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Old February 3, 2013, 08:49 PM   #1
lamarw
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PTSD & Background Check/FFL

Does anyone know how PTSD is treated in regards to mental illness when a background check is performed by the Feds?

The VA reports over 3/4 million veterans of Irag/Afghanistan treated since 9/11 suffer from PTSD. Is this information reported to the NICS? Are veterans with a VA disability attributed to PTSD referred to the NICS?

I am asking since I do not know the answer. I also am not sure how I feel about whether or to what extent it should be considered in the approval process of acquiring a firearm. I guess it would be a professional doctor's opinion as to the severity.

Has there been any discussion of this in the proposals for a Universal system?
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Old February 3, 2013, 08:56 PM   #2
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As it stands right now, the only MI reported are involuntary commitments or going voluntary inpatient after an involuntary hold. The simple fact of a Dx is not sufficient to trigger a reporting requirement.

If it were, every man who got a script for ED would be reportable. ED is one of the disorders in the DSM-IV.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:14 AM   #3
lamarw
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I think I understand your first sentence, but I am not sure of the rest of your response maybe because I am not familiar with some of the acronyms.

The recent happenings with the murder of Chris Kyle and the murder of the bus driver and hostage taking of the small boy in South East Alabama by two PTSD suffering veterans had me thinking of the question.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:47 AM   #4
Ike666
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Sorry for that. Dx=diagnosis; ED=erectile dysfunction

The real point is that simply carrying a diagnosis is not enough to trigger reporting to the NICS database. Only those persons who have been involuntarily committed due to a mental health issues are reportable. Actual hospitalization is not required, being committed to MOT - mandatory outpatient treatment - will also trigger the reporting requirement.

At Virginia Tech, Cho was committed to MOT but Virginia did not require reporting for outpatient treatment at the time. So, he was able to legally obtain his Walther and his Glock after having been committed. This was a disconnect because BATFE required reporting of ALL involuntary commitments, not just inpatient. Virginia has since changed the law and reports all MOT commitments as well now.

Chris Kyle's murder was indeed a tragedy of monumental proportions. It is not really clear at this point whether the ex-Marine (having crossed the line, he is no longer a former Marine) actually has the diagnosis or was just suffering the effects of his deployment. Even if he had been diagnosed, unless he had been involuntarily committed, he was not reportable to NICS.

I, for one, do not think we want to start down the path of reporting diagnosed mental illnesses. There are too many issued involved in making the diagnosis in the first place, not the least of which is the reliability (would two clinicians arrive at the same conclusion given the same patient and same set of symptoms). Unlike diagnosis for physical conditions, psychiatric Dx is far less precise.

As to the clown in Alabama, his problems go far beyond PTSD. Although I have limited information, I suspect he is suffering from one of the schizophrenia spectrum disorders. Still not enough to report him unless he had been involuntarily committed.

And in that we see the inherent limitation with a more aggressive approach to mental health as a solution for public mass killings by mentally ill gunman.
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Old February 4, 2013, 11:22 AM   #5
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Actual hospitalization is not required, being committed to MOT - mandatory outpatient treatment - will also trigger the reporting requirement.
I wasn't aware of this. Do you have a source you could point me to?

I do know that if your state looks at health records and PTSD or other things along mental health lines are in your medical records, you may be denied a CCL.
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Old February 4, 2013, 11:24 AM   #6
lamarw
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Thank you~ I could not of ask for and received a better explanation.

Of course from the evening news commercials, I had heard of ED. It just did not occur to me tie it to PTSD.
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Old February 4, 2013, 06:12 PM   #7
Ike666
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The main authority is 18 USC SS 922 (g)(4). It requires "adjudication" and each state does this slightly differently.

I'll have to find the BATFE interpretation that includes MOT.
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Old February 4, 2013, 06:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
I'll have to find the BATFE interpretation that includes MOT.
Here it is.


Quote:
For purposes of a Federal firearms disability, ATF interprets “adjudicated mental defective” to include anyone adjudicated to be a “danger to him or herself,” “a danger to others,” or lacking “the mental capacity to contract or manage their own affairs.” For purposes of Federal law, “danger” means any danger, not simply “imminent” or “substantial” danger as is often required to sustain an involuntary commitment under State law. Thus, for example, adjudication that a person was mentally ill and a danger to himself or others would result in Federal firearms disability, whether the court-ordered treatment was on an inpatient or outpatient basis. This is because the adjudication itself (a finding of danger due to mental illness) is sufficient to trigger the disability.
http://gunowners.org/ne0703.htm
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Old February 4, 2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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lamarw, where on earth did you get that the hostage taker in Alabama was suffering from service related PTSD?

The guy was an aviation administrationman (AZ) in the Navy; basically, he kept maintenance logs and supply paperwork updated for aviation squadrons - he was a pencil pusher. According to articles on him, he served in California and Japan during his Vietnam service.

So why do you assume PTSD?

