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Old August 15, 2010, 12:29 AM   #1
bear333
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Michigan concealed carry "mental illness" question?

I would like to get my concealed carry permit in MI, but one of the requirements is: The applicant does not have a diagnosed mental illness at the time the application is made regardless of whether he or she is receiving treatment for that illness.
On the application you have to answer yes or no. I am under the impression that if you check yes you are automatically denied.

I have been treated for minor anxiety, (nothing that affects my daily life or my ability to function in society) but do take a very small dose of medication. My question is should I check no on the application due to the fact that in my opinion I don't have a mental illness? I don't want to have that come back and bite me in the butt, possibly being charged with perjury.
MI law defines mental illness as: "Mental Illness" means a substantial disorder of thought or mood that significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life, and includes, but is not limited to, clinical depression. The minor anxiety that I have certainly does not affect me in any of these areas. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
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Old August 15, 2010, 01:28 AM   #2
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I don't wanna sound like a complete jackass, and I apologize if Its come's off that way. This Is exactly why I don't take meds for almost anything, cold, headache, ect. If the anxiety is minor, why take meds for it and run in to problems like this. I have a Michigan CPL but I do not know the answer to your question.

I do know that most anxiety meds are mind/personality altering even in low doses, and you shouldn't carry a gun, IMHO, while on them
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Old August 15, 2010, 04:44 AM   #3
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The answer is simple... check 'no' on the box.

.....
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Old August 15, 2010, 05:12 AM   #4
Sefner
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Do not just check the no box. As OP said, that can lead to perjury charges.

OP, it depends on the county gun board. They take every case differently. They do have access to medical records. I once heard a lawyer say that when it comes to this question, it almost always comes down to whether or not the psychiatrist wrote the word "clinical" before the diagnosis. Clinical anxiety is cause to have to answer this question in the affirmative. If your psychiatrist wrote "Patient has minor anxiety, prescribing X pill to take as needed" you are probably OK as opposed to "Patient has clinical anxiety, prescribing one a day Xanax and recommending more therapy" you are probably not OK. It also gives you plausible deniability because as you mentioned, "minor" anxiety does not really fit into the MCL definition of mental illness.

Bottom line: look at your own medical records and make the decision.
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Old August 18, 2010, 08:39 AM   #5
Les Auten
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Come over to http://www.migunowners.org/ and ask you questions in the Legal Beagle section.There are a few lawyer types who will give you good advice
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Old August 19, 2010, 10:50 AM   #6
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It might be best to ask a local lawyer about this, but if you quoted the MI law accurately, this layman's opinion is that the issue for which you are medicated does not fit the definition of mental illness provided by MI law and you can therefore answer "No" in good conscience. Note that it's not your opinion of your illness that matters, but the legal definition of mental illness. That is the way you should answer the question and any later inquiries about your status.
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Old August 19, 2010, 09:14 PM   #7
psyfly
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This has become, unfortunately, a legal rather than a mental/emotional health question.

Technically (mental/emotional health wise) anxiety, (minor or not) is not a mental but an emotional disorder.

You need to talk to an attorney who knows the law(s) in your state.

Best,

Will
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Old September 1, 2010, 10:12 AM   #8
Skans
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With the risk of sounding pollitically incorrect (and I hate political correctness), I'd also say check "NO". If it were me, I wouldn't consider mild anxiety a mental illness, I wouldn't check the box, and I wouldn't see a shrink or take meds for it either......but that's just me.
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Old September 1, 2010, 11:01 AM   #9
Sefner
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I can finally give some insight into this question.

A person in my family (not "someone I know", this person is in my nuclear family) was diagnosed with mild bi-polar in their early twenties, and was taking prescription drugs for their anxiety at the time of the application. ON THE APPLICATION this person wrote that they had been diagnosed with bi-polar some decades ago, and that they were currently taking drugs for anxiety. There is no space to write this on the application, they did it in the margins. I believe they even checked the yes box. Their application was approved.

