Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #11
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    It would generally depend on the exact situation, whether it is documented in the nurse notes...etc. I have previously been successful with the argument but it is difficult.
    Joshua Prince, Esq. - Firearms Industry Consulting Group - www.PaFirearmsLawyer.com

  2. #12
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    I believe with a 302, they can hold someone up to 5 days or 120 hours. I don't know what the 72 hours is about.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by bill gray View Post
    Took an NRA course this weekend and they started off with a lawyer speaking re PA Law. He serves as a judge in the case of persons brought in to a mental health facility against their will for a 72 observation. According to this attorney, this is called a 302 admission. During the 72 hrs, a hearing is required to decide whether or not to extend the hospitalization for several possible periods of time and these are known as 303s, 304s and 305s, depending on what period of time is decided on. This attorney stated that the initial 72 hr hold does NOT prohibit firearm possession but the others do. There is a loophole for the patient. He/she can ask for a voluntary admission instead of the 302 etc. during the hearing and before that decision is made. If that is allowed, this admission does not affect firearm rights. I often see 302s mentioned here as barring firearm possession and it would seem that this is not the case. Any thoughts to the contrary?
    That's all mostly wrong.

    Until a few years ago, ATF didn't really like the due process aspects of a 302, and the PSP wasn't really providing all the records to the Feds, so PICS might deny you for a 302, while NICS in other states might not. Then the state and Feds got together and agreed that the people were the real enemy, so now the Feds have all the records and everybody considers a single doctor deciding to take a look at you for a few days to be "enough due process" to strip you of your rights for life.

    We could still get around that....for a while. Most of the firearms lawyers could still get state relief in Common Pleas for a 302, and convince a judge to also order the expungement of the record, under the authority granted by 6105(f)(1) where "the court may grant such relief as it deems appropriate if the court determines that the applicant may possess a firearm without risk to the applicant or any other person."

    With an expungement, the removal of the Pennsylvania prohibition also extended to the Feds, because without any record of a commitment, there was nothing left for the Feds to use to deny you your rights.

    That was until the Keyes decision, which came out on Christmas Eve of 2013. Josh lost that case on appeal, and the court not only denied his client the expungement he sought, the court declared that "such relief as it deems appropriate" was not broad enough to allow the judge to order an expungement under 6105(f)(1), based upon a finding that the applicant was NOW perfectly sane and posed no risk moving forward.

    The court rationalized this by claiming that any expungement based upon proof of current sanity, somehow duplicated another statutory provision which allowed an expungement based upon proof that the original commitment was done in error. The court's questionable logic is that the Legislature must have intended 6105(f)(1) to be a path to relief that never, ever restored anyone's gun rights (because the Federal prohibition would remain untouched after a successful petition), and that makes more sense to the judges than the statutory waste of having two different statutes providing two different paths to relief for two different circumstances ( (1) the citizen is provably sane now, vs (2) the citizen never should have been committed).

    I might have argued to the court that they are two very different reasons for expunging a record, and that the Legislature was more likely to have created two avenues for relief based upon the two separate reasons, "he's sane now" and "he was never really insane". However, not my case, so I wasn't there to argue it. To be fair, the same court also eliminated any chance for expungements of the more serious 303 and 304 commitments earlier the same year, so apparently, they had an agenda that may not have been overcome by better argument.

    Right after the Keyes decision came out, there was a bill floated that would have made it a little harder to get state relief, but it would have raised us up to being Federally qualified, to the point that state relief would have also given us Federal relief. Some of the gun rights groups didn't quite understand this, and objected to the language making it harder to get state relief. They relied on bad legal advice as to the overall impact of the proposed law; they objected to the bill, which weakened its support (if the gun groups didn't like it, there were few left to support it), and then they managed to cannibalize the bill itself by removing ALL of the language and using just the bill number as a vehicle to pass the "preemption" bill that would have given anyone standing to sue a municipality for local gun laws that were not being enforced. That "preemption" bill effort destroyed the 302 restoration of rights bill, then moved on and got attached to the scrap metal bill, got enacted into law, but was ultimately shot down because of our state constitution's ban against bills with more than one topic at a time.

