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Gun Rights of the “Mentally Defective”: Give Me Liberty or Give Me an Explanation


I subscribe to some really strange electronic newsletters. I don’t know why, except they are free and usually on topics that have absolutely nothing to do with my life – like one on military immunizations I subscribed to after the anthrax scare.

My latest is a newsletter from the Federal Firearms Licensee Information Service, a division of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive at the U.S. Justice Department.

I find the bureau’s activities fascinating. It’s like the folks in Washington decided to create one agency to regulate the most dangerous and controversial substances on the planet! Alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. One-stop shopping for true crime television producers!

Anyway, the lead article in the September issue of the FFLIS newsletter is called,”Adjudicated Mentally Defective” and it’s all about the federal laws governing possession of firearms by the “mentally defective” and how to get your gun rights restored if you are ever declared “mentally defective.” I’m not a big fans of firearms but you put the words “mentally defective” and “firearms” in the same sentence and I’m interested.

16 Comments to
Gun Rights of the “Mentally Defective”: Give Me Liberty or Give Me an Explanation

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  1. The man who killed five was probably on an antidepressant along with his mood stabilizer and/or antipsychotic. The mood stabilizer and antipsychotic can not always ‘tame’ the violence a person can feel whle on an antidpressant.

    The Physicians Desk Reference states that SSRI antidepressants and all antidepressants can cause mania, psychosis, abnormal thinking, paranoia, hostility, agitation, etc. These side effects can also appear during withdrawal. Also, these adverse reactions are not listed as Rare but are listed as either Frequent or Infrequent.

    Go to a search engine and type in SSRI Stories where there are over 4,800 cases, with the full media article available, involving bizarre murders, suicides, school shootings/incidents [65 of these] and murder-suicides – all of which involve SSRI antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, etc, . The media article usually tells which SSRI antidepressant the perpetrator was taking or had been using but sometimes the media article just says “antidepressant” or “medication for depression”.

    On December 15, 2010, PLoS Medicine released a study which showed that, in regard to prescription medications and violence, the FDA had received the most reports of violence from the SSRI & SNRI antidepressants (except for Chantix, the smoking cessation drug.) The evidence of an association with violence was weaker and mixed for antipsychotic drugs and absent for all but one of the mood stabilizers. Yet, the antipsychotics and mood stabilizers, given for the most serious mental illnesses, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, would be the most likely culprit involved in violence but, instead, it was the antidepressants which had the most reports of violence. They were given to patients that traditionally were the least likely to commit violence, the depressed and the anxious.

  2. “I suppose you could argue that none of this makes much difference because we’re not talking about many people who have been denied their gun rights because they are or have been declared “mentally defective.”

    Actually, there are a LOT of people who are being denied their gun rights due to having been declared mentally defective. The current number of these people in the NICS database sits at 1,397,543. That’s over twice as many as those convicted of a felony.

  3. SO, any guesstimates as to how many people will avoid treatment for mental illnesses so as to avoid losing their Second Amendment rights?

  4. The state of California seems to wish to deny as many people as possible, which means that they routinely report voluntary treatment/monitoring as involuntary ‘institutionalization’. And it is true the ATF uses the funding excuse (I say excuse because they obviously don’t try to verify any of these ‘reports’.
    The fact is, the California agencies destroy the ‘treatment’ records just as soon as they are recorded at the Ca DOJ ( as far as I can tell) and getting them to correct the record (despite the burden of proof belonging to the state) is “hard, very hard”, costing “ten to twenty THOUSAND dollars,” according to a Ca gun rights attorney.

  5. Most of our crimes even robbery and murder are done by people who are not on the mental radar. I read that Winston Churchill was bipolar, They think that Pres. Lincoln was also. Some people thought that Pres. Nixon was. Most people Know there is also a very smart side to most bipolars. You have to care and try. If you need to , take your meds. All who think they know it all ,and do not try may get out of hand.

  6. I was diagnosed with clinical depression, a seratonin deficiency it seems and my old lack of motivation was mainly due to my self body image issues. I went to wilderness therapy and now in a program in Oregon called an aftercare, it is not a mental institution, it’s for helping young adults getting on track and academic assistance. I haven’t felt depressed or taken anti depressiants for 2 years now. I never heard the term “mentally defective” before, never concerning myself either. I have anxiety that runs in my family. I’m from NY all my family are against guns but I’m an adult now living in Oregon, soon to be on my own and graduating from this program. Before I purchase a hand gun and take a course required for a carry on permit do I need to contact someone? My purpose is for protection only. I plan to drive down to Georgia to see a lady friend and in all those states from here to there they don’t take too kindly to Jews from the north. If I get shot at I would rather be able to shoot back than die if you get what I mean. It’s a lengthy process I would have to contact the district attorney of each state but I’ve made much progress in my academics, I couldn’t hurt a fly unless it was a killer bee and I was in danger of dying so to speak. I currently take vyvance for my ADHD and clonazepam for my anxiety, mostly for my speech class that I’m getting an A in because I’m very shy. Is this a problem? Depression hasn’t been since I started to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I have never been a danger to myself or others. If a human being wanted to kill someone, there are pens and kitchen knives and such, anything. No one NEEDS a gun to kill another human being, but what does a knife do at a gun fight if you’re not a ninja? I’m throwing in some random talk but I am asking a serious question, and also whom do I ask this question to?

