Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Need advice concerning a 302, please.

    Greetings to you all. I found this forum while I was doing some independant preliminary research, liked what I read, so I registered specifically to seek guidance. But hopefully in the future I'll be able to come back and contribute as a firearm owner.

    I am not sure exactly sure what information you will need to help so feel free to ask for anything I inadvertantly omitted.

    About a month ago I was denied by PICS when I went to purchase my very first shotgun for home defense and try my luck at some bird hunting sometime. The response to my challenge form was a 302 involuntary commitment in 1999. I don't know how much detail I should get into, but suffice it to say the night of 1999 in question was fueled with a quantity of alcohol (from which I forever have given up) and a lot of issues occuring at once. I had even told the ER doctor that at no time was I trying to end my life. Nor would I ever want to. It was an incident I accidently took too far.

    Anyways, I have been trying to find the laws that will aid me, but I honestly think they word them in such a way as to confuse someone like me to tears. For instance:
    *I believe I was held for observation, not involuntarily commited by a court.
    *I obviously was in no danger to myself or others after I spent the mandatory 5 or 6 day stay since the released me without a hitch.
    * I recall signing some sort of paper while in the ER. Can't remember if it was for a self commitment paper or not.
    * There was no "treatment" whatsoever. I saw the psychiatrist twice during the time I was there. And each time was for 5 minutes. So a total of 10 minutes my entire stay. Was not prescribed meds nor therapy.

    Let me express to you all that at NO time, then or now, have I ever thought of ending my life. Trust me, I have quite a bit to be around for So what would be the steps I should take to become a firearm owner? I did send for a copy of my hospital records in case I would need them. What other avenues should/could I follow?

    Thank you all for your help in advance. I am disheartened that one stupid, drunken night will now follow me around forever.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Need advice concerning a 302, please.

    http://www.mces.org/302FAQs.html

    Hope this helps 302 FAQ's

    Also...

    Persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms:
    6105 c(4) A person who has been adjudicated as an incompetent or who has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution for inpatient care and treatment under section 302, 303 or 304 of the provisions of the act of July 9, 1976 (P.L 817, No 143) known as the Mental Health Procedures Act This paragraph shall not apply to any proceeding under section 302 of the Mental Health Procedures Act unless the examining physician has issued a certifica*tion that inpatient care was necessary or that the person was committable.

    Not sure if any of the above was applied to you in your incident, but you will have to see if it does and how you can appeal. I'm sure others will have more info.
    Last edited by LM4300; November 1st, 2008 at 11:35 AM. Reason: added info

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Need advice concerning a 302, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by CCPa View Post
    Anyways, I have been trying to find the laws that will aid me, but I honestly think they word them in such a way as to confuse someone like me to tears. For instance:
    *I believe I was held for observation, not involuntarily commited by a court.
    *I obviously was in no danger to myself or others after I spent the mandatory 5 or 6 day stay since the released me without a hitch.
    * I recall signing some sort of paper while in the ER. Can't remember if it was for a self commitment paper or not.
    * There was no "treatment" whatsoever. I saw the psychiatrist twice during the time I was there. And each time was for 5 minutes. So a total of 10 minutes my entire stay. Was not prescribed meds nor therapy.
    If you were under a 302 you were held by the court and you were judged as a danger to yourself or others. You were not able to sign yourself out until they gave the ok.

    If you signed a voluntary (and they always try to get you to go that way) then it falls under a 201.

    Either way, just being there constituted "treatment".

    Somewhere on this forum is the information to appeal, but I don't have the link at the moment. Keep searching under 302 and mental health.

    If you can't find it, I'll have some time to dig it up later.

    Lycanhastorunthrope

    I taught Chuck Norris to bump-fire.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Need advice concerning a 302, please.


    I taught Chuck Norris to bump-fire.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Need advice concerning a 302, please.

    I appreciate the responses so far. But I can't see where it says how or where I begin to start to regain my gun ownership rights.

    When I spoke the the legal assistant for the Attorney Gerneral, she said they don't deal with 302 appeals and that I would have to go through the common pleas court in my county. Is that correct?

  6. #6
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    Lightbulb Re: Need advice concerning a 302, please.

    What you need to find here, is a qualified mental health professional, who ALSO owns firearms, and preferably, posts on this board!

    First off, I am not one (sorry), but the one thing I've long thought boards such as these could use, is a "professionals" section, wherein a "respository of brain trust" could be established and tapped for JUST questions/occasions! Anything from an ASE-certified mechanic, to a board licensed heart surgeon, could 'hang out a shingle' as it were, to either offer such advice, or at the least, agree to see someone in person for a professional consultation, so as NOT to give out false/misleading/conflicting advice, that could come back to 'bite them' in a court of law or some such.

    Your question, on how to get around a '302 incident' in one's youthful past, is a good one; I suspect short OF an actual legal consultation - with someone familar enough with the law to advise you correctly (i.e. - lawyer), it's simply going to leave MOST of us scratching our heads, asking ourselves - "Dang - how WOULD you get out from under that?!?!"

    Ergo, your best advice might be, to see if there's an attorney in your county seat, who specializes in either firearms law, or mental health issues; preferably, both!

    Hope that helps!

    Bob

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Need advice concerning a 302, please.

    Welcome to the board.

    I actually had to go through this once a long time ago. First thing you need to do is get copies of you hospital records from that visit.

    The nfa lists 302, 303, 304 but you are only barred from ownership on a 302 if a letter of commitment was sent in (usually meaning you were held on a 303). If you were not committed on a 303 - meaning after your 3? day observation period, you are not.... well, should not be barred from ownership. You would have had a hearing at the hospital and you would have been released of the 302 or involuntarily committed at that point.

    If your hospital records show this was not the case, and you were not held beyond the initial observation 302, send a copy of those records in with your appeal form. Thats pretty much all you should have to do.

    If you were held on a 303 or 304.. then you have to file for restoration of your firearms rights, and you'll need a lawyer for that.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Need advice concerning a 302, please.

    Quote Originally Posted by jud4420 View Post
    Welcome to the board.

    I actually had to go through this once a long time ago. First thing you need to do is get copies of you hospital records from that visit.

    The nfa lists 302, 303, 304 but you are only barred from ownership on a 302 if a letter of commitment was sent in (usually meaning you were held on a 303). If you were not committed on a 303 - meaning after your 3? day observation period, you are not.... well, should not be barred from ownership. You would have had a hearing at the hospital and you would have been released of the 302 or involuntarily committed at that point.

    If your hospital records show this was not the case, and you were not held beyond the initial observation 302, send a copy of those records in with your appeal form. Thats pretty much all you should have to do.

    If you were held on a 303 or 304.. then you have to file for restoration of your firearms rights, and you'll need a lawyer for that.
    Thank you so much for your reply. It's a bit overwhelming knowing that there's a chance that I may have lost my right of gun ownership over a mistake, but yet there's thousands of criminals that do own guns (albeit illegally).

    What is NFA?

    I was held for the required 120 hour period (5 days, I believe). There was no hearing at the hospital.

    I asked for copies from the mental hospital (God, this all sounds so much worse than what it really was. Like I said, I really did not want to end my life at any point, but I guess they see things differently). Should I also ask forr copies from the ER?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need advice concerning a 302, please.

    Hospital records department should be able to help you.

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