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Armed and Safe is a gun rights advocacy blog, with the mission of debunking the "logic" of the enemies of the Constitutionally guaranteed, fundamental human right of the individual to keep and bear arms.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Illinois gun owners: be careful about whom you talk to

From the Illinois State Rifle Association:


Recent Illinois Law (PA 95-0564) provides that health care professionals report patients to the state police anyone that they believe might pose a danger to themselves or others. ISRA has learned of situations where a party has been admitted to a hospital for stress, alcohol treatment, or other scenarios where part of the admission procedure included a short interview with a psychologist on staff. Questions asked, include gun ownership, and/or the Possession of a FOID card. Within a few weeks that individual receives a notice from the Illinois State Police revoking his or her FOID.

Obviously, when being interviewed by somebody in a hospital setting, ask if he or she is a psychiatrist or a psychologist, who you don’t have to communicate with. And, be sure what information you are willing to disclose to any interviewer. Of course, you should not lie, but a simple refusal to disclose gun ownership may be enough to avoid the problem.

If you think you may be in a situation where the justice system may become involved with restricting your ownership of firearms, such as when facing hospitalization, or in a domestic dispute, unless caught up in an emergency situation, be sure to have your firearms removed from the home as quickly as possible, in the care of a friend or family member who possesses a FOID, and who lives a good distance from your residence. Also, advise your spouse or other party who shares the home with you that you have done so. Most importantly, in any court setting, you will then be able to assure the Judge, that although you possess a FOID, you have removed all firearms from within the home.

These tips can save your firearms from being confiscated and/or your FOID being revoked. ISRA is working to solve these problems, both legislatively, and through litigation.
Looking over the relevant code, my impression is that FOID card denial/revocation is only supposed to happen if the determination is made that the patient is at risk of harming himself/herself and/or others.
(2) "Patient" shall include only: (i) a person who is
an in-patient or resident of any public or private hospital
or mental health facility or (ii) a person who is an
out-patient or provided services by a public or private
hospital or mental health facility whose mental condition
is of such a nature that it is manifested by violent,
suicidal, threatening, or assaultive behavior or reported
behavior, for which there is a reasonable belief by a
physician, clinical psychologist, or qualified examiner
that the condition poses a clear and present or imminent
danger to the patient, any other person or the community
meaning the patient's condition poses a clear and present
danger in accordance with subsection (f) of Section 8 of
the Firearm Owners Identification Card Act. The terms
physician, clinical psychologist, and qualified examiner
are defined in Sections 1-120, 1-103, and 1-122 of the
Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code.
This is Illinois, though, where the state police (FOID card issuing authority) unilaterally pick an arbitrary minimum age for card issuance, despite no legislative authority to do so, where a veteran who seeks counseling for PTSD is denied the right to possess firearms, where voluntarily turning one's guns into the police for what was supposed to be temporary safekeeping gets them destroyed--so it can hardly be surprising that an egregiously overzealous and abusive interpretation of the law (a law that lends itself very handily to abuse) holds sway here.

The lesson here is that if you value your firearms, and your ability to legally possess them, do not seek mental health care in Illinois (isn't that a healthy consequence of Illinois law?), and if you do, refuse to answer any questions about guns.


Patrick Sperry said...

And people still wonder why I was loathe to place a patient on an "M1 Hold." As it is called in Colorado. The taking of someone's rights, even briefly, can have devastating consequences. If not right then, down the road. Foe the EMT's and Paramedics out there; don't forget that all it takes is a court order to expose issues of patient confidentiality. Not to mention that lawyers walk around with pre-signed court orders where they just fill in the blanks and all of a sudden? It's all out there. After the patient trusted you...

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Good man, Mr. Sperry.

Anonymous said...

What most don't understand is that the Illinois mental health code requires mental health facilities are REQUIRED to directly enter the names of ALL inpatients into the FOID system, regardless of why they may be a patient. This has been construed by some hospitals to include alcohol detox, gambling problems, and other issues someone may have that aren't a threat to society. This has always been the case. The new expands on that to include people who are not inpatients who a doctor or hospital deem a threat. Bottom line, if you have a FOID card, go out of state for help.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Thanks, Anon--that's good information, and good advice.