The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is pushing back against Democrats’ efforts to create further limitations on gun ownership based on mental health treatment.
California Democrats are pushing to secure five gun controls before the legislative session ends. One of those controls would expand bans on gun ownership to include new prohibitions related to mental health.
The Sacramento Bee reports that Democrats want to “prohibit gun ownership for anyone involuntarily committed to a facility twice in one year for a mental health disorder.” A misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence would also trigger a ban on gun ownership.
The ACLU is zeroing in on the mental health provisions, voicing opposition on the grounds that broad language is being used to lump the non-violent in with those who may, indeed, be violent. The ACLU said, “This bill stigmatizes people with a history of mental health issues, and perpetuates the harmful and false stereotype that such people are inherently violent and dangerous.”
We saw similar opposition to the Social Security gun ban, which was created and implemented federally under former President Obama. That ban prohibited gun ownership for beneficiaries who needed a money manager due to mental health struggles, be those struggles temporary or permanent. Duke University psychiatry and behavioral science Professor Jeffrey Swanson made clear that the ban was a convenient way to lump all types of people together–the violent and the non-violent–for a broad-based gun ban.
Swanson used a Washington Post column to explain that “the vast majority of mentally ill individuals” pose no threat to themselves nor to others. Yet the ban stigmatized a broad swath of the mentally ill by treating them as a threat.
The ACLU is making a similar argument against the ban being pushed by California Democrats.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.