that occurred years (or decades, as in my case) in their past.

frankrizzo
05-11-2011, 6:39 AM
to the OP--- if the Neocons were able to control our military and media then the OP should be able to have a gun.

My misfortune is that I had the poor sense to have an episode as a resident of the state of California. If my problems had occurred in Oregon, for example, I may have already had my firearms rights restored, or possibly never have lost them in the first place. Most states don't have a "5250-like" statute that makes it relatively easy to meet the Federal prohibition definition.

Scarecrow Repair
05-11-2011, 7:08 AM
recently jumped at the chance to take a job out of state as an engineer with one of the largest technology companies in the world.

I'm sure you have looked into this, so I ask in order to get the thought into the thread. If you move to a state which does have a procedure to remove the prohibition, can they remove it, or does it have to be the state which created the prohibition?

Salty
05-11-2011, 4:37 PM
I've heard this argued before. There's a simple solution: don't flip out in the first place. It's hard to say whether you'll flip out again in the future and I don't want you holding a gun when you do.

I know it seems unfair but in a sense the once-insane cause me more worry than the once-felons. The felons have (in general) a lot more control over whether they screw up again.

Zhlya, you do realize that a person can be held for 5150 or 5250 for the most asinine reasons, right? Your spouse, neighbor, friend, etc. who hates you....

^^^Worked in Metro State Hospital for a short period.

This^
Blatant lies to get someone in trouble aside, have you never gotten so mad that you "flipped out" or "saw red" so to speak? A statement like "well he got so upset that he kicked the trash can, what's to say he won't hurt himself or someone else next time?" really isn't that far fetched. EVERYONE is capable of having bad days, lapses of judgment, etc. Anyone can be broken down to the point that they get a little crazy - even beyond my trashcan kicking scenario. Also remember that socially speaking, once someone labels you "crazy", "having a break down", "insane", etc, just about everyone stops listening to your side of the story. Including therapists, cops, judges, etc, whether they mean to or not. It's one of the easiest ways to discredit someone.

Edit: Also keep in mind that long history that the US mental health system has with over treating and over classifying patients. Words like depressed, ADD, lobotomy, forced sterilization, shock treatment, and anxiety come to mind.

frankrizzo
05-11-2011, 6:57 PM
I'm sure you have looked into this, so I ask in order to get the thought into the thread. If you move to a state which does have a procedure to remove the prohibition, can they remove it, or does it have to be the state which created the prohibition?

Unfortunately, as I understand it the prohibition must be removed by the state which creates it. In this case, California.

There are a handful of states which have implemented relief programs, and to my knowledge, all of them reference their own statutes.

Aleksandr Mravinsky
05-19-2011, 9:31 PM
I have a question that I will post here since this is relatively recent and vaguely similar to my question, so I don't want to start another thread.

Are there prohibitions for the "mentally ill" to own or possess firearms on the mere basis of being diagnosed with an illness?

I understand that there are laws that prohibit firearms ownership for those who have voluntarily or involuntarily been held for inpatient treatment, and also for those who unlawfully take or use antidepressants, stimulants, et cetera. My specific question is whether people are prohibited on the basis of diagnosis of a mental disorder (e.g. diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder, ADD/ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, et cetera).

I've looked around but haven't found any definite answer (that is, I haven't found much proof that such laws do exist, and it's pretty hard to prove something doesn't exist). Form 4473 says "abdicated mental defective", this would mean someone who has been declared mentally incompetent/ a threat to self or others by a court, correct?

Thanks

DarthSean
05-20-2011, 2:13 AM
I have a question that I will post here since this is relatively recent and vaguely similar to my question, so I don't want to start another thread.

Are there prohibitions for the "mentally ill" to own or possess firearms on the mere basis of being diagnosed with an illness?

