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NC - CONTACT SENATE! SB 2081 strips 2A of ANYONE who has ANY mental health treatment
Yes, even OUTPATIENT treatment!
Why Is The Tarheel State Trying To Be More Anti-gun Than The Federal
-- NICS reporting bill flawed in numerous ways
Gun Owners of America E-Mail Alert
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102, Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: 703-321-8585 / FAX: 703-321-8408
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Dear North Carolina gun rights supporter,
You probably recall the long fight in Congress last year over the Veteran's
Disarmament Act. Although GOA -- thanks to its very active members -- was
able to substantially improve that legislation, it still represents the most
significant gun control passed at the federal level in the last decade.
In essence, large numbers of mental health records are now being sent by the
states to the federal NICS system for purposes of gun purchase background
checks. And so states are implementing procedures as to how they are going
to do this.
To no one's great surprise, the politicians in Raleigh are screwing up the
SB 2081 will potentially disarm large numbers of North Carolinians who pose
no danger to themselves or others... probably even in violation of federal
law! You read it right. SB 2081 goes beyond what is legally permissable
under federal law in many cases.
First, some background: In a letter dated May 9, 2007, the BATFE made it
clear that it is now going to treat a simple OUTPATIENT mental health
referral as though it were a "commitment to a mental
institution" -- and
thus a reason to prohibit a citizen from purchasing guns. In the same nutty
letter, BATFE opined that as long as there is even a *miniscule* chance of
persons being a danger to themselves or others (or being unable to handle
the vagaries of their affairs), the prohibition will stand. And what
psychiatrist is going to bet his or her professional reputation that a given
individual will never be a miniscule danger?
However, this letter is not a regulation, it is just BATFE's opinion. And
therein lies the rub. Even though federal interpretations are anti-gun, they
do require at least a tiny risk or some incompetence to be demonstrated.
There is no requirement in federal law that such outpatient records must be
delivered to NICS by the states.
When SB 2081 bans "outpatients" from owning firearms, it is
banning a class
of citizens, which BY STATUTORY DEFINITION poses no danger! None. NC General
Statute 122C-263(d)(1) permits commitment to outpatient treatment only for
people "capable of surviving safely in the community" whereas
people, by law, have to be committed to an inpatient facility.
That doesn't seem to matter to anti-gun politicians like Attorney General
Roy Cooper, who has literally bragged that outpatient reporting has disarmed
80,000 people in Virginia... apparently he hopes the Tarheel State can
better that record.
This is a very dangerous precedent and a poorly-drafted bill at best. We've
seen veterans being disarmed for life merely for seeking treatment for
nightmares. And now Raleigh wants to notify the feds when sometimes we're
talking about no more than a stressed-out person being sent home by a shrink
with a prescription and orders to get some needed rest?
Unfortunately, it gets worse -- SB 2081 violates federal law. You see,
probably the only reason that the federal Veteran's Disarmament Act managed
to pass was that it included a provision for people being able to get their
rights restored once they have recovered from their mental trauma. In fact,
states are MANDATED to provide a "relief from disabilities"
process -- or
lose large amounts of federal money. Once you have been "fully
discharged from all mandatory treatment, supervision, or
monitoring" you are
no longer a prohibited person, period.
So how have the anti-gunners in the state capital chosen to do this? By
The burden is on the petitioner to establish by clear and convincing
evidence that the petitioner no longer suffers from the condition that
resulted in commitment and no longer poses a danger to self or others for
purposes of the purchase, possession, or transfer of firearms....
And just in case you might be able to afford the time and money to hire an
attorney and go to court, they further direct that "The district
shall present any and all relevant information to the contrary."
But there's still a tiny chance you might prevail, so they're not done yet!
Guess what? That anti-gun DA gets statutory access to ALL of your records --
you are required to sign a waiver to that effect. Further, the judge can, in
his sole discretion, decide that the "public interest" would
served if all proceedings (and all of those records) were made completely
public. And just to rub a little more salt into the wound, should an
anti-gun judge deny your petition, you are barred from trying again for a
It is a truism that PTSD has become a catch-all diagnosis for returning
military personnel. Sure, some people need legitimate help. But others are
only trying to get a decent night's sleep and are no danger to their
community. Certainly they don't deserve to lose their gun rights forever
just because war is hell.
In a state with a large number of active duty and veteran military
personnel, it is important that North Carolina not create a program which
will go even further than the anti-veteran program recently enacted by the
This is probably going to be a long battle. Gun owners need to contact their
elected officials in Raleigh "early and often." A full Senate
is appended below, as well as a pre-written letter to help direct your
comments. The easiest way to help is to simply copy/paste the pre-written
letter into an an e-mail to your Senator. If you don't know who your Senator
is, you can plug in your zipcode at http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/ to identify
him or her.
