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NRA-backed bill closes loophole allowing mentally ill to buy guns

by Dara Kam | March 19th, 2013

Lawmakers are trying to close a loophole that allows individuals who have been declared an imminent danger to themselves or others to purchase firearms.

The measure – the only one of a slew of proposals sponsored by Democrats that has the blessing of the National Rifle Association – addresses a “huge gap in the law,” Miami-Dade County Judge Steven Leifman told the House Criminal Justice Committee this morning before its unanimous passage.

Under current Florida law, only mentally ill individuals who have been deemed an imminent danger and who have been involuntarily committed to treatment after being Baker Acted are added to a national database prohibiting them from purchasing guns.

But just a fraction – about one percent – of the 115,000 Baker Acts in Florida last year resulted in involuntary commitment. The other 99 percent of mentally ill individuals voluntarily submitted to treatment, meaning they could purchase guns as soon as they are out of the hospital.

“It makes no sense now that if you’ve been declared by two doctors that you are an imminent danger to yourself or others, why should you be able to go out and purchase a gun? If you’re suicidal, it’s an insanity. It’s just a horror waiting to happen,” Judge Leifman, who served as the Florida Supreme Court’s advisor on Criminal Justice and Mental Health.

Closing the loophole may prevent tragedies such as yesterday’s suicide at the University of Central Florida this week, Leifman said. Police say UCF dropout James Oliver Seevakumaran, who was found dead in his room, planned an attack before killing himself.

“These things don’t just happen. People have histories of depression. They have histories of mental illnesses. And when they get to the point where they’re imminently a danger to themselves or others, I think it behooves all of us to prohibit people at that point from purchasing the gun,” Leifman said.

NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said the bill was necessary.

“People with mental illnesses who are determined to be a danger to self or others are scamming the system. Many of them have been Baker Acted five, 10, 20 times. They never get into the system to prevent them from purchasing a firearm,” Hammer said.

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21 Responses to “NRA-backed bill closes loophole allowing mentally ill to buy guns”

  1. rebar Says:

    Such a bold stand taken by the NRA. Next thing you know, they’ll stand up against asteriods aimed at the Earth.

  2. NRA Says:

    Does that mean Wayne La Pierre will lose his guns? Or it’s not retroactive, i.e., mentally incompetent people who already have guns can keep them?

  3. Greg Says:

    I agree. LaPierre was declared mentally ill and therefore avoided the draft. Will his guns be taken away?

  4. throbo Says:

    Why is the NRA trying to fringe the constitutional rights of US Citizens to bear arms?

  5. Dhoomonyou Says:

    I feel so safe

    Eliminates most of the Kennedy family, and all of California.

  6. TrafficAvenger Says:

    It is proper legislation and long over do.

  7. hayu Says:

    Baker Acted! Good grief, Dara Kam! One of a reporter’s worst sins is to adopt the “government-ese” of the idiots she’s covering as though it were English and then subjecting her poor readers to that nonsense. Do you guys still have copy editors?

  8. paul Says:

    seriously, hayu? ‘Baker Acted’ is something everyone who understands or talks about the concept says, it’s everyday language.

  9. hayu Says:

    OH! look who wants to talk about language! Your post made no sense whatsoever! Speak much? do ya?
    Anyway, I was baker acted once, the Doctor said I “lost my sh*t” and stripped buck-naked and climbed an oak tree. I sat up there for 11 days defecating on passer-bys and using the occasional squiral for mastebatury purposes. It took a brigade of fire men, 10,000psi fire hose and a september 1978 copy of “swank” magazine to get me to come down. So don’t you dare lecture me on Language!

    Good Day Sir!

  10. Greg Says:

    did you hang on to that copy of swank? and i agree….there is no past tense of “baker act”….it’s like “texted”…just plain stupid….

  11. hayu Says:

    Paul…As a reporter with 50 years of experience covering Washington and three different State Houses, I don’t agree with your assertion that it’s acceptable to use stilted jargon in a newspaper story just because it’s something “everyone who understands or talks about the concept says” — whatever the heck that means. But I did not write the insulting comment directed at you above. Someone misappropriated my name and I want you and everyone else to know that I’m not the one posting that nonsense.

  12. OBIWAN Says:

    Komrade Dara steadfastly spews her Democrat allies position on anything political.

    Shame is she is alleged to be the PBP reporter for this Legislative session…
    … fat chance of anything objective about her ideology driven drivel?

    For example, a reporter would spend the majority of time actually reviewing what Committee bills will be coming out for a real vote and signed into law by our Governor.

    BUT, Komrade Dara has no compulsion to report the bulk of the news is what our GOP House and GOP Senate are actually going to pass…

    … hence the handwringing over the NRA’s steadfast position not to allow mental incompetents to possess firearms?

    Wouldn’t that have actually stopped the last four serial whackjob killings?

    Can’t stomach the NRA… fine, claim you have no Second Amendment rights – put up a sign declaring your home gun free! BUT, leave the rest of us the hell alone! IF we hear gunshots coming from your home, we’ll dial 911… maybe?

  13. OBIWAN Says:

    115,000 Floridians were Baker Acted last year… half by MD’s and half by Shrinks of various caliber. You would not have believed that number actually got examined for mental incompetence?

    The enlightened thing actually is 99% took voluntary counseling when told they were mentally ill? Not what you consider the ‘facts’ normally presented here, heh Komrade?

  14. paul Says:

    @hayu – that’s fine. I respect your opinion. But as someone much younger, I believe it’s ok for written language to reflect changing uses, it’s a living thing – just look at written language from 100, 200 years ago for comparison. So I personally don’t have a problem with ‘Baker Acted.’ Like I said, it’s a term widely used, even by OBIWAN here – not that that’s a ringing endorsement, I’ll give you that!

