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I just found this article on reason.com discussing the problems with making it easier to make somebody a prohibited person due to mental illness. It doesn't cover much that hasn't been mentioned (by me) in some other threads, but it is informative nonetheless. I maintain that mental illness could easily end up being used as an excuse to prohibit gun ownership for a huge percentage of people who pose absolutely no risk to the general public and any expansion of criteria for becoming a prohibited person based on it needs to be done extremely carefully.

Who is Too Unbalanced To Be Armed?
 

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"Assuming a prescription for Prozac, Xanax, or Adderall is not enough to disqualify someone from owning a gun, what should the standard be?"

In NYC, having EVER taken anti-depressants actually would disqualify you from getting a handgun license. The NYPD requires that you disclose whether you have “suffered from mental illness, or due to mental illness received treatment, been admitted to a hospital or institution, or taken medication." Depression counts as a mental illness.

I actually know someone whose application was denied because he disclosed that he had seen a mental health professional ONCE when he was a teenager, but was never diagnosed with anything. When he appealed the denial, the NYPD said he had to get a letter from a psychiatrist saying he was mentally fit to own a handgun. Problem is, all the psychiatrists in NYC are anti-gun liberals who refused to provide him with the letter because "nobody should own a gun." Finally, he got a letter from some charlatan doctor who charged him $400 for the service, and was able to get his license.
 

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This is the problem with "mental health criteria". It's too vague. Federal standards need to be set so States and other jurisdictions don't abuse it (like NYC). It's an arbitrary and capricious process.
 

· Rochester Personal Defense
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NYC is not the only area in NY, Monroe Co has also
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In NYC, having EVER taken anti-depressants actually would disqualify you from getting a handgun license. The NYPD requires that you disclose whether you have "suffered from mental illness, or due to mental illness received treatment, been admitted to a hospital or institution, or taken medication." Depression counts as a mental illness.
This happens in Westchester as well.
 

· Rochester Personal Defense
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This is the problem with "mental health criteria". It's too vague. Federal standards need to be set so States and other jurisdictions don't abuse it (like NYC). It's an arbitrary and capricious process.
Well said Chis.
I wonder who do we trust to set the standard?

I have several Metal Health care providers in my family, one a practicing clinician. In their opinion being prescribed an antidepressant in itself does not make you risk for firearms ownership. Whether you are a risk is a far more complicated.

They all express that they fear this policy used in many counties will stop people from asking for and getting the help they need. That this policy is an uneducated knee jerk reaction to mental health care that typifies the issues and failures of this society to provide or encourage adequate mental health care. Or a deliberate attempt to misuse their diagnosis to promote a political agenda.

A lot of fine people you know attend counseling, use antidepressants, and are not a threat to anyone, and often fear sharing their treatment with you because of the reprisal they might receive.

If the use of a medication is criteria, what medications will be on the list, Paxil, Prozac, Insulin, prednisone, hormone replacements,? They all alter behavior. Who is going to decide that what one of us is taking is approved? What diseases will they pick next epilepsy, MS, etc.

As an old guy, I once walked around thinking I was invincible, "never happen to me".
But after an incurable life changing illness I have realized life is fragile, now I try to understand what others are going through, I could walk in their shoes tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They all express that they fear this policy used in many counties will stop people from asking for and getting the help they need. That this policy is an uneducated knee jerk reaction to mental health care that typifies the issues and failures of this society to provide or encourage adequate mental health care.
This is already the situation for aircraft pilots.

Psychiatry also has a long history of abuse: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_abuse_of_psychiatry
 

· I wish I were an Oscar Meyer Weiner
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Well I will be probably taking zyban (anti-depressant) soon to quit smoking so should I not take it and continue to smoke so I dont get my permit revocked (rhetorical question) I al saw the school psychologist when I was in school because I was blamed for a bomb threat which I didnt do and was proven, I also saw psychologist in Marines (everyone had to for job I was in) to see which duty station I should go too, so again should my permit be revocked?

Also Fox news said the other day that 1 in 5 people have a mental illness so does that mean 20% of population should not be able to own a firearm?

Constitutionally speaking (I dont agree personally) I think everyone including felons have the right to own a firearm for self defense.

If we allow the mentally ill or allow felons out in the general public then contsitutionally I think they have the right to a firearm.

If you dont want that then dont let them out of a facility or amend the constitution.
 

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Well said Chis.
I wonder who do we trust to set the standard?

...
Likely a board of certified Physicians/Psychiatrists who either specialize or have a lot of experience of treating and/or documenting those who are mentally ill with a history of violence. Problem is everyone is different, but developing a simple set of standards should be within the realm of possibility. Definitely not something that should be left to a "gang" of political cronies to decide.
 

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Pathological liars are not balanced enough to own guns. That means all politicians should be unarmed.
 

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I am thinking about an equitable application of any "definition" of being mentally disqualified to handle a firearm if taking certaim meds.....
Person X who is 21 yrs old has been prohibited from handling a firearm as a result of NICS.....does this mean this same person would not qualify to handle a firearm in the military ? Or as a police officer? Or a peace officer? A security guard? Is every person prohibited by the broad definition become ineligible for military service, at least regarding handling any firearms, machinery, heavy equipment, controls, etc? What class of professionals will define this "prohibition due to mental condition"? Will it be the government (I'll betcha it will). Think maybe this is political?
 

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The first problem with the mentally fit thing is: Who decides?
It's not like HIV. We can't do a blood test for insanity.
We could easily end up with psychologists/psychiatrists who thought it was crazy to want a gun in the first place, so just the fact that somebody applied made it impossible for them to pass the psych eval.

Furthermore, it can become counter-productive.
We want people who are suffering depression or whatever to seek help, right?
But make it so that seeking help could deprive them of their Constitutional rights down the road, and a lot of people that need the help won't go and get it.
Same applies to substance abuse as well.
A person who needs to go into some form of detox or rehab might not go if they know that going will make it impossible for them to own firearms in the future.
 
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