With attempts to eliminate private firearm ownership stalled at the federal level, attempts to strip you of your right to bear arms have shifted to the states. Support from the Administration and money from Bloomberg backed “AstroTurf” organizations have intensified these efforts.
Their plan is simple. Expand the state defined categories of Prohibited Possessors, used by the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS), to limit those who can legally possess a firearm. Their ultimate goal is Universal Denial via universal background checks.
The primary thrust of creating new prohibited possessors is requiring screening for mental illness and/or competency for firearms possession. The typical assumption is that anyone who has, or ever had, mental health issues is not treatable, a danger to themselves and others, and should be forever banned from possessing a firearm. Start with the most obvious, like the guy wearing a hockey mask and creating havoc with a chainsaw. Expand it to include Veterans with PTSD, kids on Ritalin, people on anti-depressants, someone experiencing mood swings from hormonal changes, people holding unpopular beliefs, etc. Eventually arrive at anyone wanting to possess a firearm must be mentally ill.
By framing this as a tool for law enforcement, the anti-rights zealots have even succeeded in getting normally pro-rights legislators to carry their water for them. In 2014, here in Arizona, legislation was proposed that would add those who voluntarily submitted themselves for mental evalutaion to the list of prohibited possessors. Another bill would have permitted a law enforcement officer to determine your mental stability, request a court ordered evaluation and confiscate your firearms. Fortunately AzCDL was successful in defeating these bills, but we expect a renewed effort in the coming sessions.