Friday, December 19, 2014

An Amazing Decision From The 6th Court Of Appeals

Tyler v.HILLSDALE COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT, et al. (6th Cir. 2014) is a complicated case to explain.  Tyler was involuntarily committed some years ago after a very messy divorce:
In 1985, when Tyler was forty-five years old, Tyler’s wife of twenty-three years served him divorce papers. Prior to filing for divorce, Tyler’s ex-wife allegedly ranaway with another man and depleted Tyler’s finances. Tyler felt “overwhelmed” and “sat in the middle of the floor at home pounding his head.” According to a mental-health evaluation submitted by Tyler, Tyler was crying non-stop, not sleeping, depressed, and suicidal at this time.Tyler’s daughters became scared and contacted the police.
Of course involuntary commitment to a mental hospital is one of the things it prevents you from possession of a firearm under Federal law..  However, Federal law provides a process for relief from firearms disabilities for convicted felons and people have been involuntarily committed.  Since 1992, Congress has from processing regularly prohibited the ATF from processing firearms relief requests under pressure from the gun control movement. Doctors treating Tyler have concluded that what happened in 1985 “appeared to be a brief reactive depressive episode in response to his wife divorcing him.” The psychologist determined that there was no evidence of mental illness.  Tyler sued, and the court of appeals agreed that making it impossible for him to obtain firearms disability relief and violated his Second Amendment rights.   More importantly, the court decided that strict scrutiny is the correct standard of review to use for Second Amendment questions. The court admitted that there are a variety of different standards being used by the various Federal courts of appeals for what standard of review should be used, so this is effectively telling the U.S. Supreme Court to go ahead and make a decision about standard of review.

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