PA State Trooper Prohibited From Gun Possession While Off Duty

Image courtesy Pennsylvania State PoliceIf you ever needed clinical proof that our nation’s gun laws are certifiably insane, here’s a prime example. A Pennsylvania State Trooper, who carries a gun on a daily basis while enforcing the laws of the Commonwealth is federally prohibited from carrying – or even possessing – a firearm while off-duty with no way to restore his firearms rights. Ever. Of course, there are two ways of looking at any story. The first paragraph is only the nice way of describing this gun law fustercluck. If you’re more cynical (like me), read on . . .

Michael L. Keyes is a PA State Trooper with a history of mental illness. Seven years ago he repeatedly tried to kill himself by overdose and was involuntarily committed. After a year of mental health treatment, he was cleared by his psychiatrist and started a long legal battle to get his job back. An arbitrator ordered the Pennsy State Police to return him to limited duty and the State Police lost their appeal of that decision in 2010. If that doesn’t sound fishy enough for you, Keyes also won $16,000 in back pay. And he’s been allowed to carry a gun while on duty ever since.

But a Pennsylvania appeals court just ruled that Keyes’ involuntary commitment constitutes a permanent and irrevocable revocation of his right to possess firearms while off-duty. Judge Kate Ford Elliott wrote that this lifetime ban was reasonable under the 2nd Amendment because…

“Given the extreme potential harm attendant to the possession of deadly weapons by the mentally ill, and the risk of relapse,” the judge wrote, “we see an important government interest in controlling the availability of firearms for those who have ever been adjudged mentally defective or have ever been committed to a mental institution but are now deemed to be cured.”

So it’s too dangerous to trust a once-committed person with a gun . . . but it’s rational for the Pennsylvania State Police to issue him a government-owned gun every morning? According to Judge Elliott, this makes perfect sense:

“Were [Keyes] to again fall into a depressive state with suicidal ideation, it would be much more likely to be discovered while he is on-duty and his superiors could then restrict his access to state police firearms.”

Yeah, just like they tried to do years ago? Before the Police Union arbitrator ordered them to put him back on the job? Judge Elliott must have unique mental, er, skills to be so cognitively flexible. Michael Keyes cannot be trusted with a gun, so we’re going to put him back in a uniform and hand him a firearm?

Nicely done, your honor. I’m not much of a lyricist or songwriter myself, but Gilbert and Sullivan had a field day with judges like you.

Read more at the Central Pennsylvania Patriot-News.

comments

  1. avatar Stu says:

    Just when I thought my state was the last bastion of sanity in the northeast…

    1. avatar Andy says:

      This story is misleading. Pa does have a 302 expungement process and there are of plenty of lawyers who practice in this part of the law. Updates, with links when I get home and off this phone.

      1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

        i thought 302 expungement was only possible when you can go to court and argue the evidence for being involuntary committed. If you have a suicide note and make an attempt, then expungement is not an option later, the evidence is self explanatory.

      2. avatar Cliff H says:

        It seems that the issue here is that he is prohibited by (an unconstitutional) federal law. No amount of legal wrangling under PA expungement laws, even if successful, would likely change the prohibition under (unconstitutional) federal statutes.

        I guess the argument goes that if the commitment is expunged as far as PA is (legally) concerned that it is as if it never happened (as if) and so the feds would agree. Seems unlikely.

      3. avatar Andy says:

        18 Pa.C.S. § 6105(f)(1) allows the court to provide relief from the 302 order. The burden for obtaining a 302 is very low. Given the repercussions from them, medical professionals are somewhat reluctant to seek them. They are much likely to talk the person into a 202 commitment. You can read the full text of the PA mental health act here:
        http://www.pitt.edu/~mercyres/Pennsylvania%20Mental%20Health%20Act.pdf

      4. avatar Andy says:

        The 302 process in PA it totally flawed. People with no psychiatric training can petition for the order. The person who could be subject to the order is not allow to confront the petitioner nor are they even present at the order hearing. It’s really a kangaroo court on steroids. The worst are doctors who push the 302 order as a way to fill psych beds at the hospitals that employ them – 302 for fun and profit – when in reality the person is not suffering from mental illness but rather drug or alcohol issues. The worst part about it is that the 302 is just a hold for observation. It’s not an adjudication of metal illness or defect. 98% of 302 orders expire with the medical facility not seeking a further 301 or 401 order of commitment – basically they’re discharging the individual because the observations showed no signs that the person was a danger to himself of anyone else.

        1. avatar Mk10108 says:

          Enjoying the big brain responses…ttac is becoming a class act.

      5. avatar ropingdown says:

        On the “this story is misleading” theme, yes. Trooper Keyes was allowed to return to duty on a “medically limited” basis, not patrolling, and not with a firearm. In Key’s appeal the arbitrator noted the employer had positions that would “afford the grievant the opportunity to perform clerical work and one where he would not have access to a firearm and would also not be on the road…” And it was for such positions that he was reinstated, essentially completing case reports initiated by other retiring troopers.

        The facts restated in the appeal make clear that the trooper had serious recurring depressive illness. During the summer of 2006, June-September, he had multiple involuntary admissions and at least six rounds of electroshock therapy consequent to three suicide attempts. He was also diagnosed as OCD, obssessive-compulsive disorder.

