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“More than 20,000 people prohibited from owning a gun because they are diagnosed with a mental illness own some sort of firearm, according to a state audit released on Tuesday,” reports. “The audit, called ‘Armed Persons With Mental Illness, outlines a communications failure between the California Department of Justice and the state’s court system in reporting and identifying people diagnosed with a mental illness and who own guns. ‘It’s not acceptable and we want to make sure that we’re going after the individuals that have weapons that have mental health issues,’ State Sen. Ted Gaines, R-Rocklin, said.” So riddle me this: how come there haven’t been 20k spree killings by mentally ill people with registered weapons in California? Or 2000? Or 200? Or 20? Wait! I know! Because one’s too many! More than that . . .

“The safety of our communities relies upon government at every level doing a better job of reporting this information,” according to “one of the assembly members who requested the audit.”

If the safety of California communities relies on government efficiency, Golden State residents might as well give up now. And buy a gun to protect themselves. But not seek treatment for mental health issues. ‘Cause history (i.e. political abuse of psychiatry in Russia) tells us that you have to be crazy to trust the government to not confiscate your guns once you do. Just sayin’ . . .

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    • Yep, we’re governed by the insane and the senile out here, yet no ones pushing to change that.

    • Where the hell did they get that 20k number? I’m pretty sure more people than that voted those bastards into office.

      And as for the 20k they do reference, having illegally assumed the authority to decide at what level of mental faculties an American may be determined unfit to exercise his/her natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, what mechanism is in place to prevent them from lowering that standard to say, everyone registered as a Republican. Those people MUST be insane! If the government decides the standards then no right is safe, it is just another privilege granted by the government or restricted or licensed or taxed ( or all of the above).

  1. And here lies the flaw in the logic of the muddling middle grounders who say:

    “I’m in favor of the 2A but I still support some sort of common sense background checks.”

    If the government is going to do the checking, then it won’t include common sense.

    • My preferred term is “fence-sitters”. Hey, if you declare a side, someone might not like you. Guess what? It’s the other way around for me. If you refuse to take sides, I have no use for you.

  2. It is only a matter of time for someone to pair up the notion that ‘Liberalism is a Mental Disorder’, voting resgistration records and cross reference any firearms owner list and a whole group of people will be damned categorically.

  3. I’m curious about California’s definition of a mental illness. Would a minor learning disability or a.d.d qualify.

    • It actually summarizes the criteria in the PDF. No, those kind of things don’t count. Commitment to a mental facility for longer than a 72 hour hold is a life ban. Shorter periods are a 5-year ban. A finding of not guilty by reason of insanity also counts, as does a determination of incompetency requiring a conservator. Probably a few other criteria count. Seeing a mental health professional, being diagnosed, or medicated for mental disorders are not sufficient for a firearms ban under current California law.

    • Actually, if you believe you have the right to defend yourself, THAT’S what will define you as “mentally ill”.

      Whatever THAT is. If “mind” has no specific location, where are they going to find an “illness”?

    • Here’s a link to the list of prohibiting offenses. Everyone loves to say “mentally ill” when in fact, the scope is very narrow. Of course, the LETTER of the law is nowhere near as important as the interpretation / application.

      Relevant portion:

      • Any person who is found by a court to be a danger to himself, herself, or others because of a mental illness
      • Any person who is found by a court to be mentally incompetent to stand trial
      • Any person who is found by a court to be not guilty by reason of insanity
      • Any person who is adjudicated to be a mentally disordered sex offender
      • Any person who is placed on a conservatorship because he or she is gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder, or an impairment by chronic alcoholism
      • Any person who communicates a threat to a licensed psychotherapist against a reasonably identifiable victim, that has been reported by the psychotherapist to law enforcement
      • Any person who is taken into custody as a danger to self or others under Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150, assessed under Welfare and Institutions Code section 5151, and admitted to a mental health facility under Welfare and Institutions Code sections 5151, 5152, or certified under Welfare and Institutions Code sections 5250, 5260, and 5270.15

  4. A large percentage of those prohibited due to mental illness or disease are those detained pursuant to Welfare & Institutions Code section 5150 or a 72 hour hold as a “danger to themselves or others.” Almost invariably it is a danger to themselves–i.e., persons who are at risk of a suicide attempt. This results in a 5 year ban (I think a law was passed extending that to 10 years after the first of the year) on the possession of firearms, but does not involve an adjudication of mental illness. A 5250, on the other hand, that allows for an involuntary hold for treatment, does involve an adjudication and a potential lifetime ban. As a result, patients are often counseled to convert their 5150 into a voluntary stay, which involves no adjudication and no loss of rights.

