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Old March 2, 2013, 09:49 PM   #1
dakota.potts
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Could being treated for mental illness disbar me from gun rights?

I just went to the endocrinologist the other day and did some blood labs and a urinalysis. I am waiting for the results.

The reason I went was because I have a hard time keeping/putting on weight as well as irregular energy levels. However, mentally, there were a few things I was hoping to get looked at.

Anyways, they are testing cortisol, testosterone, thyroid, and a dozen others. I hope it is all solved and they can give me an easy answer. If that doesn't work, though, I intend to see a therapist to talk about what I believe to be seasonal affective disorder along with my other symptoms. I have to be realistic to the fact that I may be diagnosed with a disorder of some sort and be recommended medicine.

My question is, will this affect my gun rights at all? I've never been held for examination. I was never recommended to a counselor in school other than for an IQ test for entrance into the gifted programs. Since I turned 13 or 14, I haven't so much as yelled at somebody out of anger. I've never struck somebody, I've never thought about self-harm or suicide, and I don't identify with the emotions I feel. I want to feel happy and normal. I am calm (to the point of being depressive sometimes) and I don't do anything overtly dangerous. I'm not a dangerous person.

I know in Florida it is asked when you buy a handgun if you have been diagnosed with a mental illness or if you've taken medicine for them. Is this enough to be denied? Everybody I know who takes something like Zoloft that's talked about owning guns has told me they answer no on that regardless. Is that even legal? Will I have to worry about it affecting me in the future if these mental health laws do get passed? What if I decide I want an NFA item in the future?

I really do not want to have to worry that my rights will be removed if I am found to be in need of help and I don't want to be punished for getting that help but I think it's more important to me to get the help I need because I don't want to feel this way any more. But political commentary aside, is this something I have to worry about or a process I should go through to protect myself?

Last edited by dakota.potts; March 3, 2013 at 12:34 AM.
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Old March 2, 2013, 09:56 PM   #2
loltraktor1918
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I could be wrong, but I think you are okay. Mental health is okay as long as you are seeking help voluntarily. If you are ordered to receive help through the courts, OR if your thereapist says you may be a danger to yourself or others then there maybe an issue.
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Old March 2, 2013, 10:39 PM   #3
Tom Servo
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Your course of treatment is voluntary, and under federal law, it does not disqualify you. Here are the relevant bits:

Quote:
A determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency, condition, or disease:
(1) is a danger to himself or to others; or (2) lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs. This term shall include: (1) a finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and (2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility.
Quote:
The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution.
The operative concepts are involuntary committal and finding by review of some legal authority. Neither of those apply in your case.

Best wishes for a quick recovery, and don't be afraid to pursue the treatment you need.
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Old March 2, 2013, 10:40 PM   #4
dakota.potts
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Thanks for that! So answering the question on the form should have no impact? Why is the question asked then?
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Old March 2, 2013, 11:11 PM   #5
Tom Servo
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The question reads,

Quote:
Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective (which includes a determination by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority that you are a danger to yourself or to others or are incompetent to manage your own affairs) OR have you ever been committed to a mental institution?
In your case, you can truthfully answer "no."
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Old March 2, 2013, 11:41 PM   #6
sunaj
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Terms like "depression anxiety derealtive" are very problematic,
and are definitely grounds that some groups could use to so argue,
you can bet if you ever get into a shooting these facts will be exploited,
I do not believe your personal information that you log with your doctor is particularly safe from prying eyes these days,
you should consider carefully what personal information you divulge
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Old March 3, 2013, 12:14 AM   #7
dakota.potts
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You are correct. I'm not quite used to this idea of living with the idea that my whole life may be used against me at some point. I just figured I'd get a good answer with full disclosure. I will edit out these things and if you read these please edit your post accordingly if you wouldn't mind.
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Old March 3, 2013, 12:37 AM   #8
dakota.potts
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Maybe someone can explain to me why my parents and grandparents had to fill out questionnaire forms when buying their 2 handguns, a shotgun, and an AR-15 (the shotgun was bought one trip, the AR another, and the 2 handguns together). We have no registration laws and only background checks on handguns so why were they asked to fill out forms about their past criminal history and mental health?

In particular, the two questions that had me worried (can't find them right now) Ask if 1) you've ever been diagnosed with a mental illness or 2) you are currently or have ever received medication (maybe the wording is treatment) for such an illness.
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:01 AM   #9
Rifleman1776
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The current craze for anti-gun legislation might include mental illness provisions. There are problems with that. Most people with some kind of mental illness are not a danger to anyone. In fact, it is hard to find anyone who does not have some kind of mental problem. It might be mild depression, fear of spiders, etc.
We need to stay on top of developing legislation and contact our electeds.
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:40 AM   #10
basilisk4
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If seeking mental health treatment is ever made a bar to owning or purchasing a firearm, a lot of law-abiding citizens are going to be deprived of that right (myself included). I'm not sure the current limitation (outlined above) needs to be changed.
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Old March 3, 2013, 09:45 AM   #11
Spats McGee
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With respect to the opening post, dakota.potts, please bear in mind that what you tell your doctor and your lawyer are confidential. What you post on the internet is not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dakota.potts
Maybe someone can explain to me why my parents and grandparents had to fill out questionnaire forms when buying their 2 handguns, a shotgun, and an AR-15 (the shotgun was bought one trip, the AR another, and the 2 handguns together). We have no registration laws and only background checks on handguns so why were they asked to fill out forms about their past criminal history and mental health?
You said that they were bought on trips, so it would help to know when and where the firearms were purchased. If they were purchased out of state, they would have had to go through an FFL. Purchases from an FFL require the transferee to fill out a Form 4473, which includes questions such as: (1) whether one is a convicted felon; or (2) whether one has ever been adjudicated as a mental defective.

Depending on what state the firearms were purchased in, there may have been additional forms required under state law.
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Old March 3, 2013, 02:51 PM   #12
dakota.potts
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Nope, I meant trips to the store. The long guns were bought at Gander Mountain and the handguns at Academy. Both in store in Florida.

Thank you for the support and well wishes as well. It is good to hear from others in similar circumstances
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Old March 3, 2013, 03:26 PM   #13
CurlyQ.Howard
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I don't know about other states, but in in Illinois, voluntarily seeking help won't matter is your treatment results with your being committed to a mental health facility.
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Old March 3, 2013, 03:34 PM   #14
dakota.potts
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I should mention my state is Florida. Anyways, I'm pretty sure I have my answer but if anybody has any discussion (maybe pertaining to how this could affect people with the laws being looked at) or a direct answer to my question about the forms I don't see any reason not to discuss it here.

But I did get the answer I was looking for, thank you everybody.
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Old March 3, 2013, 04:46 PM   #15
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Dakota's question has been answered (thanks everyone), so I'm going to close this. But it's a worthwhile topic for thought and discussion, and there's a thread here that's a good start. If anyone wants to continue the discussion, please start by reading that thread. Then, if you have anything to add to what's been said, go right ahead.
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