        We have a process in PA for restoration of gun rights conducted at the Court of Common Pleas level. I’m not an expert on that, but Keyes’ facts do not sound like those which would readily elicit restoration.

        If gun rights are restored after involuntary commitment procedures established under state law, the feds are bound to respect that restoration.

        The posting made it sound as though Keyes was back at duty with a firearm. That is not the case.

        1. avatar Andy says:

          PSP has so many desk jobs that should not be done by troopers. Dealing with the PSP is such a mess. You can’t have a trooper performing work at the direction of a no trooper. Even the IT security guys at PSP are supervised by a trooper who doesn’t know the difference between AES and a tire iron.

        2. avatar ropingdown says:

          Andy, the trooper Keyes is doing work only a trooper can do, completing reports. But wait, it gets better: His return to duty restricted to paperwork was challenged by AFSCME, because they have the contractual lock on clerical work, so Keyes may not do that, only official reports. And IT? AFSCME has a lock on that too, so all serious IT has to be contracted out….

  2. avatar soccerdad1150 says:

    As a Pennsylvanian, I’m flabbergasted at this piece of mental gymnastics. Heck, as a person I cannot begin to fathom this piece of gibberish. This judge must not be from around here….

  3. avatar A-Rod says:

    This guy is the next Adam Lanza. All the warning signs are there and everyone can see them. All he has to do now is go shoot up a school.

    Seriously folks… what should be done?

    1. avatar 505markf says:

      Adjudicate the case based upon updated, realistic standards involving risk, degree of impairment, and actual diagnosis rather than a lump sum category (mentally ill) that is meaningless (I added this note after I wrong the comment below, sorry for being repetitive).

      Revoking rights needs to be an option at times, but it should never be easy, nor should it be automatic. Public policy and laws supporting it are very, very behind the times when it comes to “mental illness”.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Mark, you (the government) CANNOT revoke a natural, civil and constitutionally protected right. The most they can do is inhibit your ability to exercise that right. If this guy is “cured” enough to be out on the street then he is “cured” enough to exercise his rights. It seems as though the only person ever in danger from his actions was himself at any rate.

        This is a perfect example of “Who will decide and enforce the criteria for denying a person’s rights?” PA obviously has one standard, the feds have another, and either entity can change their standards arbitrarily at any time. Is that actually what “…shall not be infringed.” means?

    2. avatar Paul G says:

      No real similarities to be had between the two, maybe you need to wean yourself off of your own medication.

      1. avatar 505markf says:

        Paul – come on, man, it was a fair question.

        1. avatar Paul G says:

          Calling this guy the next Adam Lanza is so superficial it says more about the poster than anything else.

        2. avatar Jus Bill says:

          This guy is the opposite of Lanza. C’mon, man…

          “it would be much more likely to be discovered while he is on-duty…” Like finding him in his unit after eating a bullet. Google “Depression.”

    3. avatar Paul W says:

      Suicidal ideation != homicidal ideation, not even close.

    4. avatar tdiinva says:

      More like Chris Dorner.

    5. avatar Rich Grise says:

      Since the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, his right was never taken away, it was merely infringed by force of government edict. He still has the right to keep and bear arms.

      But he doesn’t have a right to poke holes in people. Prevent THAT, and the problem becomes moot. And, of course, the responsibility for doing that prevention lies with his potential victims, who should be armed and trained in self-defense, as should anyone who chooses to go into stupid places where stupid people are doing stupid things.

      1. avatar Cliff H says:

        Rich, you are correct, but the fact that he is a uniformed and armed LEO most of his waking day complicates the ability of the average citizen to return fire should he snap. The problem I see in this scenario is the ridiculous return of his position as an armed officer of the State. Regardless of provocation or justification taking a shot at this guy is going to be a serious problem.

        I cannot see any justification in returning to him the “Color of authority” of his uniform if there is ANY residual concern that he could pose a threat to others. He is entitled to exercise his rights the same as anyone else, but everyone else is now denied their Constitutional right to shoot back at him so long as he is on duty.

        1. avatar Rich Grise says:

          Yeah, you and at least one other poster pointed that out. I stand corrected. Thanks. 🙂

  4. avatar 505markf says:

    The term “mentally ill” is a meaningless glomming together of so many different potential diagnoses that it approaches stupidity when it comes to legislation. There is one hell of a big difference between being hospitalized for depression than for schizophrenia. Being mentally ill is not a binary proposition. Our current laws do not adequately segment based upon risk, ability to be cured, or degree of impairment.

    Hell, those laws were passed almost 50 years ago when actual treatment for various mental illnesses was non-existent!

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      “The term “mentally ill” is a meaningless glomming together of so many different potential diagnoses that it approaches stupidity.” There, fixed it for you.

      By the way, can you elaborate on those “actual treatments” the mental health “professionals” supposedly have now that they did not have 50 years ago? Keeping in mind that a life-long regimen of mind-altering drugs is not a cure.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        “a life-long regimen of mind-altering drugs is not a cure.”

        Not true. I’ve prescribed a life-long regimen of mind-altering drugs for myself, and they’ve cured me of my urge to pick fights with people.