I understand that there are laws that prohibit firearms ownership for those who have voluntarily or involuntarily been held for inpatient treatment, and also for those who unlawfully take or use antidepressants, stimulants, et cetera. My specific question is whether people are prohibited on the basis of diagnosis of a mental disorder (e.g. diagnosed with manic-depressive disorder, ADD/ADHD, depression, schizophrenia, et cetera).

I've looked around but haven't found any definite answer (that is, I haven't found much proof that such laws do exist, and it's pretty hard to prove something doesn't exist). Form 4473 says "abdicated mental defective", this would mean someone who has been declared mentally incompetent/ a threat to self or others by a court, correct?

Thanks

"Mentally defective" is a label used for people that have been either involuntarily committed, made the subject of guardianship/conservatorship, or found criminally insane. All require a court judgment.

There is no prohibition based on diagnosis alone. It doesn't matter if you are a paranoid schizophrenic, down's syndrome, or anything else. If you have not been adjudicated incompetent to manage your affairs (lifetime prohbition unless exempted by the judge), involuntarily committed (either 5 years or life), or reported by a mental health professional to be a danger to yourself or others (6 months) because you made a threatening comment against someone or talked about hurting yourself (mental health professionals don't rush to call the DOJ for the latter). There is also no prohibition due to seeing a professional, taking psychiatric medications, or electing to receive ECT/TMS or psychosurgery. However, disclose firearm ownership with extreme discretion!

The only ways you can get prohibited from as the result of a voluntary commitment are 1) from the time you get admitted to the time you are discharged, you are prohibited from having a gun. This may sound like a no brainier that doesn't need to be legislated, but it is to address rare instances where voluntary patients leave the hospital for a short period of time and come back. To the best of my knowledge, it appears that this prohibition is not reported. 2) The hospital can report you to the CA DOJ to put you on a 6 month prohibition, or 3) if you try to check out early, and the staff really insists you should stay, they can get you committed on a 72 hour hold. Most voluntary admission records contain more than enough information to get you held on a 5150 so it's best just to stay there and go with the program once you check yourself in.

cadillacmike
05-20-2011, 9:21 AM
I was just wondering the other day how exactly this part of gun control worked. Thanks for the info and I definitely hope we can get it resolved, there definitely needs to be more scrutiny for something that can affect the rest of your life.
Veterans are being screwed in a similar manner, you need to be careful with what you say and to who.

Allow me to elaborate;

If A veteran goes to a VA clininc and makes even a reference to having PTSD or something even remotely similar, then he is electronically branded as mentally unstable, and in addition to possible loss of security clearance, he gets his 2A rights screwed.

And the top brass "wonders" why troops WILL NOT air their concerns or go to any counseling. Hell no, I wouldn't, not if that will be the result, yet they still grill you on clearance re-validation, etc. a lot of two faces BS if you ask me.

frankrizzo
05-20-2011, 10:43 PM
"Mentally defective" is a label used for people that have been either involuntarily committed, made the subject of guardianship/conservatorship, or found criminally insane. All require a court judgment.


That's not entirely correct. To be held on a 5250 requires only a "certification review hearing" by a "certification review hearing officer", which is a far cry from a judicial hearing before a judge. The patient may request judicial review, but most patients don't have the presence of mind or inclination to do so, and generally the only person that mentions the possibility is the patients' rights advocate, and even then only in passing. The "certification review hearing" satisfies the due process requirement of a lifetime removal of civil rights in only the most minimal of terms.

For example, during my commitment, I was anxious about my review hearing and didn't sleep well the night before. The hospital staff gave me a rather heavy sedative at about 6:30am. My hearing was scheduled for 8am, and I literally slept through the hearing with no chance to speak on my own behalf. The only requirement is that the patient be present for the hearing, which I was. There was no requirement for me to actually be conscious for it.

Not that it really matters, of course. The "hearing officer" usually just rubber-stamps the certification.

It still amazes me that the process is legal.

frankrizzo
06-16-2011, 7:39 PM
Here are some statistics that I posted in another thread, but I think it's prudent for them to go in this thread as well.

