State trooper can’t have gun while off duty due to mental health record, Pa. court rules | PennLive.com

“That prohibition does not amount to a breach of Keyes’ rights under the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, Ford Elliott found, because it applies only to an “extremely small” class of citizens and has a solid public safety basis.”

via State trooper can’t have gun while off duty due to mental health record, Pa. court rules | PennLive.com.

 

There’s a couple important points here;

First, I understand the idea of this having a ‘solid public safety basis’, but why note that “it applies only to an “extremely small” class of citizens”? What does that matter? Rights belong to INDIVIDUALS not groups or “classes of citizens”. If there were only 25,000 French people in the United States, would we be allowed to violate their rights? It’s self evident, all men are created equal. We are each endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights.

The other point is to remember the cost of being ‘involuntarily committed’. Generally speaking, if some certain persons believe that one “as a result of mental illness, has a diminished capacity to exercise self-control, judgment and discretion in the conduct of his/her own affairs and social relations, or his/her care of his/her own personal needs is so lessened that he/she poses a clear and present danger of harm to him/herself or others”. Sounds distinct enough to stay out of trouble, but there was a case I am familiar with where it wasn’t so cut and dried.

A lawyer friend discussed with me a client who had several years ago been stopped for public drunkenness, and he was REALLY drunk. Police were genuinely concerned and said that they were going to send him to the hospital to be evaluated. He refused. As a result, he was ‘involuntarily committed’ for evaluation and as a result years later when he tried to purchase a pistol, he found he was disabled from owing a firearm.

The bottom line is, if anyone with any knowledge of you, or authority over you, ever wants you to be evaluated… SAY Yes!

That said, the question of how someone permanently looses rights for a temporary condition, whether that is depression or conviction of a felony, is a mystery to me. If you get drunk you don’t loose your right to drive permanently, just while that condition exists.  Think about it.

 


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