--- Suggested pre-written letter --
SB 2081 goes beyond federal law -- and quite possibly violates it.More
than 100,000 veterans have been disarmed for life, often due to nothing
more than the nightmares one would expect after returning from combat. Those
fine people are no danger to our communities.
I am greatly disturbed by many aspects of SB 2081, especially the following:
1. Disarmament (for life) for simple OUTPATIENT treatment... which makes no
sense, as under current NC law, a person committed to outpatient treatment is
by definition "capable of surviving safely in the community"
and thus shouldn't be stripped of their constitutional rights;
2. A smoke-and-mirrors "process" for regaining those lost
rights that sets
standards which are almost impossible to meet; and,
3. The very fact that my state, with its numerous active duty and veteran
military personnel, would be willing to go far beyond the bounds of federal
requirements in disarming large segments of its populace.
Please vote against SB 2081. I also urge you to bring the problems with the
bill to the attention of your colleagues.
I wasn't sure what to make of the "Veterans Disarmament Act" as they called it, but looks like NC is headed down the WORST CASE SCENARIO, at the first stop!
GRNC. NRA, GOA Life
Keep doing 2A activism - each one of us is carrying at least 20 lazy gun owners that can't be bothered to!
POPVOX and Congress-dot-org make it SUPER EASY!
Call the Senate on Bloomberg's dime: 855-440-4800
NRA Life Member
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Formerly of Hallstead, PA
HandyMan Hugh D.H.M.D.
NRA Life Member/Certified Pistol Instructor
Remember when seconds count the police are just minutes away! As good as they are, They can't be everywhere at once!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: North Carolina
How would anyone know if someone was an outpatient?
Drugs are bad because if you do drugs you're a hippie and hippies suck.
"If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting."-General Curtis E. LeMay
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: With my wife
Originally Posted by WiskyT
How would anyone know if someone was an outpatient?
Really, and by "commitment" do they mean someone legally made you get therapy on outpatient basis, or does it also apply if you independently get an appointment yourself and are under no compulsion at all to receive any treatment?
Try not. DO, or DO NOT, there is no try...
Join Date: Jul 2007
From the NRA website.
"Friday, July 18, 2008
On Thursday, July 17, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 2081 by a vote of 111 to 0. SB 2081 will now head to the desk of Governor Mike Easley (D) for his consideration. This legislation makes critical changes to North Carolina law in order to get the Tar Heel State in compliance with the federal “NICS Improvement Amendments Act,” which was signed into law in January of this year. This federal law provides financial incentives to states to make records of prohibited individuals available for use in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). As it relates to S 2081 in North Carolina, “The NICS Improvement Amendments Act” requires states to establish a system that would allow individuals who have been involuntarily committed, by a court, to a mental health treatment program to have their commitment reported to NICS. Individuals with such commitments are already prohibited under federal law from purchasing or possessing a firearm, but not all applicable commitments are currently reported to NICS.
As originally introduced, this legislation had some areas that would have caused serious concern among the pro-gun community. NRA worked with both the bill sponsor, State Senator Tony Rand (D-19), as well as Attorney General Roy Cooper (D), who originally proposed the legislation, to make numerous improvements to S 2081. In addition, State Senator Phil Berger (R-26) offered several amendments that also improved the legislation. As passed, S 2081 now requires the reporting to NICS of all involuntary commitments to a mental health treatment program, provided such commitment carried with it a finding that the individual was “a danger to self or others.” This legislation also establishes a process, which includes a hearing that is “closed to the public,” for one affected by the commitment provision to petition to have his or her name removed from NICS, thus restoring the petitioner’s ability to legally purchase, possess, and transfer firearms. This process requires the petitioner to prove he or she should be removed from the system by establishing by a “preponderance of evidence” that he or she has met the standard to remove the bar from purchasing, possessing, or transferring a firearm due to the involuntary commitment. These three specific provisions were improvements made by Sen. Berger’s amendments. Initially, the commitments reported would have included those where there was no finding that the individual committed was a “danger to self or others.” It also established the hearing as being open to the public, and would have required the petitioner to show “clear and convincing evidence” as to why the purchase, possession, and transfer bar should be removed, rather than the lower standard of “preponderance of evidence.”
This legislation goes no further than the requirements under the “NICS Improvement Amendments Act,” and NRA is grateful to those legislators who worked to both improve the original version, as well as those who made sure no anti-gun amendments were added to it."
Grass Roots NC reports that the NRA is claiming credit for GRNCs efforts. http://www.grnc.org/updates/
“Food for thought is no substitute for the real thing”
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