ATF 51P, Definition of Adjudicated, Deadline Tonight

I meant to get this out last week, but things were entirely too busy, so I’ll have to get it out now, with less analysis than I’d like, so people have a chance to make it in before the midnight deadline. ATF is proposing to alter the definition of what counts for the purposes of being adjudicated “mental defective” and “committed to a mental institution.” This has special concern for Pennsylvania gun owners, given ATF has begun counting 302 commitments for the purposes of such adjudication. The 302 commitment has absolutely no due process requirements at all. All it takes is basically a cop and the attending physician at the loony bin and you’ve got yourself a 302 prohibition both at the state and federal level.

I’d encourage folks to read Attorney Josh Prince’s submission regarding ATF 51P:

While the comment period closes on Monday, April 7, 2014, at midnight, we are requesting that our readers review our Comment, which can be downloadedhere, and submit Comments in support, especially in relation to 1) excluding those individuals, who where committed under the age of 18 from the purview of Section 922(g)(4); 2). excluding those individuals, who, post-commitment, served the state or federal government in a capacity where they were provided a firearm; 3). excluding those individuals, who, post-commitment, obtained Federal Explosives Relief; and 4). excluding any commitment that lack all of the due process guarantees. You can find our arguments relating to these issues and others in Section V (pg 34) of our Comment.

I’d also remind folks that this isn’t about whether or not mental health prohibitions should apply at all, that’s an argument that has to be made to Congress and not ATF, but we want ATF to interpret Section 922(g)(4) in a manner that’s respectful of due process and doesn’t strip the rights of Americans who present no danger to themselves or others.

4 thoughts on “ATF 51P, Definition of Adjudicated, Deadline Tonight”

  1. “ATF is an Improper Agency for Rulemaking on Defining or Clarifying what Constitutes ‘Adjudicated as a Mental Defective’ and ‘Committed to a Mental Institution,’ as the Federal Bureau of Investigation is Tasked with the Interpretation of what Constitutes a Prohibited Person under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).”

    That is the first argument in Prince’s comments… I don’t see how it needs to go any further. And I would be surprised if the FBI let’s the BATFE step all over them – those departments usually seem very territorial.

  2. Joshua Prince is in that crop of feisty and bright attorneys in their 30s and 40s who will proudly carry forward the legacy of the scholars like Dave Hardy and Steve Halbrook. (Not that they’re old, but certainly we all recognize the importance of building successive generations of fighters. That’s one of the great advantages we have over the anti-gunners!)

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