  5. avatar Paul G says:

    So he is an armed professional who can’t be trusted with a gun, except when at work in a position of authority. Isn’t “cured” supposed to mean cured? I guess this judge has better judgment than the mental health professionals, but would ask you to not question her judgment in her own profession. As to “we see an important government interest in controlling the availability of firearms…”, she didn’t need to say anything past those words.

    1. avatar Cliff H says:

      And the whole, entire, complete purpose of the Second Amendment is because governments will ALWAYS find a compelling government interest to control the access of guns to civilians. It is always and only a matter of degree.

  6. avatar Roscoe says:

    President Judge Emeritus Kate Ford Elliott uses the law to rationalize the courts conclusions like a died in the wool gun grabber.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      That would be “dyed” in the wool. Unless you think she’s a dead Scot or Greek shepherd.

  7. avatar Scythian Arrows says:

    Definitely the kind of guy you want running around with a loaded firearm and wearing a uniform that absolves him of practically all bad behavior. The best example of why gun control advocates don’t care about stopping violence is that when police officers shoot innocent people, the gun controllers don’t make a sound about holding police officers more accountable for their actions.

  8. avatar Steven02 says:

    Well I guess he will just have to go to a gun show and buy one there, because we all know that 40% of all gun sales happen without a background check. /sarcasm

  9. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

    Goes to show that this is not an issue of guns vs. no-guns. The issue is the State vs. the Individual.

    Citizen Keyes is unstable and cannot be trusted. When he puts on his Magical Trooper Hat, Trooper Keyes is part of the infallible State and can be directly monitored appropriately. His immediate family (assuming he has some), being mere citizens, cannot detect when he will go nutty but those who see him at work (other State employees) can. To extend the illustration, if his wife were also a State Trooper, she would not be able to monitor him at home in her capacity as a citizen, but would magically have such a power when she dons the robes of State.

    1. avatar ErrantVenture11 says:

      +1000

  10. avatar matt says:

    This is ridiculous. In a position of power and as an enforcer of the law he’s perfectly fine to use his 2A rights but as soon as he takes off a badge and uniform suddenly he’s a dangerous mentally defective person that could harm others. Sound logic right there judge. If he ever does anything(which btw I sincerely hope he doesn’t) she should fry right along with him.

    1. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

      If he is working for the State, he is not exercising his 2A rights “to keep an bear arms”. He can’t keep the arms and the arms are not his.

      Same concept as if he were hired to operate a printing press for the State; he’d be speaking but he would not be exercising his freedom of speech under the 1A.

      1. avatar Paul G says:

        So his rights to arms are stripped, but he is privileged to do so under the authority of the state. Asinine.

      2. avatar matt says:

        Which brings up more problems in my opinion as the state should be bound by the same rules seeing as we’re all citizens. If he can’t use his 2A outside of service he shouldn’t be a part of the force in the first place.

        1. avatar Duke of Sharon says:

          Snarky Answer: Careful citizen. It sounds like you need a mental health evaluation.

          Sincere Answer: Our government is supposed to have significantly FEWER powers and MORE stringent rules than we citizens have. A government based on the consent of the governed can only have those powers consensually assigned to it by the People. The People cannot assign powers which they do not have as individuals. Therefore, no consensual government can have more power than the People. Further, a government which is subject to specific withholding of powers, as is ours, must have less power than the People.

        2. avatar Paul G says:

          He is not using his 2A, he has been granted the privilege of arms in service to the state. Big difference.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      I commented above (but recently): Keyes was not reinstated to duty as a firearm-carrying trooper. The arbitrator held, and Commonwealth Court affirmed, that he would be reinstated on a “medically restricted basis.” No firearm, no road duty. He fills a desk position. This post could have made it clear. If you want to read the appeal decision on the reinstatement, it can be found here:

      http://statecasefiles.justia.com/documents/pennsylvania/commonwealth-court/2206cd08_10-13-09.pdf

  11. avatar IdahoPete says:

    It is amazing that there is still a market for fiction, with this kind of stuff actually happening. You can’t make this stuff up ….

  12. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Thinking outside the box here, but I’m willing to bet that defense attorneys will have a field day with any cases he handles. He will likely be useless on the job.

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      It depends what his job will be. At my local PD, the dispatch officers all have firearms even though they are behind bullet proof glass and simply are responding and directing calls. Even the Park Ranger carries a gun as well as the animal control officer.

      Many years ago I was in a car accident. I wanted a police report. I went into that town’s police dept. and was told to go see the “records officer” I handed him the piece of paper the responding officer gave me and this person looked it up, made a photocopy and charged me $5. That is all this person was doing, and he had a gun holstered to his hip — for making photo copies!

      He does not necessarily have to be out on patrol to carry a gun around on duty. They can make sure their exposure to a potential law suite is minimized.

      The logic of the decision makes zero sense, but at the same time, it is possible to do “a job” and “carry” but never be in a situation where he has to use the gun.

      1. avatar Paul G says:

        But the same could be said for any person who wished to carry for personal protection since a police officer is typically too far away to respond. That person may never have to utilize that weapon, but prefers to have it as a measure of security. Even an released felon who by dint of his past may need to live in a less than secure neighborhood.

      2. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

        Good points. I tend to think locally with what I’m used to.
        Our dispatchers, records clerks, evidence tech, were all non uniformed, non police people.
        Even when I was on light duty from a broken ankle, I was not allowed to carry, as I was to have no contact with anything but the file cabinets and the computer.

