Sunday, January 7, 2018

Temporary Mental Hospital Hold is Not a Firearms Disqualifer

The Gun Control Act of 1968 in 18 USC 922(g)(4) prohibits possession or acquisition of firearms by persons who have been involuntarily committed to a mental hospital or adjudicated mentally ill.  Temporary observational holds do not qualify (although some states have their own firearms disqualifiers for such observational holds such as California Welfare and Institutions Code 8103(f)).  Pennsylvania has long abused section 302 of the Pennsylvania Mental Health Procedures Act to prohibits firearm possession by people briefly held for observation.  Franklin v. Sessions (W.D.C. Penn, 2017) reminds BATF that a temporary observational is not a firearms disqualifier.

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