How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey, JD Your Own Question
Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 23197
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Zoey, JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

In 2001 I was put on a 5150 hold even though I voluntarily

Customer Question

In 2001 I was put on a 5150 hold I'm CA even though I voluntarily agreed to go to the hospital. After being transported to the hospital they then had be transferred to a mental health facility. I was there about a week or 10 days and released. I have no criminal record. I have never been diagnosed with a mental illness. I have never been suicidal or violent. I am a paramedic who has been living in Las Vegas for 13 years and worked at the same company for 11 yrs. I am married and own a home. I am a productive part of society without issue. I tried to buy a gun a couple years ago for home protection and was denied. I requested paperwork from the DOJ as to why and it was because of the incident in 2001. I was labeled a "mental defective." My paperwork from the facility says I was admitted for alcoholism. I am not now nor have I ever been an alcoholic. Incident occurred in 2001 in Contra Costa County. I live in Las Vegas and have no intention on moving back to CA. How do I get my fun rights restored???
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 month ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Are you online at this time?

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 month ago.

The difficulty here is that you were held past the 72 hour evaluation period and that means the commitment is on file and reached the Federal government.

18 USC 1922 (d) makes it a Federal crime for anyone who has been "adjudicated a mental defective or who has been committed to any mental institution" to have anything to do with firearms. That has been construed by the courts to mean that if the institutionalization was involuntary and/or ordered by a court or an agency you have lost your Federal gun rights.

As it would appear that you've been adjudicated a mental defective, The Federal bar against your gun rights is a lifetime bar and you won't be able to possess firearms again.

You may be able to correct your record in California and then appeal your denial with the Federal government. But the Federal government has not been hearing new appeals on gun rights denials since January 2016 when gun rights toughened as a result of several large scale shooting disasters that made national news. There is no indication of if or when they will be hearing new appeals again.

So, in short, no matter what California may be willing to do for you -- if anything at all -- the Feds are aware of your adjudication and will not be able to address the denial indefinitely.

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
there's nothing I can do is what you're telling me??!
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 month ago.

No, I didn't quite say that. I said that lifting the Federal hold is going to be delayed indefinitely.

You can briing a petition to get your firearms rights restored after a 5150 hold. The procedure in California seems to vary by county, but it would involve being reevaluated by a team of psychiatrists and overcoming the prosecutor's almost certain opposition to the petition. You would need a local criminal lawyer who specializes in the restoration of firearms rights.

Once you've accomplished that, you would still be unable to pass a NICS check. So you would have to appeal that denial based on California's finding that you were now fit to carry a weapon and the restoration of your state rights.

As I've said, the problem is that the Federal government hasn't taken on any new appeals since Janauary and there is presently no telling when they will address the backload of denials awaiting them. But if you don't appeal, your application will never be considered.

So there are things you can do, but nothing that will get you full resolution at this time. You can, however, restore your state rights and then appeal the Federal denial and wait for a decision.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 month ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.