Mental Health Evaluation Gun Purchases, New York State
(Photo by 66North/iStock)

It’s hard to imagine that when the framers of the Constitution were writing the Bill of Rights and used the words “shall not be infringed” at the end of Article II, they might actually have meant you could legally own a gun only if a doctor said you could. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that any anti-gun politician might think such a restriction would even come close to passing constitutional muster. Yet here we are with at least one New York lawmaker pushing for a mental health evaluation for all gun purchases.

NY Lawmaker Wants Mental Health Evaluation for Gun Purchases

N.Y. State Sen. James Sander Jr. recently introduced a measure that would require the purchaser of any firearm, rifle or shotgun to “submit to a mental health evaluation.”

One portion of that bill reads: “Section 3 amends section 7.09 of the mental hygiene law by adding a new subdivision (1) to require the commissioner of mental health to establish within the office of mental health an administrative process for the mental health evaluation of any individual prior to such individual’s purchase of any firearm, rifle or shotgun. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations which shall include, but not be limited to, provisions relating to mental health professionals approved to perform the evaluation; the process for evaluation; and the development of a standardized form to be used by mental health professionals performing such evaluation to approve or deny an individual for purchase of a firearm, rifle or shotgun.”

If most of that legal mumbo jumbo doesn’t disturb you much, the part at the end where it says a doctor can “approve or deny an individual for purchase of a firearm, rifle or shotgun” should catch your attention. The reason for that is many doctors proudly fight against private gun ownership. The associations that represent those doctors are also happy to trash the Second Amendment at every opportunity.

AMA’s Public Health Crisis

It is, in fact, the American Medical Association (AMA) that has declared gun violence a “public health crisis.” Yet instead of making the issue about “health,” that association’s answer is to further restrict gun ownership, even by law-abiding Americans.

Just in the last midterm election, the AMA voiced its support for so-called “red flag” laws, raising the legal age to own a firearm to 21, banning popular semi-automatic firearms like those owned by millions of lawful gun owners, and opposing the arming of teachers and other staff to protect students from violent criminals. In the past, the AMA has spoken out against concealed carry. They’ve even lobbied against concealed carry reciprocity legislation considered before the U.S. Congress.

In fact, the AMA has become so anti-gun that many doctors who support private firearm ownership refuse to be members. Unfortunately, though, there are also many doctors who detest gun owners and their rights, and who would be happy to deny firearm purchases for any of their patients.

Now that we’ve determined that many doctors and the major medical associations are vehemently anti-gun and have no business determining who should be able to own a firearm, shouldn’t we be able to leave it at that? After all, isn’t it obvious that the proposed measure runs so counter to the Constitution that there’s no way it could ever pass?

Sadly, in states like New York, the Second Amendment means little to many lawmakers. Some turn up their noses at such old-fashioned ideas, claiming to “support” the Second Amendment, while at the same time looking for more and more ways to curtail the right to keep and bear arms. We’ll keep an eye on this legislation as it progresses and keep our readers in the loop.

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