With the passage of the new Firearm Concealed Carry Act, Illinois “qualified examiners” — physicians, clinical psychologists, school administrators, law enforcement official and others — are now required to report individuals who they believe pose a “clear and present danger” to themselves or others. And reportable behavior does not have to involve firearms. Under the FCCA, these “mandated reporters” are to notify the state within 24 hours of anyone who communicates a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim. Or anyone who poses a clear and imminent risk . . .
of serious physical injury to himself, herself or another person. For more on this, click here to access the Department of Human Services’ Mental Health Reporting System website. This includes threatening behaviors – either physical or verbal. This includes violent, suicidal or assaultive threats, actions or other behavior, as determined solely by a mandated reporter.
Reported individuals can include an individual who comes into an emergency room, and after being observed for a time, leaves against medical advice without being admitted. In other words, if you check into a hospital E.R., sit in the waiting room for a while and feel better, then decide that you don’t want to pay for E.R. charges and leave, you may have problems. An over-eager “qualified reporter” could possibly have you called into the Department of Human Services as a “danger to yourself.” And in a short period of time, your firearm ownership rights could be revoked.
Think this is far-fetched? Read for yourself the suggested guidelines for qualified examiners.
An individual after being observed for a time leaves against medical advice without being admitted. Since the individual was not admitted there is nothing for the facility to report. However the licensed professional MAY NEED TO report if the patient presented as a “clear and present” danger.
We at Guns Save Life are very concerned with the potential for abuse in this system. As it stands right now, once reported, an individual would be “guilty until proven innocent” and lose his or her civil rights without a court hearing or due process. A wrongfully accused individual would only be able to restore their civil rights after great expense and difficulty, if at all.
Gun owners should be very circumspect about any comments made to any of these mandated reporters. The doctor-patient privilege is a thing of the past in Illinois under this new law. Don’t think for a minute that you can speak in confidence with medical or mental health professionals. They are now mandated to report a wide range of topics to the Department of Human Services within 24 hours, any one of which could leave you stripped of your gun rights.
In the meantime, remember: Loose lips sink ships – and possibly your gun rights.
John Boch is president of Guns Save Life.