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04.10.09 PRIVATE MENTAL HEALTH RECORDS TO BE SENT TO FBI?

Mental Health Records To Be Sent To Obama Administration

On April 8th, the Oregon House Judiciary Committee held a public hearing for HB 2853.

In its original form, it was an unnecessary, but mostly innocuous bill. But as so often happens, an effort was made to”gut and stuff”  the bill and turn it into a far more dangerous and intrusive piece of legislation.

The original meaning of the bill was stripped out, and language was introduced in the form of 10 pages of amendments that made the bill a far different animal.

The new language would force Oregon to comply with HR 2640, a Federal law passed in 2007.

You may recall  that 2640 was a gun control bill that was dead until it was revived by the National Rifle Association. On the day it was passed, both the NRA and the Brady Campaign  sent out “victory” messages, but the bill was anything but a “victory” for gun owners.

For an analysis of the bill, see here. For more information see here.

Here’s what notorious gun grabber, Senator Chuck Schumer, said about the bill: “When the NRA and I agree on legislation, you know that it’s going to get through, become law and do some good.”

The point of the bill was to turn over, to the Federal government, vast databases of the mental health records of Americans. Under the guise of preventing mentally ill people from buying guns (an absurd notion in itself considering that the shooter in the recent Binghamton NY killings was a New York State pistol license holder) the bill greatly expanded the failed Brady bill by including records formally kept private.

While no one wants to see people who are dangerously mentally ill acquiring firearms, our experience with the background check system has proven over and over that perfectly qualified people are routinely delayed and denied firearms purchases because of faulty or poor record keeping.  Now Oregon wants to share the mental health records of its citizens with the most openly anti-gun administration in American history. With top Democrats reversing earlier positions and now embracing the new gun control restrictions promoted by Obama/Clinton, the disclosure of these records is an almost certain recipe for abuse.

As you can see by the GOA analysis referenced above, one of the principle dangers in the legislation is to veterans who may very well lose their gun rights because of a diagnosis of post traumatic stress, a condition experienced by a large number of veterans to greater or lesser extent after combat.

The amendments to 2853 were described by the Oregon State Police as being intended to allow them to receive mental health records and share them with the National Instant Check System.

We believe that irrespective of the stated intention of the records transfer, the potential for abuse by a militantly anti-gun administration is overwhelming. (Even now, medical databases are error prone, telling insurance companies that medicines prescribed for conditions such acid reflux are actually anti-psychotic)

Currently, background checks for gun purchases in Oregon are done by the Oregon State Police. Even if one concluded that handing over mental health records to the State Police was justified, it is hard to justify giving that personal information to FBI. While some may claim Oregon is simply complying with Federal  mandates, we have shown no reluctance to stand up to those mandates on other issues.

The Federal bill was opposed by the Military Order of the Purple Heart, The American Legion, Gun Owners of America and state wide gun rights organizations from coast to coast.

The bill was an ill-thought-out reaction to the Virginia Tech Shootings and will do nothing to protect Americans from crime, while invading the privacy of millions of citizens.

The NRA/ Brady mandate should not be imposed on Oregonians.  Please contact the House Judiciary Committee and express your opposition to the “Dash 1” amendments to HB 2853.

The bill is scheduled for a “work session” and possible vote April 20th.

Sample message:
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Dear Representative,

The dash 1 amendments to HB 2853 represent an vast invasion of privacy and create tremendous potential for abuse.

I strongly urge you to protect the residents of Oregon by not adding their personal mental health records to giant federal databases beyond our control.

Thank you,

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