Gun Rights

New Jersey Forwarding Names of Former Mental Patients for FBI Gun List

Up to 420,000 of them


no lists
Reason 24/7

The state government of New Jersey is expected to send to the FBI the names of up to 420,000 people from a list of residents who have been involuntarily committed to mental institutions going back nearly 40 years.

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

The names of hundreds of thousands of current and former New Jersey residents who have been involuntarily committed to psychiatric facilities have been added to an FBI database used to bar firearms purchases by people with criminal records or a history of mental illness.

New Jersey court officials said that they began forwarding digital records to the FBI earlier this year and that they expect to complete the program by the end of May.

The state's list was started in 2010 but only 17 names had been previously sent to the FBI. 85 gun purchases were prohibited because the buyer was on the list, according to state judicial authorities.

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  1. Well cowboy. You’re on a list.
    NO constitutional rights for you!

  2. I don’t see the HIPAA exception here so not sure how the state can disclose PHI like this. Great news though, under HIPAA, there is no private right of action for unlawful disclosure of PHI, only the federal government can bring suit and receive the penalties. So I’m sure the federal government will get right on this. Oh, wait…

    1. Involuntary commitment isn’t a medical record. Seeing as it is determined by a judge, the doctor-patient privacy cat’s already out of the bag by that point.

  3. New Jersey – the beacon of freedom and liberty.

  4. I’m definitely positively sure this will stop someone whose voices are telling them to shoot up a Denny’s. Cause such a person can’t get a gun anywhere else, amirite?

  5. Of course this is fucked up. But the this just adds to the over saturation of data the feds acquire, making them less effective, not more.

  6. Next up — New Jersey is expected to send to the FBI the names of people from a list of residents who have been *voluntarily* committed to mental institutions going back nearly 40 years.

  7. “who have been involuntarily committed to mental institutions”

    I will just leave this here:

    1. How odd that Rosenhan’s experiment doesn’t receive as much attention in psychology courses and psych rotations as the Stanford Prison and Milgram experiments. Odd, I say.

      1. It doesn’t fit the narrative. I used to be a psych major. I had to quit because once I got into upper division classes it has ceased to be a science.

        1. I studied it bunches a few years back and even thought about becoming a therapist for a bit (I found Frankl and logotherapy immensely appealing), but the only aspect of psych that would be remotely familiar to someone trained in hard science is behaviorism, and that’s still fraught with all kinds of assumptions that just aren’t there when you’re dealing with molecules rather than organisms. Just before he died, Skinner famously (and hilariously) took the dais at Harvard and proclaimed that cognitive psychology was little more than creationism, which provoked more than a few gasps among the horrified populace.

          That’s not to be down on Psychology, which is a hugely important discipline that encompasses everything from Buddha to Jung to Mises if we’re meticulous about examining cognition and behavior, but there’s also an awful lot of bullshit that’s traded on a false claim to Science with a capital S that’s been passed off for the past hundred years.

  8. and there, boys and girls, is the “fuck you, that’s why” for today. Thanks for playing and drive home safely.

  9. And yet people called me crazy for never agreeing to be involuntarily committed for reasons just like this.

  10. It’s crazy to want to own a gun and you can’t own a gun if you’re crazy.

    1. GovAgent – Why do you want a gun?

      Sparky – For protection.

      GovAgent – Do you think someone is out to get you?

      Sparky – It happens.

      GovAgent – So you are a bit paranoid?
      *adds Sparky to anti-gun list*

      1. GovAgent – Why do you want a gun?

        Sparky – For protection.

        GovAgent – Do you think someone is out to get you?

        Sparky – There’s this large group of individuals who not only rob me of about half my income, but they require me to fill out paperwork every year telling exactly how much I should robbed. So, yeah, I KNOW these people are out to get me.

        GovAgent – So you are a LOT paranoid?
        * Involuntarily commits Sparky to mental institution and adds him to anti-gun list *

        1. Random govt agents don’t have the power to involuntarily commit people.

          1. *facepalm*

            I thought you weren’t posting here till May.

            1. It is May here.

              1. It isn’t may here, stay gone.

                1. Whatever you say, fake me.

  11. I hope this goes to court, it should.…..ality.html

  12. I can see no downside for the state to having medical databases.

    1. Involuntary commitment is not a medical procedure, it’s a judicial one. Sorry if I’m being nitpicky or whatever the new complaint about me is today.

  13. 17 people collectively tried to purchase 85 guns?

    1. 16 tried once each, but the 17th, he just kept trying.

      1. That’s how you know he was crazy.

  14. This is legal under the Prioritizing Individual’s Safety Concerns Over Psycho’s Objections Act

    1. It’s called PISCOPO? After Joe Piscopo of SNL fame? What ever happen to his career?

    2. Under the PISCOPO Act, there are at least five definitions of ‘psycho’ each applicable to separate subsections of the law, sometimes changing which is used within the same subsection.

      It’s a lovely example of legalese dynamic variable attribution.

  15. I’d be happy to see everyone who ever ran for a public office put on the “no sell” list. What better indicator of mental derangement could there be?

  16. I said this yesterday: as someone who was born in Jersey and all my family is from Jersey and whose family has some influence there, don’t live in Jersey without influence. You won’t like it.