    Let me suggest that the ban on possession of firearms by persons who are suicidal (or just having suicidal ideation) is anachronistic. Historically, suicide has been treated as a crime–try to commit suicide and they can lock you up. I do not know the origins of this practice, but surmise that it may derive from the moral approbation attached to suicide by the Catholic Church, which define suicide as a mortal sin. (This, in turn, may have its origins in the suicide by Judas, but that is speculation.) Which is in funny because in California, assisting suicide is a crime, but attempting suicide is not. In any event, many of these persons disbarred the possession of firearms are no threat to the community, and with treatment, are not even a threat to themselves.

    And this of course says nothing at all on the fact that the firearms registration system in California inadequate to track hand guns, nor does it include long guns. This is why the SWAT teams running around trying to seize firearms have to get permission to search–the system is so full of errors as to preclude the issuance of a warrant (without more).

    • I think it’s eminently sensible to keep firearms out of reach of people who are suicidal. However, I seriously question whether the State (by which I mean SWAT teams, let’s not kid ourselves) should be the one to do it. I would argue, based on the well-known phenomenon of “suicide-by-cop”, that keeping cops with guns out of reach of people who are suicidal is every bit as sensible.

    • From what was said above, I believe Disneyland has erupted well beyond its physical borders and now encompasses the whole of California.

  5. Voting is much more dangerous than owning a gun.

    You’re giving the keys to a ton of advanced weapon systems to a complete sociopath.

  6. I’m reading through the report right now, and here’s what jumps out at me so far:

    1) 20k isn’t the number of people who own guns but are disqualified by reason of mental illness. Only about 1/3 or them are on the list for that. It seems likely the bulk of the remainder is on the list for reasons of criminal history.

    2) While the report raises a lot of issues regarding communication failures between courts, mental health facilities, and he California DOJ, this 20k figure isn’t about those. Those communication failures explain why there aren’t more than 20k people on that list. The 20k represents the people the DOJ already knows to be illegally armed (mostly, as you recall, for reasons of criminal history) but can’t be arsed to do anything about.

    So the upshot is this: California has set up all these laws and all this bureaucracy to keep guns out of the hands of criminals (some mentally ill persons, but mostly criminals). It has used that bureaucracy to compile a large database of known armed criminals, along with their addresses, and has proceeded to simply do nothing about them.

    • If one, with all seriousness (rather than your hopefully intended sarcasm), makes illogical statements like that, this shows a paranoid tendency and should be evaluated for mental illness. See what I did there?

  7. Mental Illness is a pretty broad category. Minor depression? OCD? ADHD? Where do you draw the line on which ones can be used to take away your rights?

    • How about ‘presents a clear danger to him/herself and/or others’? The devil is in the details of how to determine whether one presents a clear danger….

      • Convoluted legal reasoning on all judicial levels aside, I can find nothing in the Second Amendment limiting the right to keep and bear arms only to people the government has decided are not crazy. Or suicidal.

        As for “Presenting a danger to themselves or others”, a suicidal person remains a danger to themselves (and it is mostly none of our business) even if they cannot get a firearm. Many statistical analyses have been presented on this site to prove that point. And they can only be a danger to others if those others have been disarmed by the state and have no effective or legal means to protect themselves against someone who is not mentally competent. Assuming the citizens’ 2A rights are intact, and a legal system that provides for reasonable self defense, a crazy person with a gun would present a great deal more danger to themselves than anyone else. Turning California into, essentially, a giant gun-free zone is the problem, not a few potentially crazy people having access to guns.

        • Exactly! It’s another case of government infringing and creating a problem then trying to infringe more to correct the problem it created in the first place. A man ought not be deprived the use of arms except while under legitimate and lawful custody; under arrest, imprisoned, a defendant in a criminal trial when that defendant is actually at his trial, a person under the immediate control of a mental health health professional after due process (24/48/72 hr observational hold excepted).