      3. avatar William Burke says:

        How would you expect him to protect the photocopier – with a fireplace poker? Homegrown terrorists + photocopier = [shudder] 😉

        Then what would the guy protecting the fireplace be able to do to protect that?

        1. avatar Paul G says:

          OMG….copycat terrorists?

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      I don’t know if his history will undermine the case reports, but I feel certain they’ll make for some incredibly depressing reading.

  13. avatar Craig says:

    Mental illness has many facets. As stated earlier, depression and schizophrenia are completely dissimilar. Too many laws are written with the term “mental illness” and it becomes a “catch all law”. Doctors are relied upon for their opinion of the patients condition and the term “cured” is grossly misused. A patient is either cured, meaning the condition will never return or they are not.

    A cure is the end of a medical condition; the substance or procedure that ends the medical condition, such as a medication, a surgical operation, a change in lifestyle, or even a philosophical mindset that helps end a person’s sufferings. It may also refer to the state of being healed, or cured.

    A remission is a temporary end to the medical signs and symptoms of an incurable disease. A disease is said to be incurable if there is always a chance of the patient relapsing, no matter how long the patient has been in remission.

    The Judge declared, “Given the extreme potential harm attendant to the possession of deadly weapons by the mentally ill, and the risk of relapse,” the judge wrote, “we see an important government interest in controlling the availability of firearms for those who have ever been adjudged mentally defective or have ever been committed to a mental institution but are now deemed to be cured.”

    If a patient is cured, then there is no chance of the “risk of relapse”. This is why doctors routinely use the term “remission” for cancer patients.

    Therefore, if declared cured, shouldn’t the rights of the patient be fully restored? After all, the Judge relied on the opinion of the doctor for his judgement. This friggin genius of a judge (think about how much education was completed to attain the level of a State Appeals Court Judge) has no clear understanding between the two words cure and remission.

    The larger issue comes with the question asked above. What do we do with people who are “mentally ill”? What mental illness, if any, should strip a patient of their 2nd Amendment rights? Because your 2nd amendment rights are granted by the creator and not man, can man strip an individual of these rights?

    I don’t see an easy answer. If my neighbor is clearly suffering from schizophrenia, and they owned firearms, I would be quite concerned with my families safety. It’s unreasonable to say, I could defend my family if for example I am inside my home or at work while my kids are playing outside.

    -Craig

    1. avatar Paul G says:

      You do not have a right to “safety”. The world is a dangerous place.

  14. avatar KevinMA says:

    So guy tries to kill himself by overdose several times. He was a cop at the time so presumably had access to a firearm during those failed suicide attempts, but didn’t use the gun to do so. He also was not a threat to anyone but himself and this has now apparently been resolved as he is out in the world and working again as a cop. But somehow its the guns fault? I wonder, since he tried to kill himself via overdose does he have a similar life long prohibition from ever possessing any otherwise legal medications that could be used in a suicide attempt?

    1. avatar Paul G says:

      Stop making sense….

    2. avatar Jow Blow Anymous says:

      +2 on stop using logic applied theory to disprove a wrong statement/law 😉

      You also forgot the point that suicide can be a sane choice, hence he out of respect for firearms did not choose to use one, he did not choose suicide by cop( or criminal since they gun for cops), he did not choose suicide by train, by truck on freeway…..that doesn’t mean his attempt was less than a lethal try aka the absurd and insulting label “cry for help”. A failed attempt is a special hell unto itself. You have all your problems, all the fallout from the attempt and everything negative said about suicide and people who commit it, and then well you aren’t even able be that high on the social ladder for esteem…..

      Which “choice & belief in the method” is highly missed in the current system, a gun is considered high risk(very serious) but someone who takes a bottle of Tylenol(low risk)….The logic here is highly off, they fail to address how lethal the person thought the attempt was going to be aka the odds of success. I won’t go into all the details of how they fail and the work arounds… But guns fail and don’t look for pictures. period.

      He can/could be totally safe with gun because death is acceptable only on certain terms. Change the variables and the choice changes. Sometimes they don’t want the head/face damaged for open casket funeral…. So even the suicidal people can be very logical and in possession of full mental capacity. It is a lie suicidal people are mentally dysfunctional. Yet psychiatry in the USA fails to admit those facts but in other countries, they have to yield and give up that ground. Take Fibromyalgia once the claim of shrinks , now after medical scientific discoveries have found it isn’t all in the head and they can treat it. Guess which industry and drug makers got caught lieing about their products. Before that break through, Psych would drug people so they couldn’t communicate they hurt, didn’t care, or were so fucked up with worse side effects the previous problem became low on the scale of issues. Shrinks have back pedaled a lot, they claim chronic pain is their realm and doctors don’t admit they don’t everything and can’t diagnose nerve damage properly(not yet at least), see phantom limb pain and how badly those people were treated and labeled with “mental illnesses”…… Half the problem is society’s views and fears pumped into them by marketers for drugs and news using sensationalism for ratings. Sound a lot like how they report on guns?

      It is mankind’s fear of death that makes depression and suicide something to be rallied against. Hell it was crime not to long ago, despite the murder already getting the Death Penalty.

