H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

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H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby David Nelson » Sat 01 Feb 2014 11:07 am

According to H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.) (http://le.utah.gov/~2014/bills/static/HB0202.html):

This bill amends provisions related to the possession, purchase, transfer, and ownership of a dangerous weapon.

This bill:
. restricts a person who has been civilly committed to the custody of a local mental health authority from the possession, purchase, transfer, and ownership of a dangerous weapon.
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby UnderratedF00l » Sat 01 Feb 2014 3:14 pm

This looks to me to be a minor change that has very little effect.

Assuming the bill passes with no amendments, this...

1) For purposes of this section:
29 (a) A Category I restricted person is a person who:
*snip*
(vii) has been adjudicated as mentally defective as provided in the Brady Handgun
46 Violence Prevention Act, Pub. L. No. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536 (1993), or has been
47 committed to a mental institution;


... would be changed to this:

1 For purposes of this section:
29 (a) A Category I restricted person is a person who:
*snip*
vii) has been adjudicated as mentally defective as provided in the Brady Handgun
46 Violence Prevention Act, Pub. L. No. 103-159, 107 Stat. 1536 (1993), or has been civilly
47 committed to [a mental institution] the custody of a local mental health authority in accordance
48 with Title 62A, Chapter 15, Part 6, Utah State Hospital and Other Mental Health Facilities;


(Emphasis mine)

It seems to me to be a minor re-wording of the current statute. I'm not a lawyer, but I see very little functional difference in the change. Maybe someone was committed to a mental health facility that didn't qualify under 62a.15.6, so Rep. Redd found it pertinent to clarify...?

I dunno. Maybe someone in Rep. Redd's district could get some clarification on why he submitted this.
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby UnderratedF00l » Sat 01 Feb 2014 3:34 pm

BTW, here is the link to 62A Chapter 15 Section 631 for perusal. Fun reading, eh?

In general, I stand firmly against any sort of involuntary commitment of a mental health patient... pretty much ever. That being said, I don't see this bill (HB202) making much of a difference from current ad hoc proceedings -- from my non-lawyer-ly reading, it simply clarifies what's already been codified -- but other opinions are certainly warranted.
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby David Nelson » Sat 01 Feb 2014 3:42 pm

UnderratedF00l wrote:This looks to me to be a minor change that has very little effect....

The only substantive change to the current law would be the inclusion of the qualifier "civilly" to an individual's commitment.

Since a civil commitment is also known as an involuntary commitment, the amendment appears to restrict the provision to only those individuals who have been involuntarily committed. I believe that this would make voluntary commitments irrelevant to the provision.

Sooo, a good bill, maybe?
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby DaKnife » Sat 01 Feb 2014 4:55 pm

I don't like it but it does clarify civilly committed versus the just plain committed, which would include a self commit without the new wording, so that part is good.

But how about we instead push for consideration of the fact that a one time mental break down does not equal life long danger to self and others and should not result in life long loss of rights.
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby UnderratedF00l » Sat 01 Feb 2014 5:39 pm

David Nelson wrote:
UnderratedF00l wrote:This looks to me to be a minor change that has very little effect....

The only substantive change to the current law would be the inclusion of the qualifier "civilly" to an individual's commitment.

Since a civil commitment is also known as an involuntary commitment, the amendment appears to restrict the provision to only those individuals who have been involuntarily committed. I believe that this would make voluntary commitments irrelevant to the provision.

Sooo, a good bill, maybe?


Ahh, good catch. That would be a good thing -- I didn't even consider that in my reading of the bill.

DaKnife wrote:But how about we instead push for consideration of the fact that a one time mental break down does not equal life long danger to self and others and should not result in life long loss of rights.


+ eleventy billion.
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby UtahJarhead » Sun 02 Feb 2014 9:38 am

David Nelson wrote:
UnderratedF00l wrote:This looks to me to be a minor change that has very little effect....

The only substantive change to the current law would be the inclusion of the qualifier "civilly" to an individual's commitment.

Since a civil commitment is also known as an involuntary commitment, the amendment appears to restrict the provision to only those individuals who have been involuntarily committed. I believe that this would make voluntary commitments irrelevant to the provision.

Sooo, a good bill, maybe?

That's also what I got out of it. It limits what TYPES of commitments can be used to strip RKBA. While it (probably) hasn't been abused in the past, this prevents it from being abused in the future. With the current national political climate, I consider this bill a big win.

That is, assuming 'civilly committed' means involuntary, which I don't personally know.
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby D-FIN » Sun 02 Feb 2014 12:16 pm

Does "civilly committed" or involuntarily committed require a court or judge to sign off though? Or does just a doctor 's order do?
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby David Nelson » Sun 02 Feb 2014 12:49 pm

D-FIN wrote:Does "civilly committed" or involuntarily committed require a court or judge to sign off though? Or does just a doctor 's order do?

Utah Code Section 62A-15-628 provides that:

(1) An adult may not be involuntarily committed to the custody of a local mental health authority except under the following provisions:
(a) emergency procedures for temporary commitment upon medical or designated examiner certification, as provided in Subsection 62A-15-629(1);
(b) emergency procedures for temporary commitment without endorsement of medical or designated examiner certification, as provided in Subsection 62A-15-629(2); or
(c) commitment on court order, as provided in Section 62A-15-631.
(2) A person under 18 years of age may be committed to the physical custody of a local mental health authority only after a court commitment proceeding in accordance with the provisions of Part 7, Commitment of Persons Under Age 18 to Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health.

