FS 394.xxx Involuntary Psych Hold, and Firearms Seizure ???

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FS 394.xxx Involuntary Psych Hold, and Firearms Seizure ???

Post by FfNJGTFO » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:34 pm

A thread was started in a different forum and I thought I'd bring it up here.

The gist of what they were saying is that FS 394.xxx et seq. authorizes, among others, LEOs to initiate an Involuntary Mental Health commitment based on their own judgement, and immediately seize any weapons in the individual's domicile. This, as well as put the name on the FBI NICS list. And, all of that prior to any legal "due process" hearing. The concern being, of course, that once placed on said NICS list, getting off of it will be a Herculean effort, and until that time, you'll not be able to own weapons again. Plus all the headaches about getting one's weapons back, if possible.

A cursory read of FS 394 does not show to me where a LEO can do this on their own power. I see only that it takes a court hearing & order. But I could be wrong.

Can anyone here shed some light? The concern being encountering a LEO having a bad day and using the above actions to "incentivize compliance..." [smilie=042.gif]

[smilie=popcorn.gif]

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Re: FS 394.xxx Involuntary Psych Hold, and Firearms Seizure ???

Post by firemedic2000 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:28 pm

I can tell you this from my experience. When ever a sheriff in Hillsborough had what they considered a medical issue they toned us out (Firemedics) we'd show on scene and evaluate the patient interview the family or who ever was there.

Based upon what we were told and how the patient was acting and what he did/was doing to get us toned out we would recommend that he be Baker Acted. Then depending on how the patient was acting would determine how or if they were restrained. Weather they were handcuffed or soft restrains were used or none. Because we would most the time transport them. The sheriff would follow us to the hospital.

If we showed up on a scene and determined that we needed to Baker Act someone. We'd have S.O. toned out to our location. Explain why we thought he needed to be Baker Acted. Then S.O. would Baker Act them and we would transport. Never had S.O. deny our request to Baker Act a patient. It was usually a patient that attempted suicide, was a danger to their self or others.

Danger to their self could consist of a lot of things.

Never had a S.O. ever take weapons from a home and not return them to the home before he left. Even if the guy lived alone. He'd secure them in the home before locking it up or give to a relative.

Now you had to be real careful with these people because they would act nice one minute and the next try to hurt you. In the back of the rescue unit even handcuffed you have to watch them closely. The real crazy ones are trying the whole time to get out of the handcuffs and constantly looking around the unit for something to hurt you with.

To stab you, cut you whatever. I always strapped them into a seat in the back and then tied the strap so if the did get out of handcuffs they could not get out seat very fast. I also keep a big heavy mag light by me to beat them with plus we carried knifes. But always secure all of them some how.plus the drive can see into back by camera and we talk by headset.

Only had two people that really made me nervous and when got to the hospital their wrist were bleeding from trying to get loose.
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Re: FS 394.xxx Involuntary Psych Hold, and Firearms Seizure ???

Post by FfNJGTFO » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:14 pm

firemedic2000 wrote:I can tell you this from my experience. When ever a sheriff in Hillsborough had what they considered a medical issue they toned us out (Firemedics) we'd show on scene and evaluate the patient interview the family or who ever was there.

Based upon what we were told and how the patient was acting and what he did/was doing to get us toned out we would recommend that he be Baker Acted. Then depending on how the patient was acting would determine how or if they were restrained. Weather they were handcuffed or soft restrains were used or none. Because we would most the time transport them. The sheriff would follow us to the hospital.

If we showed up on a scene and determined that we needed to Baker Act someone. We'd have S.O. toned out to our location. Explain why we thought he needed to be Baker Acted. Then S.O. would Baker Act them and we would transport. Never had S.O. deny our request to Baker Act a patient. It was usually a patient that attempted suicide, was a danger to their self or others.

Danger to their self could consist of a lot of things.

Never had a S.O. ever take weapons from a home and not return them to the home before he left. Even if the guy lived alone. He'd secure them in the home before locking it up or give to a relative.

Now you had to be real careful with these people because they would act nice one minute and the next try to hurt you. In the back of the rescue unit even handcuffed you have to watch them closely. The real crazy ones are trying the whole time to get out of the handcuffs and constantly looking around the unit for something to hurt you with.

To stab you, cut you whatever. I always strapped them into a seat in the back and then tied the strap so if the did get out of handcuffs they could not get out seat very fast. I also keep a big heavy mag light by me to beat them with plus we carried knifes. But always secure all of them some how.plus the drive can see into back by camera and we talk by headset.