My advice? Check the no box.
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Old September 1, 2010, 11:33 AM   #10
rjrivero
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear333
I have been treated for minor anxiety, (nothing that affects my daily life or my ability to function in society) but do take a very small dose of medication. My question is should I check no on the application due to the fact that in my opinion I don't have a mental illness? I don't want to have that come back and bite me in the butt, possibly being charged with perjury.
MI law defines mental illness as: "Mental Illness" means a substantial disorder of thought or mood that significantly impairs judgment, behavior, capacity to recognize reality, or ability to cope with the ordinary demands of life, and includes, but is not limited to, clinical depression. The minor anxiety that I have certainly does not affect me in any of these areas. Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Mental health disorders are defined on a continuum. You can have some anxiety without having a full fledged anxiety disorder. Mental illness laws reflect the clinical criteria for a mental health disorder. When the symptoms are bad enough to be disruptive to your ability to function in society, then it's by definition, a mental illness.

If your anxiety isn't causing your ability to do your activities of daily living, e.g. getting groceries, cooking meals, chores, bills, work, and relationships, then you don't have a "mental illness" by definition.

I would recommend you getting a copy of your medical records and reviewing the diagnostic codes given to your anxiety. If it's coded wrong in your medical records, then you could have some issue later down the road. A lot of physicians aren't real careful about throwing around the 300.02 (Generalized anxiety disorder) code. In a case of minor anxiety, to be coded wrong will by definition cause you to be labelled with a mental illness. It can cause problems down the road if God forbid, you ever have to use your concealed weapon for self defence.

Last edited by rjrivero; September 1, 2010 at 11:45 AM.
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Old September 2, 2010, 11:43 AM   #11
siggygirl
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I vote no. If you take your medication, it is usually understand by regulating boards that you are no longer impaired. Doesn't tend to matter what your initial diagnosis was to begin with. It might matter what state you're in, but here, people with much more severe illnesses than anxiety get to check NO in those kinds of boxes as long as they are compliant with treatment (sometimes that means meds) and no longer impaired.

If you can cut and paste EXACTLY what that question asks, I might be able to point out the wiggle room. Wording of the question is crucial.
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Old September 2, 2010, 11:51 AM   #12
siggygirl
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And to add a disclaimer, that wasn't legal or medical advice. Always consult a lawyer or your doctor. There you go, I'm free. I should add that to my signature.
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Old September 2, 2010, 11:56 AM   #13
Skans
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I believe that the question everyone is refering to is worded like this:

"Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective, or have you been committed to a mental institution"?

It's really a poorly phrased question. In my state, there is no such thing as being adjudicated "mentally defective". And, there are very few mental institutions around - most psychiatric cases are handled by ordinary hospitals.

Somebody who is simply taking meds for a mental problem would not likely be included in the phrasing of the question.
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Old September 2, 2010, 12:00 PM   #14
Skans
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Quote:
And to add a disclaimer, that wasn't legal or medical advice. Always consult a lawyer or your doctor. There you go, I'm free. I should add that to my signature.
This made me think I aught to add the following disclaimer to my signature:

"Never consult a lawyer, and stay away from doctors. The best advice is the free advice that you can get on the internet"
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Old September 2, 2010, 12:05 PM   #15
siggygirl
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If the words "adjudicated" and "committed" are in there, no prob. Those two processes require a judge. You didn't mention a judge so you can do the math with that.

Skans, just trying to competently help without getting myself in trouble with the powers that be. Most of you that follow my posts have figured out by now that I'm a professional of some sort.

