Sixth Circuit: Mental Health Gun Ban Is Unconstitutional

On December 18, a three-judge panel of the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a ban on gun purchases for anyone who has been “adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to a mental institution” violated the Second Amendment rights of a Michigan man who was denied a gun purchase because of a mental institution commitment in 1986.

According to The Wall Street Journal, 73-year-old Clifford Charles Taylor “recently attempted to buy a gun but was denied on the grounds that he had been committed by a court to a mental institution in 1986 after emotional problems associated with a divorce.”

Judge Danny Boggs wrote the majority opinion for the panel: “The government’s interest in keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill is not sufficiently related to depriving the mentally healthy, who had a distant episode of commitment, of their constitutional rights.”

On October 17, 2013, Breitbart News reported that Mayo Clinic psychiatrist, J. Michael Bostwick, M.D., warned that the push to take Second Amendment rights away from the mentally ill was misplaced. He said, “The majority of mentally ill people aren’t dangerous” and that the attempt to bar every person who has ever had a mental health diagnosis from gun ownership would do nothing to reduce high profile, gun-related crimes.

He stressed that “as long as  the Second Amendment is the law of the land, the right of the people to keep and bear arms … will be an integral part of the American scene.”

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