New York wants to force ‘mental health checks’ for gun purchases – and they’d decide who is ‘sane’.

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ALBANY, NY- In New York, there’s a bill that is currently at the Senate Committee level that could radically change the way guns are bought, sold, and transferred between people.

That bill would force people to undergo a mental health screening and share their results with retailers and private sellers of guns if they so decide to try to purchase one.

Interesting that a state would encroach upon HIPPA protections when it comes to people purchasing guns, but wouldn’t dare force someone to get an STD screening if they wanted to embark upon a new sexual partner.

SB 7065 is already well in motion in New York. The bill, introduced by Democratic State Senator James Sanders, would forcibly compel prospective purchasers of firearms to prove that they’re mentally fit to possess said guns they intend to purchase.

Now this mental health examination would also transpire prior to a background check even being conducted.

You see, mental health examinations are a far easier avenue to exploit rather than a background check.

Background checks are pretty cut and dry – either you’ve committed crimes in the past or you haven’t. Whereas mental health evaluations are contingent upon opinions of deemed experts, which expertise is a malleable truth, as one expert can proclaim dominance over another and so on.

You might be wondering the “how” and the “who” behind running this mental health racket. These evaluations would be overseen by the New York State Office of Mental Health.

The bill states the following on these required mental health screenings:

“Before any sale, exchange, or disposal of a firearm, rifle or shotgun at a gun show, by a federally licensed dealer or private sale, including when such sale, exchange or disposal is between immediate family members, a purchaser of any firearm, rifle or shotgun shall submit to a mental health evaluation and provide the seller with proof of his or her approval to purchase such firearm.”

Some argue this is a state-run endeavor to essentially disarm those without the proper group-think.

The state is going to determine who fits the persona of a mentally sound firearm purchaser, as the bill specifically names the commissioner of mental health as the one responsible for such.  

The commissioner’s influence is even furthered on the bill here:

“The commissioner shall promulgate regulations which shall include, but not be limited to, provisions relating to mental health professionals approved to perform the evaluation; the process for evaluation; and the development of a standardized form to be used by mental health professionals performing such evaluation to approve or deny an individual for purchase of a firearm, rifle or shotgun.”

So, if you gave a gun to perhaps your spouse, your son or daughter, or perhaps your parents – you’d have to get a state approved mental health check on them first.

Failure to do so would land you a healthy felony charge and the possibility of seven years in prison. If this bill gets signed into law, which it may very well, you can expect it to take effect in 180 days from said signing.

One of the most interesting speculations on the proposed bill making it’s way through New York was by one commenter online that stated the following:

“US Department of Justice- Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016.

In short, of all criminals interviewed who were imprisoned for gun related crime, less than 2% obtained the weapon through the standard legal process.

So please inform me how this bill will help keep people safe if the criminals don’t follow the legal process to obtain a firearm in the first place. This puts additional burden on the state healthcare system, small business gun stores, and the law abiding citizen.” 

Who would have known that gun crimes are committed by people who have no regard for the law anyway? Once again, anti-gun states are trying to make things harder for people who will follow the law and therefore turn them into potential victims.

They’ve also seemingly figured out a work around to gun control in Illinois as well.

That’s where a federal lawsuit has been filed on behalf of two men who claim the Illinois State police violated their constitutional rights by delaying the issuance of their concealed carry permits and owner identification cards.

The lawsuit claims that over the past five years, the state police have “swept” or “transferred” more than $29.5 million in funds that are earmarked to administer the Firearm Owner Identification Card Act and to conduct background checks for firearm-related services and concealed carry licensing.

The lawsuit claims:

“The effect of this has been a systematic slowdown and sometimes halt of processing of applications and appeals of the FOID Card Act.”

The complaint says, in part:

“The money was to be used for three purposes: administration of the Firearms Owners Identification Card (“FOID Card Act”), background checks for firearm-related services, and concealed carry licensing pursuant to the Firearms Concealed Carry Act (“FCCA”).

Instead, more than $29,500,000.00 has been subject to interfund transfers which are ostensibly to be repaid but which have not been or swept into other accounts without an obligation to reimburse the funds at all.”

“The sweeping of funds has denied qualified Illinois their rights and the ability to defend themselves and their families,” said Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.

“Because of this practice, ISP processing of FOID and concealed carry applications has slowed to a crawl, allowing paperwork to languish. That’s not just poor performance, it’s pathetic.”

Ryan Thomas, 47, from the Chicago suburb of WIlmette is one of the plaintiffs. Thomas says that for the past three years, he tried to regain his FOID card and concealed carry permit after having moved out of state, and then returning to Illinois.

The other plaintiff in the case, Goran Lazic, 51, of Vernon Hills is seeking to regain his constitutional right to bear arms after a criminal charge of domestic battery was dismissed and erased from his record in 2017.

The lawsuit claims that the state police “effectively imposed an unending ban on Thomas’ and Lazic’s rights to keep and bear arms for self-defense.”

Thomas and Lazic are members of the Illinois State rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation, which are also listed as plaintiffs in the suit.

The lawsuit asks the court to order the Illinois State Police to issue FOID cards to the men and award them monetary damages for depriving them of their constitutional rights.

In a statement, a state police spokesperson, acknowledged that between 2015 and 2018 there was $13.2 million transferred from the Firearms Service Fund into the general fund during Illinois’ budget standoff.

During the current fiscal year, the statement said there’s been no such transfer of funds, which is enabling the Firearms Service Bureau to start filling 17 vacancies and improve services.