  8. “we want to make sure that we’re going after the individuals that have weapons that have mental health issues”

    Boy oh boy, listen to the language he is using. Firearm+mental illness = go after them. As if they are a mortal enemy that must be destroyed. Oh Kalifornia…

    • “that have weapons that have mental health issues””

      Actually, this is talking about WEAPONS that have “mental health” issues. Mine are quite sane, thank you. Except my 12-guage, “Sister Ray”, who does occasionally have anger issues.

      • Here! Here! When a person thinks that a gun can have mental issues, that person may have mental issues….

  9. How many cops are undergoing treatment for various mental afflictions – everything from PTSD to suicidal tendencies. Do they disarm them?

    • The police unions would have a fit if it was even suggested and politicians would be sweating bullets.

    • Yup, bulls eye! The stigma is much easily to smear one with than a determination of danger to others. That would require a judgment call, based on criteria.

  10. Another delicious tidbit: They passed a law requiring the courts to report certain judicial findings (for instance, finding a person incompetent to stand trial) to the DOJ for this purpose. They contacted 34 courts and asked them about this law. 29 of them turned out to be unaware of it.

    Let me repeat that “29 out of 34 Superior Courts were unaware of the law“. Something has gone seriously amiss when even the courts, whose sole business is the law, can’t seem to keep track of it.

    • It would be interesting to see a valid, non partisan breakdown of firearms owners in CA by party affiliation; I wager there are a whole lot more than 20K gun owning Dems in CA. Unfortunately they aren’t astute enough, or are apathetic unmotivated simpletons (sheeple), or don’t prioritize gun ownership enough to vote in candidates who protect those rights, and register their opposition to anti gun legislation.

      (I do, BTW, get your basic insinuation about CA Dems, and would be not at all surprised if you were correct about most of the mentally debarrred gun owners being in fact, Democrats.)

  11. Other interesting facts from the report:

    -The DOJ has an automated system that compares incoming reports of “prohibiting events” to the stored database of gun ownership information. Only the “hits” from this process are referred for manual review by staff.
    -The DOJ staff reviews something like 105,000 of these hits per year.
    -Out of those 105,000 database hits, only about 3,000 result in new additions to the “armed prohibited persons” list.

    In other words, their automated system sucks – it successfully identifies a new “armed prohibited person” less than 3% of the time.

  12. It looks like a witch hunt is brewing. Tyranny will use any excuse to disarm the People because even they know what is necessary to the security of a free state. The Soviets used psychiatric ‘diagnosis’ to silence dissent. There’s nothing new under the Sun.

  13. Now I see things from a particular angle because of working (too?) many years in Emergency Departments, but I gotta say you can see a broken bone on x-rays, you can measure a fever with a thermometer, but mental illness? The diagnosis is just somebody’s opinion! No more, no less.

    And IMHO everybody is crazy. Only a few of us get caught!

    • You’ve got it right. Homeostasis is an observable, measurable state. Determinations of mental health are based upon societal norms. Anyone who is interested, check out how revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is decided upon. It’s chilling to think that individuals will lose their ability to exercise the RKBA based upon that mess. That not withstanding, countless family practice docs are treating psychiatric symptoms based upon what treatment they’ve seen other docs use in residency, often colored by drug rep information, as opposed to actually knowing what they are really doing. However, I don’t think scope of practice should be limited as I believe that physicians’ hands are tied too tightly these days. A patient can get a “psychiatric diagnosis” and rudimentary treatment through pharmaceuticals by way of their primary care physician. It happens all of the time. These seat of the pants diagnoses and treatments will be the basis for perhaps the majority of those patients being flagged for no firearm possession. It’s a bad road for the nation to take. No good will come of it.

  14. California is a lost cause anyway as BOZOS keep getting elected! That aside ,the courts are guilty both in California and Nevada of not passing records for mentally adjudicated to Public Safety,and the NICS system.
    The Courts are not held accountable ,they just apologize and keep doing!

  15. And a nutter just shot up LAX and killed a TSA employee.


    You asked and you received! Thanks TTAG. You’re giving the anti-gun crowd more ammunition.

    • Now that some time has elapsed since you wrote that emotional accusation; do you care to elaborate on your comment, Grumpy? There’s no way that TTAG could possibly be blamed either for the latest LAX shooter’s actions or anti-gunners’ actions.

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