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Old October 7, 2008, 04:56 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: October 20, 2007
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 7,271
Several years ago I was going through a very rough patch in my life and voluntarily spent a night in a psych hospital for a severe depressive episode. After one night there it was obvious it was not at all the type of place I needed to be, and I checked myself out and went home to my family... Would this cause me to fail a NICS check?
Per 27 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) § 478.32:
§ 478.32 Prohibited shipment, transportation, possession, or receipt of firearms and ammunition by certain persons.
(a) No person may ship or transport any firearm or ammunition in interstate
or foreign commerce, or receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess any firearm or ammunition in or affecting commerce, who:
{parts 1-3 omitted}
(4) Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution...
The words "adjudicated" and "committed" imply action by a court. If my understanding of the law is correct, you may buy a firearm if there was no court order associated with your stay in the institution.*

*I am not a lawyer and this does not constitute official legal advice. Caveat emptor.
I believe If there is no Police Report there is no record.
This is slightly misleading. I know for fact that you can be committed in Texas without a police report. A close friend of mine checked him/herself into a mental institution voluntarily, but was not allowed to leave because a doctor deemed that he/she was a danger to him/herself and obtained a court order. My understanding is that there was no involvement by law enforcement in the process- only the doctor, institution, attorneys, and the court. There certainly was no police report.
"Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules... MARK IT ZERO!!" - Walter Sobchak
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