Sunday, August 18, 2013

Working on a Law Review Article...

I am trying to find the earliest laws that create a firearms disability based on mental illness or retardation -- especially any laws in effect before 1968, when the Gun Control Act of 1968 passed.

I started with California, because I know the statutes pretty well. Cal. Welfare & Institutions Code 8100 and 8103 are the applicable statutes -- but I am having a hard time finding when these first appear. The current text is derived from Stats. 1967, Ch. 1667 (the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act that helped to make big cities in California into open wards). My search of the publicly visible Nexis database of California court decisions, as well as published books, finds no references to earlier statutes. Part of me finds this hard to believe -- and part of me doesn't. I can easily believe that until deinstitutionalization, California didn't worry much about mentally ill people with guns, because they hospitalized them.

Any statutes that you are aware, please let me know.

1 comment:

  1. According to the paid Lexis database Cal W&I Code § 8100 (a)was formerly W&I Code § 5150, first added in 1965, and subparagraph (b) was W&I code § 5670, and was first added in 1957.

    Cal W&I Code § 8103 however, appears to have been added as W&I Code § 5153 in 1965.

    I suppose renumbering everything is safer than passing a lot of new laws every year.