Still, consult your lawyer or doctor on legal or medical issues cuz I'm none of those to you. And internet advice can sometimes be incredibly ignorant.
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Old September 2, 2010, 12:09 PM   #16
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From what I've seen most MD's today will not write a absolute in any medical record. Instead they'll write something like this "seems to be ________" or "appears to have all of the symptoms of ________" they tend to avoid putting in "this pat has x". This is their dodge for malpractice (IMO). Get a copy of your medical record and see if you can find where the the MD first did the exam for your medication. Then you'll have a better way to tell the correct answer. With that in hand check with a lawyer that specializes in this sort of thing.
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Old September 2, 2010, 02:06 PM   #17
Eagle0711
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Your medical records are confidential. I'd check no and forget about it. If you make a big deal out it, then it could become just that. JMHO
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Old September 2, 2010, 06:47 PM   #18
rtpzwms
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yes they are confidential, but not from you. If you know what the MD wrote you should be able to better answer the question.
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Old September 3, 2010, 12:27 PM   #19
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Dear bear333: It sounds like you are an honest and responsible person trying to do the right thing. Read Siggygirls posts and read between the lines. If it were me I would use the critera of can you drive a car safely? A diagnosed mental illness is not the same as a little anxiety. You know better than anyone how this afffects you. Hell, if I couldn't control my anger I wouldn't even own a firearm. Thanks for being a responsible gun owner. Best, Lyle
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Old September 3, 2010, 01:03 PM   #20
siggygirl
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In a theoretical sense, a mental illness does not mean you are "incompetent" or "impaired" if you are receiving treatment and your life is not significantly impacted by symptoms of this "illness." Quoting the exact wording of the question would make this a lot easier. Again, for academic purposes, "adjudicated" and "committed" require a judge. "Institution" is completely irrelevant.

I am just a really smart person who happens to know these random facts and it is an interesting intellectual exercise for me to talk about these random facts with other folks online. Kind of like a commercial for Viagra, consult your lawyer, doctor, blah blah blah.

If it sounds like I'm getting more vague as I'm getting more specific, there's a reason for that. Any other members who know why I'm doing this and can help the OP out with these posts I'm making, please do so, and take it to PM so I don't see it. Thanks.

Last edited by siggygirl; September 3, 2010 at 01:53 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old September 3, 2010, 04:20 PM   #21
dnr1128
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"Have you ever been adjudicated mentally defective, or have you been committed to a mental institution?"

IANAL but taking medications for minor anxiety is much different from being judged mentally defective. I'd check no. The wording of the question strongly implies a legal decision that you are incompetent.
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Old September 3, 2010, 05:43 PM   #22
AH.74
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Quote:
And, there are very few mental institutions around - most psychiatric cases are handled by ordinary hospitals.
And some of these do in fact have psychiatric wards, and you can still be committed to them.

Don't be fooled by general definitions. In the eyes of the court it would mean the same thing if you were committed to the psych ward of an "ordinary hospital."
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Old September 7, 2010, 08:42 AM   #23
Skans
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Don't be fooled by general definitions. In the eyes of the court it would mean the same thing if you were committed to the psych ward of an "ordinary hospital."
Maybe......or maybe not. I don't believe that this part of the definition has been tested in the courts. Now, I'm not saying "hang your hat on the definition of mental institution". But, what I am saying is (if were ever to come up) that BATFE is going to have a difficult time explaining to a judge and possibly an appellate court why it didn't change its 40 year old completely out-dated language to something a little more applicable to today and applicable to all states.

The bottom line is that the wording of that sentence isn 't just a little defective. It's antiquated and completely defective. It's simply not reasonable to think that an ordinary person answering these questions saying "no" when some BATFE agent thinks he should have said "yes" is going to be held responsible for BATFE's screw-up in not updating the 40-year-old language in its forms.

Enuf said on that - let the bureaucrats figure it out on their own.
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Old September 11, 2010, 01:08 PM   #24
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"Any other members who know why I'm doing this and can help the OP out with these posts I'm making, please do so, and take it to PM so I don't see it. Thanks."

Doing what? I've worked in the field for 35 years, and been a gun owner for 50-plus years, and I'm supposed to guess at what I can or cannot post? I'm lost.

John
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Old September 11, 2010, 01:18 PM   #25
johnbt
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"BATFE is going to have a difficult time explaining to a judge and possibly an appellate court why it didn't change its 40 year old completely out-dated language to something a little more applicable to today and applicable to all states."

Bogus. They know already. Here...

Michigan
LICENSED ACTIVE PSYCHIATRIC PROGRAMS
INPATIENT & PARTIAL HOSPITALIZATION PROGRAMS

This pdf file is 9 pages.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/bh...ty_89400_7.pdf
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