Only had two people that really made me nervous and when got to the hospital their wrist were bleeding from trying to get loose.
Roger that. I had one such case as a basic EMT. I think it was a middle aged suburban soccer mom just having a melt down (just a basic nervous breakdown). But in that case, we were able to get a Municipal Judge to sign a commitment order. In fact, he came right out to the rig and eval'ed the patient himself before signing it. The ride to the hospital (one with a psych unit) was interesting. She kept fairly calm, but if she felt like we were going to abandon her, she pipe up again. The squad Capt. had the unfortunate duty of having primary contact with her (in NJ, fire & BLS EMS are primarily, volunteer orgs, unless it's a big city like Newark, etc., and they are separate orgs Paramedic units are, primarily, hospital based).

Anyway, weapons were not involved, so not an issue... (this was NJ, after all.... [smilie=011.gif] ). But, if they were, the LEOs would have confiscated them immediately. And the patient would never get them back.

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Re: FS 394.xxx Involuntary Psych Hold, and Firearms Seizure ???

Post by jjk308 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:05 am

394.459 Rights of patients.—
(1) RIGHT TO INDIVIDUAL DIGNITY.—It is the policy of this state that the individual dignity of the patient shall be respected at all times and upon all occasions, including any occasion when the patient is taken into custody, held, or transported. Procedures, facilities, vehicles, and restraining devices utilized for criminals or those accused of crime shall not be used in connection with persons who have a mental illness, except for the protection of the patient or others. Persons who have a mental illness but who are not charged with a criminal offense shall not be detained or incarcerated in the jails of this state. A person who is receiving treatment for mental illness shall not be deprived of any constitutional rights. However, if such a person is adjudicated incapacitated, his or her rights may be limited to the same extent the rights of any incapacitated person are limited by law.

Unlike the veterans policy attempted by the Obama Administration it requires adjudication, a court hearing with legal safeguards. It requires finding the patient incapacitated, otherwise they retain their firearms rights. A voluntary admission (thew most common type) does not, unless the regulations have changed, affect firearms rights unless its changed to involuntary, with the patient judged incapacitated.

All legal firearms would have to be secured and returned to the owner if not involuntarily committed.
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Re: FS 394.xxx Involuntary Psych Hold, and Firearms Seizure ???

Post by firemedic2000 » Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:19 am

Your right jj when we Baker Acted someone it is just to evaluate them for up to 7 days. I emphasis evaluate. They have not been committed yet. It's during the 7 days that they determine if the patient needed to be committed or not. They recieve therapy during this time.

Part of my sch training was spending a edited 2 weeks in the phy ward and sitting in on the sessions and working with patients. I actually spent about a month because of my area being Sun City Center Fla. and the types of patients we encountered there.

Plus they had orange juice and cookies [smilie=011.gif]

Also when I got burned out working in the ER I'd go and hang in the phyic ward and chill for a while. It way more laid back and calm there. [smilie=033.gif]
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Re: FS 394.xxx Involuntary Psych Hold, and Firearms Seizure ???

Post by czharry » Sun Apr 09, 2017 12:59 pm

This is what's happening in Virginia. "We don't need no stinkin' psych hold to take your guns."


I was contacted by two different pro-rights legislators a few weeks ago because they were receiving some emails on Gun Violence Protection Orders (GVPO) and weren't sure what they are.

In a nutshell, GVPOs allow a judge to order the police to confiscate all of your firearms based solely on the word of a person who is claiming that you are a danger to yourself or others.

And, no, you don't get to fight the order in court before the police show up at your door to confiscate your firearms at gun point. You won't even know the order exists until the doorbell rings.

At some point, after your guns have been confiscated, you can go to court to argue that your guns should be returned to you. If the judge disagrees, you will have to wait for another period of time before you can ask again.

So a vindictive family member or neighbor can lie to a judge and, shortly thereafter, you will be unexpectedly looking down the barrel of a police officer's gun as you are stripped of your right to keep and bear arms!

There were two GVPO bills introduced in the General Assembly THIS YEAR that we killed in subcommittee: HB 1758 (Delegate Sullivan) and SB 1443 (Senator Baker). Because the bills died so soon, most legislators never got to see the bills or have the implication of the bills explained to them.

This threat to our rights is very real and has been implemented in California and a few other states.
We need to send emails to our Delegates and Senators explaining what GVPOs really are and asking the legislators to oppose any such legislation in the future.
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