      That doesn’t even touch in on all the schtizo- B.S. labels/diagnoses out there. Believe in the supernatural like ghosts/angels can get you classified. Careful how you answer the UFO question. We all have seen many Unidentified Flying Objects (was that plane a 737 or 747?), so you have to ether answer a question that can be taken out of context ,to make you look crazy and uncredible or you lie on the test…. A no win and psychiatry can twist their soft science against you ether way. You can debate it it since its opinions and changing theories(they change with popular culture opinions) not science.

      As a society we need to treat people better who have “mental illness”(tough love hasn’t been shown to work and shut up &off is not healthy for that person) or to quote Christian Slater from “Pump Up the Volume” film,”….Your not Fucked up, you are a normal reaction to a very fucked up situation…”

  15. avatar Keith in TX says:

    Even with the claim he is “cured” of his mental depression they couldn’t fully restore his gun rights as that would set precedent for others with various forms of mental illness to do the same and they don’t want to open that can of worms.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Sure, why do science to support the DSM? Or not?

  16. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    I nominate him to provide security for Shannon Watts whenever MDA’s bus rolls into town. After all, he is po-po, so he can be trusted, right Shannon?

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      …and he is not authorized to carry a firearm on duty, so Shannon will get exactly the protection she thinks we deserve.

  17. avatar Thomas Paine says:

    mental illness isn’t the whole issue here.
    The issue is whether or not YOU would be able to get certain rights restored if you were declared ‘mentally ill’. I think the answer is NO. one rule for them, one rule for us.

    1. avatar Paul G says:

      That cuts to the meat of the problem… great point!

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      In PA, if you were just having a very bad day when the PD 302’d you, there is an explicit process to immediately appeal the event and prevent your loss of gun rights. If 302’d and in shape to file that appeal you should do so immediately upon release. This is true even if your hospitalization was extended.

      The Keyes case is not a typical 302 case. His first multiple relapses he attributed to his ongoing first divorce. He remarried very quickly. He attributed his latter relapses in 2006-7 to stress caused by the collapse of his second marriage after seven months.

      Aside from the expected “marital stress” jokes, this is not a typical case of situational depression. Keyes’ depression was not attributed principally to job stress as an LEO. Depression was not the only diagnosis.

  18. avatar Southerner says:

    The answer is:

    Since the State now deems certain post incarceration / post commitment categories of people to be outside the scope of 2nd Amendment protection, all others can now be subject to prior restraint (record check, permit to purchase, permit to own, permit to carry, etc.) of their 2nd Amendment Rights. This in order to prevent access by persons now outside the “protection” of the 2nd Amendment.

  19. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    You’re putting way too much thought into this. There’s a reason the call themselves “elites”. You can not begin to understand such deep reasoning. Best to just shut up and accept their wisdom and benevolence without question.

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    I know a lot of cops who are mentally unstable, so Keyes is in good company.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      Yeah, but those guys get to keep their weapons off-duty. Until they do a stupid. But that reduces the officer’s total individual lifetime retirement benefit payout, so the jurisdiction’s accountants are happy with that…

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        “Canton officer Daniel Harless resigns in settlement with city:

        “Harless will receive $40,000 from the city, a neutral employment recommendation and a retired-officer ID in exchange for his resignation.”

        Plus his accrued pension benefits if he’s vested.

        http://www.cantonrep.com/article/20131105/NEWS/131109669/?tag=2#ixzz2ozghH6YB

        1. avatar ropingdown says:

          Harless is a poster-boy for cops thinking it’s OK to let their anger fly. On the other hand what Harless was confronted with was not just the driver carrying a concealed .38 revolver, but a car also carrying a known prostitute and a man known to pimp whom Harliss believed was acting as the woman’s pimp. He concluded that the driver was acting as their bodyguard since neither of the others could qualify for a permit. It’s a slightly gray world.

  21. avatar J says:

    Hopefully, this puts to rest any remaining notion that there remains a state or states in this country that is/are free from the hysteria.

    Here in Maine, those of us who reside west of rte 95 have a clear conservative view of the Constitution and history while our fellow citizens, east of that route, are largely listing heavily to the left. And is in most states which show brighter “blue”, those areas to the east of the highway also happen to contain the heaviest, urban population which pretty well defines where the trouble is concentrated; in the urban areas versus the rural.

    It’s a shame this kind of decision (or lack of clarity) has placqued PA but for those of you living there, take heart, all of us are dealing with this kind of nonsense. It is aggravating!

  22. avatar Tommy says:

    This is the beginning of fair treatment for everyone. However, if the officer is not fit to possess a firearm while off-duty then he should be removed from his duties as a police officer or be reassigned to a position where he has no access to firearms.

    If it’s good enough to ban civilians from possessing firearms because of any history of mental illness then it’s good enough to ban police and military for the exact same reason. The only problem I have is that he is still allowed to carry while on duty.

    Personally, I don’t think this blanket mental illness history is a sufficient reason to ban someone from owning firearms, but if the advocates for this sort of restriction want it in place then they must reap the consequences of their ban.

