David Codrea asks whether we’re seeing a newly minted prohibited person.

Hospital? So he’s been involuntarily committed for having his picture taken holding a shotgun because the paranoid campus officials and authorities go bonkers even thinking of such things due to recent “threats”–none of which Meepegama apparently had anything to do with? And they think he’s nuts?

Unfortunately we don’t have details about whether this was a lawful commitment order, or SUNY merely told him to seek counseling if he wanted to stay in school. If it’s the latter, he would not be a prohibited person according to ATF regulations:

Committed to a mental institution. A formal commitment of a person to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution involuntarily. The term includes commitment for mental defectiveness or mental illness. It also includes commitments for other reasons, such as for drug use. The term does not include a person in a mental institution for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution.

He would fall under the “observation” exception in the regulation, and wouldn’t be prohibited, and that’s assuming that he was ordered in for observation by someone with lawful authority under New York’s mental health laws. I’m not familiar with New York Law on the matter, but I suspect that a university official has no lawful authority in this regard.

UPDATE: I just realized this was originally posted in May.   Bloglines republished it, so I thought it was new.