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Wednesday, May 1, 2013


This is a hard one to understand, but when you rush forward I guess mistakes happen. Most legislators I have spoke with regarding Connecticut's recently passed gun bill agree, it wasn't a great bill, but it had to be done for the families of Newtown. My State Rep. , Doug McCrory actually had the backbone to stand and vote "no" for something he didn't believe in. But before I start going in another direction, back to my point.

Although much of the debate was about "mental illness", there is apparently one provision in the bill that would prevent many people from seeking help voluntarily if they realized they needed help for stress, anxiety or any form of mental illness and even if they voluntarily seek help at a hospital that deals with psychiatric issues ( most hospitals fall into that category). Under the statute, that information must be reported to the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection.

From what Law enforcement sources are explaining to me, even first responders from Newtown that may be seeking counseling and help for stress related to the Newtown response are in jeopardy of losing their firearms if the law is enforced as written.Once the information of their voluntay treatment for any mental health issue is reported, the Commissioner is supposed to revoke their gun ownership permits.

One police source stated to me that even a police officer seeking treatment for chest pains is in jeopardy if the chest pains are determined to be caused by anxiety, technically a mental health problem. In a recent training claas for police officers, it was apparently pointed out that when possible, they should seek treatment at out of state hospitals to avoid the reporting process mandated by the bill.

I'm serious, you can't make this stuff up.

The complete law can be read here:

This bill clearly needs to be reviewed and provide some support and protection for our urban areas and gun violence as well as protect police officers, state troopers and other first responders that encounter tragic situations and wish to voluntarily seek counseling without fear of losing their weapons.

I have to admit I haven't read the entire bill, but section 8 of the bill seems to apply to the mental health problem. I think you would probably be hard pressed to find many members of the State Legislature who read the entire bill also before they voted on it


Anonymous said...

There needs to be an exception made for law enforcement in this bill to accommodate any officer who seeks counseling. If not officers will never seek counseling to deal with stress related issues.

The bill was rushed forward and how the law enforcement exception got past the cops on the panel is troubling.

Any time that a politician gets involved in a law enforcement issue police always lose or at a disadvantage. Bad Law w/o law enforcement exception added.

Anonymous said...

What I want to know is how the hospitals can legally release this type of information to state police, which has no affiliation to the medical community ? Isn't there some sort of Hypa violation here? Heck I have to sign off even for my doctor to talk to my family, never mind a government agency.

LawGeek said...

Reading through the bill (thanks for the link!), it appears that revocation only applies for commitment or admissions to a psychiatric facility. Out-patient services, such as seeing a counselor or getting meds prescribed by a doctor, are not covered.

Further, there is an exception for those who are committed or admitted solely for treatment of drug or alcohol addiction.

The change from prior law is the addition of "or voluntarily admitted" along with commitments by a Probate court.

So, unless your cop with chest pains is admitted to the psych ward, he or she has nothing to worry about in seeking help.