  23. avatar racer88 says:

    So, is the travesty:

    1. The fact that he’s a patrolling law enforcement officer who has been unfairly denied his right to keep and bear arms?

    2. A person who is NOT of sound mind has been wrongly re-installed as a law enforcement officer via legal machinations?

    1. avatar William Burke says:

      Keep going; it would seem you’re onto something here.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      The case is actually about neither. Keyes was not reinstated to patrol duty or permitted firearms use. He is on “medically retricted” duty and it is unlikely that will change before he hits retirement.

  24. avatar Jow Blow Anymous says:

    People are ready to throw anyone with a health issue of the mind and/or emotion under the bus for rights. Which is a stepping stone for getting more people bared for ownership. If you read the DSM ( Psychiatry’s Diagnostic book The DSM 5 (V), it will show how easy it is to give everyone a mental disorder at some point in their life.

    There is a difference between evil people and people with mental health issues but few people take the time to make that judgement or have the intellect to understand that. They say all criminals are sick in the head(to assign fault falsely for why they would act that way). Now add in the public thinks saying you have mental problem gets you out of going to jail/prison magically. That legal defense is so hated, it is not used in cases where it might be valid because there is such public backlash and false beliefs over it. Studies found that such people were often committed longer than there jail sentence by multiple times(3 years prison 6-9years in the nut hut doctors tend to be cautious, courts had to intervene with ruling they couldn’t hold the patient/criminal forever) and being committed gave them less rights than and less privileges than the prison system, which has options to shorten your stay. So pleading innocent by reason of insanity is dangerous and option most lawyers won’t use or risk.

    With mental health much like guns, the same false logic of “…if it saves just one life..” it is justifiable for all the people you violate of their rights and harm. The mental health system is not the best judge by any means. In fact they prescribe medications to depressed people that have the FDA’s strongest warning before being pulled from the market aka the “Black BOX” warning about suicide ideation and suicide being side effects from taking the drugs,does that sound like an anti-depressants to you? . That’s just the tip of the iceberg on their drugs and dangerous behavior reactions. To source some of the psychiatry and and violence connection, one needs to look at the treatment, therapeutic interaction and especially the medications. see http://www.ssristories.com/ for massive collection of stories about violence and “mental ill people” who are having their judgement, their emotions , their feelings fucked with while being treated like they are in jail(which they are since they can’t leave, I doctor can block your ass with a rubber stamp insert “ifit saves one life… better safe than sorry….” appeals to emotion tricks ) and you get bad reactions.

    Let alone that the drugs are known to make people go batshit and that is one of the ways they figure out that they have certain diagnoses. There is no science just a guessing game of try this ,try that, lets keep going till we find something that works…. Which has an industry flooding massive funds to lobby and advertise their products which means they news media won’t bite their largest hand that feeds them. Which this industry has been hiding negative reports about medications results,and has a Survivors Movement that no other field has against the treatment process. Cancer’s movement is against the disease not the doctors or medications.

    The Psych system treats patients like criminals. Would you strip search a person with a sexual abuse history for the hospital? They do. I fully suspect officers to admit they have had to do searches on people where they saw it was traumatic and even though they were a criminal the saw the harm and suffering. Now imagine that happening by your medical staff that is supposed to be there to help you…. Being the issues is multy and the reply long I’m going to jump over to another point.

    Which the “Right to Die” is an issue people have a problem accepting, that a person can make a sane choice to end their life. In some countries this Right is respected and there are many cases in the USA , where a silent nod and a turned back is given for/on the issue. That is happens but it is kept silent. While at the same time you have some families/individuals who own fear of their suffering will force someone else to live in agonizing hell, through brutal torturous tests the medical staff staff knows is wrong to do but they have to…, so the family/friend doesn’t have to deal with a temporary separation. That is inevitable anyway. That is the most selfish act, not ending your life.
    Worst of all the anti-gunners don’t care, they’re parade any corpse they can around( & if possible family members who have to blame something, who blame the gun, since they can’t blame their loved one) to farther their anti-gun cause no matter the reason or opinions/beliefs/choices of the person. Because they can use that body to inflate their numbers and statistics and scare people. Not the person can denounce them, all that happens is methods change. Suicides have gone on long before guns. In fact suicide was crime punishable by death. History logic and how things happened didn’t always meet to say the least. In japan they were having massive issues with suicide with bathroom cleaners combined that were also killing neighbors in the next apartment. So a those cases a firearm would have been a better choice. Suicides should not be counted in the firearm deaths that apply murder a crime, Homicide with just cause…. we have a lot of work about death with dignity and without suffering.

    If you have seen people die a horrible and/or undignified death, you know death can be mercy and not something to be feared. Fear-mongering is a great tactic to falsely motivate people to your side no matter how wrong the arguments are. hence the guns and suicide angle by the anti-gunners. If life becomes a sentence, then maybe it is time for it to end. There are suicidal gun owners who strongly believe in respect of firearms and will not use them to end their lives, just like they won’t suicide by cop, suicide by train, O.D. from medications from their doctors…. Yet some how the last 3 can be viewed as logical choices but a gun changes the equation, when rope, a trash bag, a tank of helium are all cheaper and far easier to obtain. One where the person can make rational decisions on the subject. I know supporting suicide will make the comment unpopular, but how many have honestly thought about if they were a major strain and burden to their family and life had no purpose, just extreme suffering and/or were trapped in a coma never waking up…. that they should pull the plugs on let them die.