  15. hayu Says:

    Paul…I agree that language must evolve to reflect changing needs and changing times. My gripe is that too often changes come out of ignorance — that is, so many uninformed people use a word or phrase incorrectly for so long that beleaguered lexicographers eventually allow it into the dictionary as a “substandard” usage, and soon that substandard usage has become a full-blown distortion of our language born of ignorance. That is a long way from the thoughtful evolution of the English language that I believe you were referring to, but that is what happens when careless, uninformed journalists throw around phrases like “Baker Acted” — which makes no sense either grammatically or syntactically — while compiling a permanent and public record of the days events. (By the way, I have no problem with someone using such a short cut in casual conversation, but the niceties of the language should be observed when writing for any publication that expects respect from its readers.)
    With the brutalities being inflicted on the English language today, Americans will have little to complain about a few years down the road when they wake up and discover that English has become our country’s second (or third) language.

  16. paul Says:

    @hayu – I cannot agree with you more. Speaking of brutalities, I recently had the misfourtune of having a coffee enema and let me just say it was not a good idea. It was administered by a 300lbs mechanic with dirt under his nails. By the time he “hit bottom” I was tasting the Folgers in my mouth. It was so bad I had to throw out my Mr. Coffee.

  17. hayu Says:


    UP YOUR’S!

  18. paul Says:

    @hayu – Too late, I have a half gallon of decaf “up” mine as we speak. Care for a brown shower?

  19. hayu Says:

    Winter Wipe Out TV show had broken bones and manslaughter every minute.
    Winter Wipe Out show is produced in Holland by gays, bis, and orgiers.
    Why do gays like to see people perishing!
    P-E-N-I-S goes into the anus to rupture intestines.
    More a man does this more likely he’ll be a fatality or a homicider.
    Getting pleasure while the other man passes away reverberates another homicide later.
    UNESCO United Nations has gender and bio-ethics conferences combined.
    Only gays go to gender studies.
    Gays are the biogenerciders in hospitals.
    Children can be eliminated.
    The Feds said in the December 11th article the Lincoln Journal Star page six, “Gays should not be employed in hospitals or any health occupation.”
    Whitney Huston was found without clothes in a bathtub.
    Every corpse found without clothes has a partner that did away with them.
    Lesbians and gays rarely live past 40 years old because it is common for a partner to do away with them or they self-inflict.
    We want everyone to live as long as possible, to be 80 years old instead of 40 years old.
    Don’t go gay, it’s not healthy.
    Anus licking causes sepsis.
    If not given antibiotics within a half hour they perish.
    Have no gays in education.
    A high percent of gay men in school grounds molest boys, partly because they don’t have AIDS yet.
    Be on the side of the innocent boy who gets Fs and Ds a year after being molested.
    Don’t allow hundreds of molestations a year with this Equality Ordinance!
    Where are our school teachers that should be speaking about this today?
    Hilary Clinton’s roommate 4 years in college was Eleanor or “Eldie” Acheson, a gay woman, daughter of Dean Acheson.
    To avoid going gay like Hilar—Clinton did, college students need single rooms and single gender dorms.
    Going lesbian is not normal.
    A college woman is seduced with illegal Rohypnal to go gay otherwise they think it is abhorrent.
    Lesbian professors state, quote, wives are enslaved by their husbands, unquote.
    All you married councilmen know this is not true and this is deranged thinking.
    Have no gays in education.
    The Canadian Gaëtan Dugas was the first person to get AIDS in 1980.
    He depressed his immune system with pot.
    He ruptured intestines as his partner became a corpse!
    Candida a fungus grows hugely on a corpse!
    AIDS is a candida of fungus disease.
    Roman senators went to Roman baths to be promiscuous, gay, bis and orgiers, then went to the Coliseum to see Christians get mauled and perish!
    Do gays become sadistic, yes!
    They cuss after coupling, don’t like the land they lay on and 80% of those who did treason by the year 2000 were gays.
    Don’t employ gays in military, education, health or psychology.
    They are the generciders, molesters, treasonist, deranged.
    Gays not a behavior by the way—gay is a behavior, it’s not an identity.
    Shoplifters don’t make good salespersons.
    Gays behaviors aren’t needed for military, education, health and psychology.
    Don’t encourage gays.
    Do not harm gays.
    Gays can transform [One minute] I have—let’s see—gays can transform to be celibate to live to be 80 years old.
    Gay persons want to adopt children.
    California Board of Education said last year, “Children in San Francisco had the worst scholastic spelling of all subjects all grade levels. They cry all day and rape each other hetero without being told not to.”
    Give us your molested children deranged by seeing only gays kissing.
    Don’t ask don’t tell what you do in your bedroom and you’ll be respected for your work.
    Read the book Nijinsky to understand the bisexuals always become insane.
    A wedding dress is for a woman, not for a man.
    Jesus was kissed by Judas, a homo, who tried to sabotage Jesus’s kind ideas.

  20. a wexler Says:

    OBIWAN is correct. Where will the line be drawn. If someone has periodic depression? Councelling? Perhaps another has a prescription for Xanax and the primary care provider sends him for treatment. Another may NOT HAVE INSURANCE and so SIGNS a STATEMENT saying that they are a DANGER.

    Is that person banned for life?

    This is the first step to STATE sponsored lists.

  21. Larry Linn Says:

    With Ted Nugent on the Board of Directors of the NRA, a mental health test is rendered meaningless.

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