When Can We Deny Gun Rights to Mentally Ill?
First off I don't think this guy qualifies as "mentally ill."
California Welfare & Institutions Code § 8103 provides that once someone has been evaluated or taken into custody as being “a danger to himself, herself, or to others,” he may be barred from possessing guns for five years if the government “show[s] by a preponderance of the evidence that the person would not be likely to use firearms in a safe and lawful manner.”
Yesterday’s People v. Jason K. (Cal. Ct. App.) upheld this provision, with a pretty thorough constitutional analysis; it concluded that the government didn’t have to prove dangerousness by clear and convincing evidence, or beyond a reasonable doubt.
Who do you appeal to when a Doctor decides to hold you against your will? NOBODY! You have no legal recourse. You are locked up in a mental ward.
Although Jason and his family did not want him to remain in the hospital, a treating psychiatrist concluded that he must remain in the hospital for the evaluation.
At the time of his discharge, Jason was advised of the law prohibiting him from possessing firearms for five years and his right to request a hearing to obtain relief from this prohibition.
OK so our buddy "Jason" is a bit of a jerk and a hothead. A CA appeals court found that denying him access to a firearm for an arbitrary five years is legal, and does not require evidence beyond a reasonable doubt, but by a preponderance of the evidence, a much lower standard. Never mind that someone who will go to this extent to get their rights restored is probably not going to go out and kill themselves. If they were they have plenty of other options, since they are free to roam in society.
I’m just as dangerous with the razor I shave my face with in the morning as I am with ... a gun.” …