  7. I am reading while I am writing my challenge letter to the state police. I Am a 34 yr old married female with 2 son ages 12 and 16. I went to purchase a gun and was denied!!! WHY? Because when I was 16 I had taken pills and was admitted to the psychiatric hospital for 2 weeks. Seriously? That was 18 years ago. Now they say you cant own a weapon,protect my family, or go to the gun range with my boys because I took some pills and went to the “crazy place”. I have been reading forums with people who have been convicted of robbery, assault, etc. and they get a reversal. Thats such bullshit. Any way I am sending my letter in today to see what they will do.

    • I read ur post I am in the same boat I am not a criminal just a man that moved on with anger issues as a 12 year old boy . I struggle now to just keep my job cause Im a explosive specialist but I disagree the way we are treated now I’m am so embarrassed of this whole thing

  8. I come from a family that believes in the right to protect yourself, even with a firearm if necessary. That being said, I don’t really like guns much myself and would never put myself in the position of having one for myself while I’m still trying to get my meds straightened out. However, once I am much older and have a family of my own, I may want to go to the range occasionally (I’m a fair-good markswoman, even with bows and arrows) or be able to protect my home with it, even though I have a bit of a preference for compound bows. I don’t want to have to go through Hell trying to deal with all that simply because I had attempted suicide my first semester of college, and under the age of 18.

    That being said, I will stick to arrows, thank you very much, even if I’m too “defective” to touch a firearm.

  9. Oct 4 , 1991 I was 12 years old my dad went to prison and I had to go live with my real mom that I haven’t seen in years I acted out of anger my mom thought I was crazy she said I needed to talk to someone she took me to a mental hospital sierra vista 2 weeks later released I never went in front of a board or a court never knew what I was diagnosed with I thought it was to make me be better towards my mom turns out 22 years later with out getting in trouble since then and went to be a Explosive specialist for the petroleum industry for over 13 years now my background didn’t clear last year getting a letter of denial saying I was mentally adjudicated . I thought it was a joke but clearly it isn’t . I am a father aswell as a stepfather I use to volunteer to cook for over 300 people on Easter Sunday . I was doing well in my life until this happened now my job is, at stake they trantransfer me around now losing work everyday cause they can’t send me out on jobs anymore before I used to work to save for retirement now its only to put food on the table . A father that has not done a bad thing since that day my mom said I needed to talk to a guy . This is a scenario that California has casted upon me and I live in Wyoming . Since I was 17 but this new law destroys innocent lives . I know I’m a good person I would still give myshirt off my back for u . I once gave a car to a sister inlaw for some salmon and mother’s in-laws home made blue berry cake . So u see this does ruin innocent lives . All I want to do is keep my job put food on the table

    • the sad thing is your rights will most likely never be restored. the atf has not restored anyones rights who struggle with mental illness in over 20 years. but if you rob a bank send in a app and they will restore your rights. one of the dumbest things i have ever heard of ever let us know if you make any progress and good luck

  10. So, if I’m understanding all of this right because a year ago when I finally sought help after years of silently struggling with depression and anxiety my 2nd amendment right is going to be taken away because I reached out for help for a problem I was having because I hit my lowest of lows and decided it was time for help.
    I grew up around guns was taught from a young age about them. I’m also a Hunter, been hunting since I was 14 years old. I hunt with my father. I do not own a gun myself because me and my father work as a team during turkey season. Talks of deer season this year and looking into getting me my own gun. “IF” this takes effect I would get denied to have a gun because I have anxiety and depression and could be seen as a threat to myself and others. If I am understanding this right, makes me on one hand wish I would have never sought help for it.

  11. I have been a firearms enthusiast for the last 6 years of my live. I have competed in shooting tournaments, learned gunsmithing, researched the history of diffrent makes and models and the evolution of firearms over the years. I had a concealed weapons license and purchased firearms legally passing all required background checks involved. Recently I was denied. Thinking there had to be a mistake, I sent out the appropriate appeal form and waited a couple of months for the response. The letter recieved stated I was denied because I was commuted to a mental institution. As a minor I was marchman acted. I was therefore assed to see if I needed rehabilitation for pot smoking. I went to the outpatient program once and that was the end of my trouble. It has been 13 years since then I have no criminal record of anykind. Heck, I don’t even have a speeding ticket. Recieving the denial I also understood I could no longer have firearms in my home. I was forced to give up the few I had. Now to get a lawyer and see if I can move forward to restore my rights…

    • good luck but i think it will be impossible for your right to be restored. the atf has not restored the right of one single person in the last 20 years.

  12. Was thinking of getting a small gun for home protection. When I was in the army back in 1986, I wanted to get out after a couple years because it was a hard adjustment on my girlfriend at the time, and so I discussed with some people ways of getting out. There were a few ways that led to dishonorable discharges, and those weren’t for me. There was another way – check yourself into the the Army hospital and say you got depression. Which I did. They evaluated me and after a couple days, got my release orders (honorable) with my DD-214 papers stating “Personality Disorder”. This was 30 years ago. Never really wanted a gun since then, but we’ve had a lot of break-ins in our neighborhood continuously over the past two years. Just want something small for protection. There were no courts that made a decision about my discharge, I was in the ward voluntarily, and I have committed no crimes then or now or in between. Don’t know what adjudicated or all that stuff means. So I was wondering if anyone here could give me some help to see if my condition 30 years ago falls under the laws now or if I’m okay to buy a small firearm. Thank you in advance for any help you can give me.

    • Hey I understand how all of you feel. I too am dismayed at this. A lot of different kinds of people go to hospitals for various reasons. Some of us are very nice and are able to return to managing our lives like we did before.

 

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