    The irony is a lot of people in the mental health field happen to have mental health problems and are on medications. These Sheppards decide the rights of others? If you can can never be cured or cleared,of a diagnoses from mental health what does that say about the doctor’s ability to treat. Remember “Homosexuals” were defined as “Mental disorder” (how much harm did they cause on that?)which it is not anymore but the same drugs and treatments are still used for other so claimed disorders. Which if there was nothing to treat, the treatment were shams, patients just lied to get away from the abusive treatment. Slaves that ran away from their master was also suffering a mental disorder of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drapetomania . Which we know that was not a disorder, since we would all flee in those conditions. Martin Luther King was depressed because of the equality… Psychiatry has a bad track recorded or is a repeat offender but this decade they have righter all their past behaviors….

    So this officer has had his life destroyed by people who fear (thanks to the movies, other media and ignorance) the people with mentally health issues . Who are far more likely to be victims of crime and than commit crime. But having that mentally health diagnoses draws in the character credibility for assassination. Their is reason why the hide mental health treatment and it is because of astigmatism and discrimination. Supposed someone that has problems with sarcasm and people keeping picking on him if he is going to snap and shoot them…. Almost a self profiling prophecy. The irony is you may work and love people who have or had mental and/or emotional problems but stay silent out of fear of being found out.

    The laws need to change and gun owners need to quit trying to throw people with medical conditions under the bus wheels because they are paving the way for themselves to get. Old age eventual effects things but you want that age to drop down for safety on each person’s age well 70 was to high lets make it 65 then 60 the 55… How about mandatory vision, mental, physical screening to have physical agility aka no handicap people could own firearms and they need the extra defense help the most. A True Sociopath with past that psych test with no problems, while the depressed and honest person would fail. Depression doesn’t equal automatic suicide risk. A good educational comic on the subject depression http://www.depressioncomix.com/

    If you read this whole thing thank you.

    Extra facebook info and debate
    https://www.facebook.com/LiberalGunClub/posts/10151897621101849

    1. avatar Thomas Paine says:

      you’re welcome.

      1. avatar Jow Blow Anymous says:

        Thank you for opening the subject up about the mental health flaws and rights of patients. I wouldn’t have had the courage to post without seeing your post first.

        Before my post, I was very worried about being the only one who knows more and stays silent for safety(less flaming and defense of posting on an emotional issue where ignorance is high). Along with a backlash over the length(I miss usenet and rec.guns where posts beyond 140 characters were often some of the best to learn from. I am also glad to know there are others out there that are intelligent enough to know mental health treatment isn’t like a cold where you see a doctor get a prescription for a few weeks and you’re fine, except that cold has made you subject to being quarantined away from your rights . All of our founding fathers could be forensically diagnosed as having mental and emotional disorders….

        Notice how the media loves throwing out other trigger words right behind “assault weapon” ,”high capacity” and/or “arsenal” on scare tactic for ratings. The media has done a good job making public afraid of the mental ill and even anyone introverted who lives as a recluse.

        The officer went through of having his life taken away from him, his hear may still have been very much in love with the person, a divorce, loosing everything he worked for, not getting to see his kids everyday is enough to put people there mentally. Plus as a dad he has less rights and is in the underdog position for custody.

        That seeking help should never be used against someone, they should be able to go in and talk about the subject freely without fear. There are a few places online, Usenet/newsgroups and email lists that operates that way. Their greeting “Welcome to _____, we’re sorry you’re here.” That ironically/paradoxically a place that openly discusses methods , attempts has just the opposite effect. More people choose to live when given the knowledge of what an attempt is like and the fallout for failure. That is hell no wishes on anyone. I just wish the subject wasn’t so taboo and people wouldn’t freak. That they don’t call the police to send them to psych jail for opening up about serious hurt and pain. Which took a lot of trust and silence is deadly here.

        So someone is suicidal but they find shooting to be an enjoyable and life anchoring activity. So we take that permanently away making them second class citizens at best.

        I’m amazed to see the support for restoring the person’s (and others) rights and the shift from trying to through those mental folks under the bus tires(with tragic shootings) to try distracting tricks to their own detriment and save their rights on the second amendment. Because you had to be about crazy to go to war back in the Revolutionary and Civil wars, when a wound could be lethal from bacteria and gangrene was almost an death sentence automatically. Painkiller or anesthesia? Not really unless you ask if you want a soft or hard wood to bite on….

        Look how many victimless things have gone from misdemeanors to low class felonies. Not much has changed for punishment but that label follows and limits that person rights for their life. Reminds me when a king could take away everything you owned and everything you might owed.

    2. avatar ReManG says:

      Enlightened and a good read, do not forget that in some cultures suicide was considered an honorable way to make amends for wrongs.

      1. avatar Rich Grise says:

        It’s too bad that there is no honor left in the government.

        1. avatar Jow Blow Anymous says:

          I think you mean too bad we don’t use psychiatric screening on politicians. Importing a bunch of swords could solve a lot of our governmental problems, if they had that honor…. Think how much the savings in payroll and benefits until they were replaced could pay down the national debt…

          But back to the testing and not joking around… Because most politicians would likely have Axis I through Axis III diagnoses to say the least based on behavior and what they have stated publicly. Let alone what would come out in an examine.

