So it is the law of the land in Florida that “mentally defective” people who have been adjudicated as being a danger to themselves or others cannot own a firearm. Hey, most folks will support this law, if asked about it. After all, we don’t want crazy people to have guns, right?
Until you start to redefine what “adjudicated” means. Now, thanks to a change in Florida’s law, if a cop takes you involuntarily to a mental facility for evaluation, and you allow the doctor to voluntarily admit you for treatment, the doctor can have your right to ever own a firearm taken away. So a doctor gives you a choice: be involuntarily admitted and be declared incompetent, thus losing the legal ability to make your own decisions, or voluntarily submit yourself to outpatient treatment and merely lose your right to own a firearm.
The bill amends the definition of “committed to a mental institution” … to include persons who have had an involuntary examination under the Baker Act and who have voluntarily admitted themselves for outpatient or inpatient treatment
But hey, a judge reviews the paperwork. So much for due process.
It seems to me that the only way to avoid this is not to let yourself be Baker Acted. Here is how: Cops, like most people, are lazy. They want to get back to whatever they were doing, and voluntarily going to the hospital keeps them from having to do all of the paperwork of performing a Baker Act. Simply agree to go to the hospital voluntarily, rather than make the cop take you into custody and Baker Act you.
SiGraybeard · May 19, 2013 at 7:34 pm
This is extremely important – glad you're covering it.
I've been telling anyone who listens to be careful what you wish for when you want one person to be able to deny gun rights if someone is "a danger to them self or others". That should never happen without a panel or judge and jury. Even then, think back on how the Soviet Union used to get any dissidents labelled insane and sent to a gulag.
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