In 2019, state police reported, 90 percent of FOID applications were processed in less than 30 days. It took an average of 65 days for the department to renew a FOID card last year, the state police spokesperson said.

The lawsuit comes at the same time that the Illinois State Supreme Court is considering whether the state’s FOID card system is unconstitutional to begin with. Were the court to strike down the FOID card requirement, the above lawsuit would be moot, but the hindering by the state of the right to keep and bear arms would also disappear.

According to Bearing Arms, the Illinois state supreme court heard two cases dealing with the issue last fall, and an opinion is expected at any time.

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In the meantime in Virginia, even Democrats are starting to see Governor Northam’s gun-grabbing for what it is: A violation of Virginians’ constitutional rights.

Virginia State Senator Lynwood Lewis, a democrat, has publicly stated his opposition to many of Northam’s attempts to rip Virginia citizens of their Second Amendment rights.

Since his election, Northam has held a firm stance on banning all-things-firearms.  Once the General Assembly switched to a democrat majority in both houses in early January, he pounced on the opportunity to promote a flurry of laws that seek to severely limit the rights of Virginia residents to bear arms.

This week, State Senator Lewis wrote a piece for the Shore Daily News expressing his opinions on the anti-gun legislation.  Believe it or not, the article wasn’t filled with the same gun-bashing rhetoric that Northam spews.

The Democrat instead wrote of supporting the limiting of firearms access, but opposing any type of gun or ammo ban.

First, Lewis pointed out, there has been a 40% increase in proposed laws introduced this year.  Take a guess as to what the increased amount of legislation has to do with. 

“I want to take a moment to discuss the gun issue which has so unfortunately and, in my view, unnecessarily divided our Commonwealth,” the state senator said. 

“…my focus has been on what I call access issues.  That is trying to make sure that the filter between those whom we all agree should not have access to firearms is a tight one.”

Lewis continued by outlining the legislation he does support, such as a “robust” system of background checks and red flag laws.  Versions of both of these bills have passed in the Senate.  He also encouraged people to actually read the legislation rather than relying on social media to learn their information and form their opinions on the bills.

Lewis also outlined the improvement in the legislation which he voted to pass.  Lewis said he and his committee worked tirelessly to revamp the bills and make them more acceptable to both sides.  More on that later.

Importantly, Lewis references Senate Bill 16, which was the technical ban on “assault weapons.”  The popular AR-15s would require a license to specifically own that type of gun, whether they bought it before the legislation passed or not. 

Lewis said:

“The bill which rightfully had everyone very concerned (SB16) never even made it out of committee…There is no Senate bill now regarding the banning of assault rifles.

The Governor’s bill on this topic was introduced in the House of Delegates and is being carried by Delegate Mark Levine.

As I stated publicly before the Session and as was reported in Eastern Shore news media I will not be supporting any type of ban legislation whether on a particular type of firearm or a particular type of magazine.”

Of equal importance, Lewis acknowledged that one of his fellow state senators, Dick Saslaw, introduced a bill that would limit the purchase of firearms to the age of 21, while they can still enter the military at the age of 18.

“Senator Saslaw put in a bill,” Lewis said, “which would raise the legal age for firearm purchases to twenty-one.

As a general philosophical approach…I have a problem, since we allow eighteen year olds to vote and in all other respects be treated as adult members of society.

I do not believe that we can pick and choose for which things they should be held accountable as adults.

We should have had that discussion decades ago when we decided to treat eighteen-year olds as full adults. Unless we want to have that larger discussion again, I will resist increasing the age to twenty-one.”

Other legislation seeks to limit children’s activities that include firearms, such as hunting.  To this, Senator Lewis said:

“Senator Howell has proposed SB581 which is very problematic and further highlights the cultural divide in our Commonwealth.

That bill has an unintended consequence making it very difficult for our young people between the ages of fourteen and eighteen to have access to firearms for hunting and other purposes.

Unless that legislation is amended in some significant way I will not be voting in favor of it.”

Back to Lewis and his committee working to make the proposed laws more agreeable to both sides. 

He made clear to readers that while originally, background checks would be required to any firearm transfer, the legislation was changed to exempt concealed carry permit holders from the checks, as well as applying the law solely to commercial transactions.

Additionally, he referenced the Red Flag laws, which, after the improvements, changed significantly. 

No longer does the bill read that anyone can request an emergency risk protection order (which would flag a person during a background check as being ineligible to purchase a firearm). 

Now, Lewis says, only a Commonwealth attorney or two police officers can petition the court for an ERPO; the average Joe citizen can’t. 

There is no longer a simultaneous search warrant issued with the ERPO.  Police must consult with an attorney before petitioning for the order, and the recipient of said order is entitled to a hearing within 14 days to ensure there is “clear and convincing” proof that the person should indeed be under an ERPO. 

If the law passes, it will also be a class 1 misdemeanor for anyone to knowingly provide false information to law enforcement in order to place a person under a red flag law order.

The bills are heading to the House, and Lewis said they will likely return to them in “a very different form.”  But, they’re showing improvement and to this, Lewis said, “This is the way the legislative process is supposed to work.” 

Another point Lewis made was:

“The average gun owner will likely never realize that these laws have been passed but I believe that they will advance the cause of public safety in individual cases across this Commonwealth about which we may never know.”

That’s because the average gun owner is a law-abiding citizen who will not ever become the possible subject of a red flag law.

Lewis’ words are significant.  It shows that not all democrats are blindly following Northam in his quest to end all things firearms (except, of course, when it comes to his own security detail).

There is hope for Second Amendment supporters in Virginia, yet!  

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