The guy had mental issues, but there is no evidence they were the result of anything that happened to him during his time in the military.

Edit: A subsequent article indicated that Jimmy Lee Dykes had been awarded the Vietnam service medal. If so, then he may have spent some time aboard an aircraft carrier off the coast of Vietnam, but that would not normally make one a likely candidate for PTSD.

Last edited by MLeake; February 4, 2013 at 07:18 PM.
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Old February 4, 2013, 08:10 PM   #10
lamarw
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Thanks MLeake, Some of the local news reports I have heard stated he was a Nam Vet suffering from PTSD.

The most important thing is the child is now safe. The bus driver is the actual hero here.

I am a native of that area growing up within 30 miles of Pinkard, AL (Midland City). I am a Nam Vet and certainly had an interest in news reports.

You are also correct when you state the killer was mentally ill.

I just read what you stated also reported on CNN. It seems hind-sight on most news is more accurate.

It does not deflect from my actual question which the answers on the forum have been most helpful in my understanding of issues. Then the question becomes whether this individual has received VA related services indicating he was mentally disturbed.

We might ask whether there is a correlation with mental disorders, Federal records, reporting of such and the approval (if there was) to background checks by the NICS and firearms purchases. This has been a major issue by the NRA on the reporting of mental illness.

My question now becomes whether PTSD Claim approved Veterans should be allowed to purchase firearms and reported as such by the Federal Government. It certainly does not pertain to erectile disfuction (I guess) which I did not know was PTSD related.

Last edited by lamarw; February 4, 2013 at 08:35 PM.
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Old February 5, 2013, 06:08 AM   #11
prism
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recent news item about off-the-record checkups:

http://www.military.com/military-rep...alth-check-ups

"no mental health record will be established and no documentation in the electronic medical record will be made. "


It would be good if the VA had something like this. Notice the mention of electronic records.



Quote:
My question now becomes whether PTSD Claim approved Veterans should be allowed to purchase firearms and reported as such by the Federal Government.
wrt the reporting, ...... recent announced executive action plan, item #1:

1. "Issue a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system."

I expect VA and tricare to report more and more.
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Old February 5, 2013, 08:06 AM   #12
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sorry - long rant

I think this last is a bad idea. The net the feds would be casting is way too wide. The most likely result is that many of the current generation of returning soldiers, sailors, and airmen would be actively discouraged from seeking the help they so deserve after serving our country.

The majority already eschew the Veterans Administration system because of a fundamental mistrust of this large, passionless bureaucracy. When that is combined with the predilection to deny problems because of the warrior ethos we get our already way too high suicide rate. I believe that we are repeating the mistakes made with the Vietnam-era vets and adding new ones to the mix. After leaving active duty, I worked for three years as a research psychologist at the VA - it is an insensitive, intransigent institution despite the fact that there are many truly dedicated mental health professionals working there. The monolithic organization starves the professional life out of most in a matter of years and our vets go under-served again.

If we further stigmatize them by putting them on a list, then I expect the problems will only grow.

In point of fact, we do know something about risk management with the mentally ill. Seldom does the mental illness alone the predict violent acting out. When you control for the substance abuse and prior history of violence, the incidence of violence by the mentally ill is actually slightly less than in the general population. It has been mentioned on this forum a number of times that the seriously mentally ill are more likely to be the recipients of violence than the perpetrators.

Clinical judgement in the prediction of future violence is notoriously inaccurate with a tendency to grossly over-predict violence (false positives) while at the same time miss the bad actors (false negatives). However, a generation of research has resulted in a quiver of actuarial instruments which when combined with standardized training in the administration of the instruments by experienced MHPs results in far better than chance sensitivity and specificity (reduces both false positives and false negatives). But it is expensive to get a mental health professional spooled up to be competent on the instruments. And the government is not so much interested in real solutions as it is in the appearance of doing something "meaningful."

I agree with the general principle that public safety trumps the individual civil liberties of the potential mass shooter. But if we once again fail to do what we know works and instead sign on for the many meaningless proposals that appease the uninformed public, we'll be dismantling the very system we want our 2nd Amendment rights to protect.

Moreover, once identified, there are treatment protocols that work with the potentially violent mentally ill. Usually a combination of drug and talking therapies. While we'll never have a perfect system, we can damn sight do a lot better than we're doing now. They are expensive and often target an indigent population who cannot afford the treatment - the forgotten. But it looks like we are going to spend our limited funds on bogus remedies that we all know (based on prior history) will have no meaningful impact on the problem.
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:29 AM   #13
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I think this last is a bad idea... be actively discouraged from seeking the help they deserve...The majority already eschew the Veterans Administration system because of a fundamental mistrust of this large, passionless bureaucracy....
I couldn't agree more. I was medically retired after Iraq and have dealt with the military medical system and the VA extensively. There are a lot of veterans that have a fundamental mistrust of the the VA. Many already believe that any kind of mental health or PTSD treatment gets them put on "the list". If we actually do start to put them on a list that gets them restricted from something the ONLY thing that will do is encourage more to avoid treatment, or even contact.
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Old February 6, 2013, 11:47 AM   #14
tirod
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It's a common topic of discussion among not only vets but those who are still serving, even if NG or Reserve.