    In other words, we lost a bill that would have helped thousands of people who currently are being denied a core civil right, so that the NRA and local lawyers could sue cities over laws that were not being enforced against anyone, except for the Erie guys who demanded that they be charged, so Erie accommodated them. (The Erie case confirmed what should have been obvious to the Common Pleas judge, that no penal statute against gun possession is valid unless it's a state-wide law; it also gave the activist judges a chance to tell municipalities how to get around that.)

    The lessons here are that we need to pay attention to who gets elected as judges in this Commonwealth; and that we need to stop taking important cases up on appeal to be decided by activist judges who don't much agree with gun rights. We have a better avenue, with a proven track record, in the state Legislature, where people directly accountable to the voters, in a state with a lot of hunters and NRA members, have kept us a free state surrounded by gun-hating states like New York and New Jersey and Maryland. We remain an embarrassment to the Brady and VPC liars, because a map of the "progressive", anti-gun states has a Pennsylvania-shaped hole in it. And that's all thanks to the Legislature, not the PA courts.

    It's said that if your only tool is a hammer, all problems look like nails. To some lawyers, all problems look like important precedential court cases. The problem is that the appeals courts are the wrong tool for improving our rights, as proven by Keyes and McKown and others.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Ungawa's M16A1 is for sale, see the NFA ads! http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.ph...06#post3835606

  4. #14
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    I work in The behavioral health field and can tell you, A 201 (voluntary admission) is offered before a 302 is granted. Most 302 Admissions are repeat people that are very sick and need it. They refuse medications, beat up or threaten family members. We do everything as professionals we can to prevent a 302 which usually leads to a 303, 304 ect... I am a staunch 2nd amend supporter but most committed need the help and away from firearms.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by Waverip11 View Post
    I work in The behavioral health field and can tell you, A 201 (voluntary admission) is offered before a 302 is granted. Most 302 Admissions are repeat people that are very sick and need it. They refuse medications, beat up or threaten family members. We do everything as professionals we can to prevent a 302 which usually leads to a 303, 304 ect... I am a staunch 2nd amend supporter but most committed need the help and away from firearms.
    That may be your experience in your facility.

    But I've heard a different story from so many clients that I have to believe there's some truth to it; people who were TOLD that they were admitted on a 201, but the paperwork for a 302 was sent to the PSP. My theory is that it's easier to handle patients who believe that they are there voluntarily, and lying to them is not viewed as an issue. And the patient has zero control over the paperwork or where his body is taken and by whom.

    It's simply too easy to be admitted on a 302, based on the opinion of one doctor, whose facility makes a lot more cash from a 302 admission than from releasing the patient. Particularly for minors brought in by their parent or parents. Plenty of parents are just out of their depth in child-raising, and when a teen acts like a teen instead of a sweet little child, the kid goes to the shrink to be fixed.

    A doctor who says the patient is fine and sends him on his way, faces more risks than the doctor who admits every patient for a thorough review. That's just the way it is. Admission looks like "due diligence", releasing him COULD result in the patient killing himself or someone else tomorrow. There's no downside to a 302 admission, for anyone except the person who loses his rights for life, and there's nobody to sue for that.

    I know what the statute says, I know the theory that's out there for public consumption. I know that some of those admitted have slashed wrists or they punched out their folks. But the fact remains, being admitted once says nothing at all about the same person 5 or 10 or 20 years later, and either our legal system is horribly defective in this regard, or psychiatry is a joke and we can't fix mental illness, ever.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Ungawa's M16A1 is for sale, see the NFA ads! http://forum.pafoa.org/showthread.ph...06#post3835606

  6. #16
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by Waverip11 View Post
    I work in The behavioral health field and can tell you, where i work A 201 (voluntary admission) is offered before a 302 is granted. Most 302 Admissions are repeat people that are very sick and need it. They refuse medications, beat up or threaten family members. We do everything as professionals we can to prevent a 302 which usually leads to a 303, 304 ect... I am a staunch 2nd amend supporter but most committed need the help and away from firearms.
    Fixed

  7. #17
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    That may be your experience in your facility.