You can see these numbers for yourself here:
http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/reports/060111_NICSIndex.pdf


Prohibited persons in the Federal NICS database as of May 31, 2011:

55,301 due to DV misdemeanors
446,941 due to felony conviction
1,214,806 due to mental health adjudications (5250 and similar from other states)


Over 1.2 million people. That's over 21 times as many as DV misdemeanors, and nearly 3 times as many as convicted felons. And it's very likely that the majority of those 1.2 million people never committed a crime.

Scott Connors
06-16-2011, 8:00 PM
That's not entirely correct. To be held on a 5250 requires only a "certification review hearing" by a "certification review hearing officer", which is a far cry from a judicial hearing before a judge. The patient may request judicial review, but most patients don't have the presence of mind or inclination to do so, and generally the only person that mentions the possibility is the patients' rights advocate, and even then only in passing. The "certification review hearing" satisfies the due process requirement of a lifetime removal of civil rights in only the most minimal of terms.

For example, during my commitment, I was anxious about my review hearing and didn't sleep well the night before. The hospital staff gave me a rather heavy sedative at about 6:30am. My hearing was scheduled for 8am, and I literally slept through the hearing with no chance to speak on my own behalf. The only requirement is that the patient be present for the hearing, which I was. There was no requirement for me to actually be conscious for it.

Not that it really matters, of course. The "hearing officer" usually just rubber-stamps the certification.

It still amazes me that the process is legal.

I've several years experience as a RN in a county psych emergency unit. I am amazed at some of the patients who win their certification review hearing. Some of them were quite obviously mentally ill, but that's not against the law. Still, the system is so labyrinthine that fundamental issues of fairness are in question.

GrizzlyGuy
06-16-2011, 8:24 PM
This (http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2011/06/16/over-1200-guns-seized-during-statewide-sweep/) in today's news (CGN thread elsewhere (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=445697)) is kind of scary:

According to state Attorney General Kamala Harris, 1,209 guns were recently taken from those barred from gun possession and from others deemed to be mentally unstable.

Hopefully it is just poor wording by the reporter, and those "others" were legally prohibited as well (e.g., 5150/5250), vs. just being some people arbitrarily deemed to be mentally unstable without any due process.

frankrizzo
06-16-2011, 9:12 PM
I've several years experience as a RN in a county psych emergency unit. I am amazed at some of the patients who win their certification review hearing. Some of them were quite obviously mentally ill, but that's not against the law. Still, the system is so labyrinthine that fundamental issues of fairness are in question.

Maybe some things have changed since I was in the system, then. It seems to me that "presence" at a hearing would also require consciousness, but 15 years ago that didn't seem to matter in my case.

Speaking of inconsistencies in the system, or perhaps just a lack of training in this area, when I requested a copy of my records a few years back, three different employees at the hospital wondered why I even wanted them. None had any idea that a 5250 resulted in a lifetime firearms prohibition. My wife is also friends with a couple of LCSW's who work in the county mental health system, and they likewise had no idea until informed by us a couple of years ago. They still write 5150 orders as a routine matter.

frankrizzo
06-16-2011, 9:42 PM
This (http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2011/06/16/over-1200-guns-seized-during-statewide-sweep/) in today's news (CGN thread elsewhere (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=445697)) is kind of scary:



Hopefully it is just poor wording by the reporter, and those "others" were legally prohibited as well (e.g., 5150/5250), vs. just being some people arbitrarily deemed to be mentally unstable without any due process.

From reading the article it seems like the first class of prohibited persons it talks about were convicted felons and the like, and the second class of prohibited persons are the "mentally unstable". I think they need a new editor, though. That article was full of grammatical errors.

vincewarde
06-16-2011, 10:29 PM
Zhlya, you do realize that a person can be held for 5150 or 5250 for the most asinine reasons, right? Your spouse, neighbor, friend, etc. who hates you....

^^^Worked in Metro State Hospital for a short period.