PTSD has it's difficulties, but perceiving the system as attempting to rat you out as if there is a propensity to violence is the exact same thing as demonizing any other mental health issue - there is no blanket determination, it's case by case.

There is also the issue of prior restraint, and I don't mean the printed word version. Can you limit the rights of an individual simply because someone in authority thinks they might commit violence?

The ongoing debate over Monica's Law gives some insights. Husband beats wife, gets told stay away, violates order. Now what do you do?

I believe that simply due to the liability of needing defensible reasoning in court, it's going to take documentation of previously committed acts to justify a denial of rights. We already do that with forms of sexual crime. Convicted pedophiles cannot live within close distance to a school.

Now, extend that to the school bus shooter who kidnapped the kid: known to carry a gun, was aggressive about defending his property, was known to be building an underground bunker. Public knowledge of his behavior pattern suggests that in the future, it's going to get a lot more attention from local officials.

That alone is going to drive some to even greater lengths of privacy, too. That lead to the case of the guy who had the neighbor girl straw purchase firearms, which he used to shoot firemen who responded to his house burning. Can we even see that coming? Or do all felons now fall onto a list?

Post that on the internet, you will find neighborhoods filled with vets, felons, pedophiles, and preppers, and in rural areas, most of the Mennonite and Amish, too. They don't depend on much of American government, they mind their own business, do what they want on their land, pay cash, are debt free, have weeks if not months of food stored, etc.

Where do you draw the line? Who gets to say - same people proposing the AWB? Or are we just crumpling the tin foil a little tighter again?

And when things go terribly wrong, what will the backlash be? Been there, done that, we didn't see Tim McVeigh.

What all to many forget are the unintended consequences of issues. They cannot be predicted or foreseen. In this rush to make a solution and impose it on the public, I ask - how much did the AWB actually contribute to the current interest in AR15? Industry reports show they sell in larger quantities than traditional firearms.

I say again, AR15's sell in larger quantities than traditional firearms.

That started when the AWB had it's sunset, and it's been a major shift in the industry. The non AR shooter has missed it entirely, they have no clue. Just a nagging thought that their favorites are falling away.

So, the issue is, how do we keep America's documented sporting and hunting rifle selling as the majority of firearms sold out of the hands of people who we may not feel comfortable having them? Good luck with that.

It does nothing since those individuals with propensity to firearms violence can use something else. Looking at the variety of weapons used in school shootings alone, it's already been done.

The AWB is just a symbol being used by the antigunners to deprive us of our rights, so they can gain even more political power over the country. After that, they will then ban the next kinds of guns used, and then, the next. That track record already exists in Britain and Australia.

Everything else they propose can't and won't ever keep perpetrators of violence from acting. Take ALL the guns away, we still have the biggest examples left - bombs, and hijacked planes.

That is why there is no need to compromise, and why a list won't do any good. You can't see them all, and humans have a unique tendency to get around the law in a surprising amount of ways. They are going to do what they are going to do.

We cannot make the world safe. What we need to be doing is to be able to protect ourselves, and that is a documented fact throughout history. Deliberately choosing to be a victim means there will be. It's simply a matter of playing the odds and maybe you won't be.

Not all of us are comfortable with that. If you want to, go ahead, and I'll appreciate it if you don't impede my choices to do otherwise. You don't have the right to take away my rights, and the first is freedom of choice.

Don't count on many vets to sign up for PTSD treatment. They didn't serve to come home and be seen as damaged goods not to be trusted, especially when it's a political ploy meant to disarm the population at large.
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Old February 6, 2013, 04:47 PM   #15
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A Dr is treating it with estcasy, a lsd type of drug. Hmmmmm

http://www.oprah.com/health/PTSD-and...ses-of-Ecstasy
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Old February 6, 2013, 10:05 PM   #16
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Quote:
Don't count on many vets to sign up for PTSD treatment. They didn't serve to come home and be seen as damaged goods not to be trusted, especially when it's a political ploy meant to disarm the population at large.
My point exactly tirod.
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Old February 7, 2013, 09:32 AM   #17
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I know this treatment might seem absurd on the surface, but it is both legitimate and effective.

First, MDMA is an amphetamine derivative and in higher doses can create hallucinations, it is not a hallucinogenic per se (LSD-25 is). What MDMA does is recreate the extreme arousal state of the trauma but in a controlled, therapeutic environment. It facilitates emersion therapies where in the patient re-experiences the traumatic event and then is taught how to work through the trauma under the coaching of a trained therapist.

It is an approach that works very well with treatment resistant PTSD.
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