It appears, then, that a 24-hour involuntary commitment may be required by the certification of medical or designated examiner, or the statement of a duly authorized peace officer; while a 30-day involuntary commitment may be required by a court order. I can't find any legal distinction between the 24-hour and 30-day commitments regarding the right to keep and bear arms.

Maybe, then, the amendment should provide firearm restrictions for "court-ordered involuntary commitments" instead of "civil commitments."
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby D-FIN » Sun 02 Feb 2014 12:58 pm

David Nelson wrote:Maybe, then, the amendment should provide firearm restrictions for "court-ordered involuntary commitments" instead of "civil commitments."


That I could could get behind but even then I think there needs to be a pathway to regain rights based off new current analysis and court approval.
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby UnderratedF00l » Mon 03 Feb 2014 2:05 am

D-FIN wrote:Does "civilly committed" or involuntarily committed require a court or judge to sign off though? Or does just a doctor 's order do?


David Nelson wrote: I can't find any legal distinction between the 24-hour and 30-day commitments regarding the right to keep and bear arms.

Maybe, then, the amendment should provide firearm restrictions for "court-ordered involuntary commitments" instead of "civil commitments."


Any commitment requires a judges order. The 24 (or in some cases, 72) -hour holds are nothing more than examination periods, and are not considered a commitment of any sort. They do not require a judges order.

There seems to be some confusion regarding mental health records and how (or if) they're used when we purchase firearms. Please allow me to explain it as best that I can.

When we talk about commitments in regards to the RKBA, it's important to remember that, in Utah, Mental Health facilities and organizations don't have a way to report to the state. There is no way for a Psychologist to report that an individual is a danger to themselves and shouldn't be able to purchase a firearm -- except to do so through the judicial process. We can order a 24 (or 72) hour hold in certain cases, which can begin (and is required for) the commitment process, but there is no judicial record of those events except when they progress to a full commitment.

In the case of a psych hold on a patient, there very well may be a hospital record or report created... but BCI doesn't subpoena our medical records when we purchase a firearm (unless the 4473 changed since the last time I bought one... :shocked: ), and hospital records are not related to (or combined with) judicial records. Heck, some hospitals (IHC) have problems sharing patient information with other hospitals (Mountain Star)... what makes us think that they'd share it with the state?

Any "commitments" must be part of an individual's public record for it to affect the RKBA -- in this case, the judicial record -- for BCI (and the FBI) to get wind of them, and to be able to deny a purchase of a firearm.

I also want to stress that commitments, in general, are very rare. Holds, on the other hand, are quite common.

All of that being said, this is one area where current law is, in my mind, purposefully ambiguous -- certainly, it can be left up to interpretation -- and that's how our (and most other states') legislators seem want it.

And to clarify: no, I don't think that's a good thing. If we're going to restrict the mentally ill from possessing or purchasing a firearm, we must define what "mentally ill" is -- and that's a very slippery slope... which, incidentally, could be the reason why it hasn't been defined in the first place.
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby David Nelson » Mon 03 Feb 2014 8:24 am

UnderratedF00l wrote:Any commitment requires a judges order. The 24 (or in some cases, 72) -hour holds are nothing more than examination periods, and are not considered a commitment of any sort. They do not require a judges order....

That is how I hoped it was. It seemed so, in the Utah Code, anyway. My confusion was the code's various uses of the word "commitment" at Utah Code Section 62A-15-628.

Thanks for the insider's knowledge!
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby divegeek » Mon 03 Feb 2014 8:54 am

UnderratedF00l wrote:In the case of a psych hold on a patient, there very well may be a hospital record or report created... but BCI doesn't subpoena our medical records when we purchase a firearm (unless the 4473 changed since the last time I bought one... :shocked: ), and hospital records are not related to (or combined with) judicial records. Heck, some hospitals (IHC) have problems sharing patient information with other hospitals (Mountain Star)... what makes us think that they'd share it with the state?

I don't recall any disclosures about sharing with the state in the HIPAA-required privacy statements, and I don't believe HIPAA has any exemptions for sharing with government.

It would be worth a more detailed look to see if my recollection/belief has any basis in reality. But I think it may actually be illegal under federal law for hospitals to provide that information to the state without patient permission.

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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby UnderratedF00l » Mon 03 Feb 2014 11:11 am

divegeek wrote:I don't recall any disclosures about sharing with the state in the HIPAA-required privacy statements, and I don't believe HIPAA has any exemptions for sharing with government.

It would be worth a more detailed look to see if my recollection/belief has any basis in reality. But I think it may actually be illegal under federal law for hospitals to provide that information to the state without patient permission.

F00l, do you know?


I believe you're correct, Shawn -- but Obamacare could be changing some (or all) of that in the near future with laws/regs that aren't in play yet, and I don't know enough to comment intelligently on them. I guess we'll have to wait and see.
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Re: H.B. 202 Weapons Restrictions Amendments (Rep. Redd, E.)

Postby bagpiper » Mon 03 Feb 2014 11:56 am

UnderratedF00l wrote:
I believe you're correct, Shawn -- but Obamacare could be changing some (or all) of that in the near future with laws/regs that aren't in play yet, and I don't know enough to comment intelligently on them. I guess we'll have to wait and see.


And we though passing the law to find out what was in it was bad.

Turns out we need to pass the law, and wait 5 or 10 years to fully implement before we find out what all is in it.

Thank you for your insights on HB 202. They are very helpful.

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