  17. this just adds to the over saturation of data the feds acquire, making them less effective, not more.

    Less effective at what, exactly? They couldn’t give a fuck if those people “properly belong” on the list; more names equal more refusals. Next up, merging the no-fly and no-sell lists.

  18. If you live in New York or New Jersey you’re already in a mental institution

    1. Can you sign my release papers? I’m trapped in New York.

  19. New headlines from the future:

    GOP Chris Christie/ Pat Toomey Ticket Loses Presidential Election in Landslide to Democrats Hillary Clinton/ Elizebeth Warren. Record Low Voter Turnout in Red States. GOP Completely Flumoxed As to Why.

    1. Blame teh wimminz!

    2. That would be funny if it werent so likely to come true.

  20. GOP Completely Flumoxed As to Why.

    A GOP spokesman who agreed to comment in exchange for anonymity said, “At least we kept that crazy bastard Rand Paul out of the election.”

  21. So I’m curious; do you guys actually think it should be legal for people to own a gun if they’ve been determined, to a very high standard of evidence, a danger to themselves and others?

    Because unless you’re against the prohibition against involuntary commits owning firearms, I don’t see how in the world you can have a problem with what NJ is doing here. Unless you’re just running your mouth before you actually think about what you’re responding to.

    1. I think anyone who has been determined to be a danger to themselves should be given a gun for free.

    2. Are you serioulsy saying that someone who was involuntarily committed up to *40* years ago is always and forever a danger to himself or others?

      Often these committments are for temporary derangements and a lot of these people get on with their lives after the break.

      AND, given the widespread distrust of the judiciary that basically everyone on this sites (except you and Tony) exhibit, that maybe not every (or even most) of the IC’s are justified.

      1. It would be a good idea to have a “rehabilitation” appeals process in place to remove the prohibition for people who’ve recovered, and in fact FOPA-1986 mandates such a process, but Congress refuses to fund it and ATF doesn’t want to set it up either.

    3. They’ve already been released, therefore by the admission of the doctors they are no longer a danger to themselves or others. So there is no point in continued disbarment from their civil rights.

      1. It’s not so black and white. We have multiple tiers; people who need to be locked up, people who don’t need to be locked up but shouldn’t be allowed to be armed, and people who are free to walk and arm themselves as they wish.

        If you’re saying that anyone who is not trustable with firearms must be locked in a cage, then you’re going to decrease freedom, not increase it.

  22. …do you guys actually think it should be legal for people to own a gun if they’ve been determined, to a very high standard of evidence, a danger to themselves and others?

    Determined by whom, and to what standard? And who determines what constitutes a high standard? Your faith in the lack of abuse of such a system is touching.

    Apparently Tulpa didn’t read this.

    1. There are potential problems with any system where coercion is involved, of course. That’s why we have that saying about eternal vigilance. Our current involuntary commitment system sets a very high bar and we should keep it that way.

      Whatever the glibbies would like you to believe, there is no perfect solution. Allowing a guy to walk the streets fully armed when he’s loudly proclaiming that he thinks everyone in the world is conspiring against him with the aliens who are crushing his head is not a perfect solution either.

      1. Well, since there are no perfect solutions, let’s err on the side of freedom, okay?

        1. You’re not free if you’re surrounded by heavily armed schizophrenics either.

          Not all coercion comes from the govt, and bullets from uniformed badge-clad persons do not cause any more damage than those from normal folk.

          1. You’re not free if you’re surrounded by heavily armed schizophrenics either.

            So the choice is either pre-crime or be surrounded by heavily armed schizophrenics?

            False dichotomy much?

            1. If you shitcan the Involuntary Commitment ineligibility for firearms then you will have armed schizophrenics who have shown a propensity for harming themselves or others. Unless you think all such people will voluntarily refrain from purchasing firearms.

          2. Well, most schizophrenics are never involuntarily committed, so I don’t see how it would significantly reduce that danger to stop all people who have been committed from owning guns.

            1. It’s not a perfect solution, I never said it was. If you want to stop those others from getting armed you’d need to implement some really liberty-destroying rules, like allowing the police to decide that someone is “too weird” to own firearms (and of course many gun grabbers were proposing that standard in the aftermath of Loughner/Holmes).

              As usual, H+R’s ratio of complaints to solutions is barely finite. Unless you want armed, once dangerous schizoids roaming the streets, you need something to replace the IC ineligibility rule.

      2. The IC system does *not* set a very high bar.

        1. The IC system does *not* set a very high bar.


          The bar is ridiculously low. My cousin was IC because he got dumped and dropped out of college in the same week, then kinda became a recluse. He never threatened himself or anyone else, but his shrink “thought” he might be suicidal, so had him committed.

          I personally know more than a few people that could have anyone they deemed “unsafe” committed with a simple phone call. Very few questions asked.

        2. If you think so, then it seems the IC laws are the weak link, not the ineligibility for firearms purchases. If we really have a system where merely getting a bug in the ear of the wrong person can get you locked in a mental ward and forcibly drugged for an indefinite period of time, the effect on firearms rights is way down on the list of liberty problems there.

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