+1 on that - and I work EMS for 10 years here in CA.

1st5
06-17-2011, 7:31 AM
I was thinking of posting this in a new thread but I believe it adds to this one...

California seizes 1200 illegally owned guns

California law enforcement agents have seized 1,200 firearms from people who cannot legally own them because of mental illness or restraining orders

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/16/BALM1JV4R2.DTL#ixzz1PXlxznyA


So, did these people wake up with a SWAT team on their door step to take their guns?

ldsnet
06-17-2011, 7:46 AM
Regretfully, the politicians don't care! I know a number of peace officers and ACTIVE military members who suddenly LOST their jobs when the Lautenberg amendment was passed. They made that horrific piece of leglislation retro-active - so a "family argument" when a teen plead to a nothing misdemeanor 15 years before suddenly became a lifetime ban to small arms.

At least there is a SMALL avenue of redress with the courts that might someday remove those old charges from someone's record. But like the OP states - there is nothing for mental health side of the issue. Personally it should require a JUDGE to remove a person's rights, not just a doctor's opinion.

Just going through getting a family member declared incompetent to take care of medical/money issues was a painful experience. Most 5150 and 5250 require much less of a standard.

DisarmedInKalifornia
04-28-2013, 4:14 AM
I know this thread is way out of date, but I am hoping that, like the last time it was revived, there are still people discussing this issue.

My concern is for a friend of mine. After serving several tours in Iraq/Afghanistan, he came home to California to find his life in a mess. His wife had spent a good deal of the time he was "serving" running around with other men, and was pretty harsh in her sharing the details of her exploits with a smile, and telling him how she never loved him, and so on. After dealing with this, he attempted to take his own life. He immediately regretted his choice, and was thankful that he was not successful, but this didn't stop his wife (now ex) from calling 911, and of course a 5150 hold from following. At the end of the 5150 hold they pushed for the 5250, and did hold him for a couple of extra days. He explained that he was just overwhelmed and that it was just too much all at once. Keep in mind that he served his country for just shy of 2 decades, and spent more than a few years in active combat. He was trusted with firearms on a daily basis, and was Honorably Discharged without so much as a blemish on his record.

Fast forward 7 years, he is a normal every day guy, married with children, working, and still in possession of a TS clearance. He has had no incidents prior to this incident, nor since. He is now looking to purchase a firearm, and submitted a Personal Firearms Eligibility Check as he had concerns about the 5250. He has been waiting almost 90 days with no response from the State, however having read the fact that Federal Law says he is barred life, he is concerned.

As has been said in this thread before, there are some who should probably never have access to firearms, and then there are those that went through "something" and are back to life as normal and should be good to go. In his case, he went from active combat for numerous years (with stops at home from time to time) to back on the streets of America in a matter of weeks. This might not seem like much, but imagine going from a place where you constantly look over your shoulder, and people are actively trying to kill you, to normal life back at home.

In his case, and having known him for several years, I would not consider him a risk to himself or anyone else, and in fact he is about the most level headed person I have known. That being said, what are his options should the PFEC come back with a denial based on the 5250?

Is there any point in trying to have this cleared? Is there any avenue to having his rights restored?

Again, I know this is a VERY old thread, but I believe it is still very relevant, and still addresses a common problem.

Thanks in advance!

frankrizzo
06-24-2013, 9:30 PM
That being said, what are his options should the PFEC come back with a denial based on the 5250?

Is there any point in trying to have this cleared? Is there any avenue to having his rights restored?

Again, I know this is a VERY old thread, but I believe it is still very relevant, and still addresses a common problem.

Thanks in advance!

Just saw the new post on a search. I started this thread over 3 years ago and sadly, nothing has changed.

If his PFEC comes back that he is ineligible, it is most likely because of the 5250 hold. Like myself, he is Federally prohibited for life from owning firearms and most likely was never properly informed.