    But I've heard a different story from so many clients that I have to believe there's some truth to it; people who were TOLD that they were admitted on a 201, but the paperwork for a 302 was sent to the PSP. My theory is that it's easier to handle patients who believe that they are there voluntarily, and lying to them is not viewed as an issue. And the patient has zero control over the paperwork or where his body is taken and by whom.

    It's simply too easy to be admitted on a 302, based on the opinion of one doctor, whose facility makes a lot more cash from a 302 admission than from releasing the patient. Particularly for minors brought in by their parent or parents. Plenty of parents are just out of their depth in child-raising, and when a teen acts like a teen instead of a sweet little child, the kid goes to the shrink to be fixed.

    A doctor who says the patient is fine and sends him on his way, faces more risks than the doctor who admits every patient for a thorough review. That's just the way it is. Admission looks like "due diligence", releasing him COULD result in the patient killing himself or someone else tomorrow. There's no downside to a 302 admission, for anyone except the person who loses his rights for life, and there's nobody to sue for that.

    I know what the statute says, I know the theory that's out there for public consumption. I know that some of those admitted have slashed wrists or they punched out their folks. But the fact remains, being admitted once says nothing at all about the same person 5 or 10 or 20 years later, and either our legal system is horribly defective in this regard, or psychiatry is a joke and we can't fix mental illness, ever.
    This post (not necessarily the thread, but definitely this post) should be required reading for lawmakers.

    My 2¢

  8. #18
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgt.K View Post
    This post (not necessarily the thread, but definitely this post) should be required reading for lawmakers.

    My 2¢
    +1


    Many lawmakers require a lot of education on tons of topics before passing laws.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    That may be your experience in your facility.

    But I've heard a different story from so many clients that I have to believe there's some truth to it; people who were TOLD that they were admitted on a 201, but the paperwork for a 302 was sent to the PSP. My theory is that it's easier to handle patients who believe that they are there voluntarily, and lying to them is not viewed as an issue. And the patient has zero control over the paperwork or where his body is taken and by whom.

    It's simply too easy to be admitted on a 302, based on the opinion of one doctor, whose facility makes a lot more cash from a 302 admission than from releasing the patient. Particularly for minors brought in by their parent or parents. Plenty of parents are just out of their depth in child-raising, and when a teen acts like a teen instead of a sweet little child, the kid goes to the shrink to be fixed.

    A doctor who says the patient is fine and sends him on his way, faces more risks than the doctor who admits every patient for a thorough review. That's just the way it is. Admission looks like "due diligence", releasing him COULD result in the patient killing himself or someone else tomorrow. There's no downside to a 302 admission, for anyone except the person who loses his rights for life, and there's nobody to sue for that.

    I know what the statute says, I know the theory that's out there for public consumption. I know that some of those admitted have slashed wrists or they punched out their folks. But the fact remains, being admitted once says nothing at all about the same person 5 or 10 or 20 years later, and either our legal system is horribly defective in this regard, or psychiatry is a joke and we can't fix mental illness, ever.
    This happened to a good friend of mine. He got into a fight with his sister when he was a teen and his panicky mother had him sent to a psychiatric facility for a few days where he was 302'd. He is now 30 years old and cannot legally purchase a firearm. He is of very modest means and cannot pay legal fees to have the 302 expunged from his record.

  10. #20
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    Default Re: 302s and prohibition of gun ownership

    Quote Originally Posted by lemko View Post
    This happened to a good friend of mine. He got into a fight with his sister when he was a teen and his panicky mother had him sent to a psychiatric facility for a few days where he was 302'd. He is now 30 years old and cannot legally purchase a firearm. He is of very modest means and cannot pay legal fees to have the 302 expunged from his record.
    If he hasn't already, he should try to get a copy of his records. The facility isn't required to keep them forever, and once they are destroyed there is a good chance that he will be out of luck even if he gets the money to hire an attorney or decides to try petitioning pro se.

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