          See
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Histrionic_personality_disorder

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependent_personality_disorder

          How many symptoms fit? How many symptoms/signs are bullshit like think you are special person and your job is highly important even if it is considered low by most. The person who cleans kills germs that could give us MRSA, the fast food working who didn’t wash their hands or the clean prep area could cause an out break like http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecoli or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salmonella but if they feel they are very important and take their sanitation very seriously… they could fit for “paranoid” and Narcissist”. That mental health tag doesn’t say why,its a label once you get it your screwed…… Forever will it be used against you and your character.

          That’s just the basics before we get into the real dirty laundry. But in ethic and men of principles we should not speculate on their mental or emotional health . As we respect privacy on physical health so should we on psychological medical issues. the sheer fact is everyone out there is diagnosable as having issues even the people who don’t agree and object. they in Denial and that is one symptom of mental illness…. So you can’t win. They say psychiatry is the only field of medicine where you can not walk out of the office with a clean bill of health.

          This LEO brings the issue out to the spotlight, think about how many people are robbed of their rights and can’t afford to have them reinstated.

        2. avatar Keith in TX says:

          “think about how many people are robbed of their rights and can’t afford to have them reinstated”

          Mental illness is a vast grey area in which ones rights hinge on the claim of one and the opinion of another. David Sarti as an example who lost his gun rights over such.

          It’s not limited to just mental illness.
          If one falsely claims that someone pointed or fired a weapon at them the accused also loses their gun rights.

      2. avatar Jow Blow Anymous says:

        Thank you, I left out a lot. Like if you don’t sign the forms or mark through to protect your legal rights they will rubber stamp you with no right to appear and defend yourself or even present yourself so challenging the almighty hospital worker can get you fucked. If someone don’t think they don’t use this system vindictively, you fail to understand humans. Its the same thing as a LEO taking some to jail over something like Jaywalking…. The Psychiatrist sees you, looks at the notes(which you have ever right and logically to be pissed but so many remain calm in such violations are amazing) and drops the status often discharging people but that tag has now fucked your life and that petty person with “Don’t fuck with or disobey my commands or “I’ll make your life a fucking living hell and one that will cost you thousands to clean up…. Yet these people are never held accountable and such “psychiatric holds” are a question referred to a supposed expert, not a definitive opinion that should carry such wait and power. It is a conviction without trial and that goes against everything we stand for legally in this great country and our system of human rights.

  25. avatar Dr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    Magical Uniforms FTW!!

  26. avatar Jared says:

    This is old news 18 USC 925(a) exempts government workers from ALL gun prohibitions except for lautenburg domestic violence.

    While a person in this situation is prohibited from possessing private guns, the government can allow them to take their work gun home and carry it.

  27. avatar Bunsen says:

    Although the “mental illness” and attempted suicide portion is a bit different than normal, it is actually not unheard of that certain currently employed LEO’s cannot pass a NICS background check to purchase firearms. Often it is due to questions 11h and or 11i on Form 4473.

  28. avatar Hannibal says:

    I assume this is a Pennsylvania law…?

    WTF PA?

    It’s amazing how some people- and this applies especially to the ‘legally minded’- can just jump over a paradox to get to their own conclusion as if it weren’t there.

    1. avatar Rich Grise says:

      It’s called denial. It works like a blind spot in yourtheir mind.

    2. avatar ropingdown says:

      The judge was simply concurring with the conclusion of the mediator, that Keyes was not ready to strap on a gun again. Someone with a one-up depression and 302 can get the 302 wiped immediately after release, if they bother. The wrong way to go about it is to have it happen repeatedly, try over-dosing serially, have it happen all over again months later, and then apply for reinstatement of rights long after the fact, which says to the judge “I was in bad shape for years, otherwise I would have applied right after the 302.”

      PA’s laws on the subject aren’t horrible. They’re slightly on the good side of typical.

  29. avatar Billy Francis says:

    Honestly, the guy should have never gotten his job back. THAT”S the problem here.

  30. avatar Dustin Eward says:

    I think this proves that Government will do anything to hire the unfit as cops, and make sure these unfit, uniformed warriors have the ability to kill anyone with immunity… This is just the one we know about. Law Enforcement has been all about hiring the least fit for a long time, the Government wants it that way on purpose… I’m sure a few good apples sneak through from time to time, so don’t try to frame this as a “hate all cops” post.

    It’s the bad apples that ruin it for the remaining 1%…

  31. avatar Mark says:

    And some people question why I have such a profound lac of respect for the judicial “system”.

  32. avatar Mediocrates says:

    Further proof that you need a frontal lobotomy before working for the government.

    1. avatar ropingdown says:

      They use to offer them for free, but only after you’d served in combat for a year or two. Google Lobotomy Wall Street Journal.

  33. avatar Grumpy in Kali says:

    Weird…..forced mental treatment after a suicide attempt and he still gets his gun & badge back?

    A cop in the next city over from me was involved in a nasty neighbor-neighbor feud and one day brandished (allegedly) his service weapon at his nemesis next door. One phone call later and he was in quite some trouble. For a period of time due to a restraining order, he wasn’t allowed to carry off-duty.

  34. avatar WI Patriot says:

    I have to ask, with his history of mental illness, why is allowed to carry a gun at all…??? And what praytell would happen should he go off the deepend while on duty…??? This is bad from all angles…

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