Pretty much all the same info in this thread still applies. There's the NICS Improvements Amendments Act of 2008, but it only authorizes states to implement a "relief from disabilities" program. Being that these holds occurred in California, there is little to no chance that the legislature will implement such a program. Until they do, we have no recourse.

In my opinion, it's the worst firearms prohibition on the books right now due to the sheer number of people in the NICS database because of it. There are nearly 3 million people in the NICS database due to mental health adjudications, the majority with no chance to have their situations reviewed. That's almost twice as many as convicted felons and nearly 15 times as many as domestic violence misdemeanors.

It's ridiculous.

vantec08
06-25-2013, 7:39 AM
I was thinking of posting this in a new thread but I believe it adds to this one...

California seizes 1200 illegally owned guns

California law enforcement agents have seized 1,200 firearms from people who cannot legally own them because of mental illness or restraining orders

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/06/16/BALM1JV4R2.DTL#ixzz1PXlxznyA


So, did these people wake up with a SWAT team on their door step to take their guns?



moonbeam just funded millions for that specific purpose.

vantec08
06-25-2013, 8:10 AM
I agree, OP. The CA section is 8103 Welfare and Institutions code. It is a simple, straightforward petition easily completed and posted with the local Superior Court of the petitioners jurisdiction. Why the feds cant meet that requirement? My guess is the old "we are doing something about it" after all of the mass shootings of recent years. Problem is, they werent all mentally unbalanced. Just mean people being mean (like the recent San Berdoo situation). Interesting conversion between State, fed, 10 amendment.

FlyMeAway
01-08-2014, 8:14 PM
I've heard this argued before. There's a simple solution: don't flip out in the first place. It's hard to say whether you'll flip out again in the future and I don't want you holding a gun when you do.

I know it seems unfair but in a sense the once-insane cause me more worry than the once-felons. The felons have (in general) a lot more control over whether they screw up again.
I know this post is old, but for anyone who sees it now, as I have, I must say this poster's comment demonstrates both insensitivity and ignorance. Mental health problems have many causes and take many forms. Some are permanent, others temporary. I agree it is in the interest of society that troubled individuals be prevented from owning firearms as long as they are incapacitated. For those whose ilness was misdiagnosed, or temporary, restoration of one's rights should be possible.

jerry the lawyer
10-03-2014, 6:55 PM
This thread is helpful. I had a client ask me for help with this problem recently. I am unfamiliar with the issue and I am glad I found this.

Unfortunately, too many people do not realize how easy it is for angry spouses, cops, EMTs, nurses, doctors and anyone else to get someone committed. In fact, I recently read about kids who play on-line multiplayer games who, when losing, will hack into the other players' computers, find their addresses, call the cops, tell them that they have a gun and just killed their family. It is called "swatting." They do it to celebrities too just for fun. But it is all too easy to see how a stranger can get someone else committed on a 5150.

Jimmybacon43
10-03-2014, 7:23 PM
This thread is helpful. I had a client ask me for help with this problem recently. I am unfamiliar with the issue and I am glad I found this.

Unfortunately, too many people do not realize how easy it is for angry spouses, cops, EMTs, nurses, doctors and anyone else to get someone committed. In fact, I recently read about kids who play on-line multiplayer games who, when losing, will hack into the other players' computers, find their addresses, call the cops, tell them that they have a gun and just killed their family. It is called "swatting." They do it to celebrities too just for fun. But it is all too easy to see how a stranger can get someone else committed on a 5150.

Yep, the 5150 process is extremely easily abused. I see it as basically back door gun confiscation. CA knows they can't confiscate from law abiding gun owners so they use any little excuse to confiscate firearms.

The whole 5150 process, while it may have meant well, gives too much power to other people to influence anothers life and take away their personal freedom. Like you said, literally any angry wife, husband, friend, whatever can call the cops and tell them "this guy said he was gonna kill himself, etc..."

Then even if they don't care about losing their gun rights for 5 years they still have to spend 3 days in a mental hospital, which is a humiliating and dehumanizing experience.