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Jan-24-2014 01:39printcommentsVideo

Feds Are Spending Billions to Help States Avoid Privacy Laws to Ban Firearm Ownership

New proposals would add mental health issues and minor drug convictions to the list of those blocked from buying or possessing guns.

Gun control mental health

(SALEM) - (ALso see related article: EXCLUSIVE: Feds Tell Veteran He Will Lose 2nd Amendment Rights Because of PTSD)

Documents from the United States Government Accountability Office "Report to Congressional Requesters" published in July

2012, reveal that the federal government is actively spending billions of dollars to help states find ways to avoid privacy laws and ultimately add Americans who have sought treatment for mental health, and received minor drug convictions, to the roles of people blocked from buying or possessing firearms.

For years, the federal government, in their own words, has reward(d) and penalize(d) states based on the amount of records they provide. The government wants states to help the DOJ and other agencies peel back the privacy laws and rights that block federal access to state records1.

The GAO's Report to Congressional Requesters, states that from fiscal years 2000 through 2007, "almost $940,000 in NCHIP grants were specifically targeted to improve the availability of mental health record for use during NICS background checks". This does not even account for the funds used to gain information on minor drug convictions; not felonies, but misdemeanors.

According to the GAO document:

    GAO reviewed laws and regulations, analyzed Federal Bureau of Investigation data from 2004 to 2011 on mental health and unlawful drug use records, interviewed officials from a non generalizable sample of 6 states (selected because they provided varying numbers of records) to obtain insights on challenges, and interviewed officials from all 16 states that had legislation as of May 2012 that allows individuals to seek relief from their federal firearms prohibition.

It is interesting. As anyone who reads the GAO report will gather, these efforts to create a scenario that allows the seizure of guns from groups of Americans who have historically enjoyed their rights as U.S. citizens, were steadily in place in fiscal year 2000 and they are also clearly referenced as having been launched in 2007. The government states in another portion of the report:

    The 2007 Virginia Tech shootings raised questions about how the gunman was able to obtain firearms given his history of mental illness. In the wake of this tragedy, the NICS Improvement Amendments Act of 2007 was enacted to, among other things, provide incentives for states to make more records available for use during firearm - related background checks.

Fair enough, but it was underway well before that also.

Not a New Story

FOX News reported earlier this month, that Vice President Biden's office announced the proposal of two new executive actions to make it easier for states to provide mental health information to the national background check system.

Both of the proposals pertain to the ability of states to provide information about the mentally ill and those seeking mental health treatment to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. While the proposals are new, the effort according to the GAO is well more than a decade old2.

Biden's issues over gun safety, range from an assault
weapons ban and background checks to armed guards
in schools and mental health resources.

    From 2004 to 2011, the total number of mental health records that states made available to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) increased by approximately 800 percent — from about 126,000 to 1.2 million records — although a variety of challenges limited states’ ability to share such records. This increase largely reflects the efforts of 12 states. However, almost half of all states increased the number of mental health records they made available by fewer than 100 over this same time period. Technological, legal, and other challenges limited the states’ ability to share mental health records. To help address these challenges, the Department of Justice (DOJ) provides assistance to states, such as grants and training, which the 6 states GAO reviewed reported as helpful.

According to statistics published by the National Institute for Mental health, "An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year3 4.

The new proposals would obviously create a hesitancy among the mentally ill to seek treatment, which seemingly would reverse any progress gained from eroding the rights of those who seek help.

Taking Guns from American War Heroes

Our research into letters the VA has dispatched to Veterans suffering the effects of PTSD, directing them to turn in their firearms under the Brady Bill, has led to one disturbing revelation after another. Each part of what we reveal is directly from government documents and letters.

Veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, like Pat Kirby, in Myrtle Creek, Oregon, are at the top of the government's new plan to quietly disarm those suspected of having mental illness5.

He received a letter stating that he would have to turn his firearms in after the VA deemed him "incompetent" because his wife has always handled the family's finances, and he does not, though he says he could.

Doctors have confirmed that Pat Kirby does not suffer from mental illness. His combat PTSD is a physical wound from four tours in the Vietnam War, where he served with distinction and was awarded some of this nation's top military medals and commendations.

The letter telling Mr. Kirby that he can not own guns any longer, is the type of thing that could cause mental illness, and it is doubtless that Vets receiving this letter all over are having their PTSD triggered by the news6. Though we have not been able to confirm the number, upwards of 160,000 Veterans have reportedly received the same letter Mr. Kirby received. It is easy to imagine how reluctant PTSD Veterans will be to seek care after hearing this story.

One can only imagine how far these billions might have gone toward help American Veterans who are so lacking in backlogged, VA medical care, which is Pat Kirby's story; being told he has to wait up to 18 months for an operation, etc.

We also know that for years, VA representatives guilt Vietnam Veterans out of scheduling expensive procedures. Older Vets are told that Veterans from the current wars will "suffer" due to limited resources. We know of multiple cases of Vietnam Vets forgoing surgeries and other health procedures for this exact reason.

It was also reported by Daily Clash that a psychiatrist in New York has disclosed having received a bonus of $3,000 from the federal government for every Veteran he adds to the list of those whose gun rights have been terminated. Interestingly, the video with the doctor in New York was killed by YouTube. Our video on Pat Kirby with over 23,000 views, was also pulled by YouTube on 22 January 2014 and then mysteriously was restored, with all of the views no longer registered.

It Doesn't Take a Felony

Power 105 FM in New York City carried an article last July, about a career U.S. Army veteran in Texas who was fighting for his Second Amendment rights after learning that a misdemeanor pot conviction from 1971 disqualified him from ever owning a gun. I think it is fair to assume that most Americans believe only a felony can prevent a person from owning a gun7.

The government's choice to add minor marijuana offenses to the list of things that make a person incapable of owning a gun legally, is another shocking tactic, considering that marijuana is now legal across half of the American states. Also last week's New Yorker article with President Barack Obama's suggestion that marijuana no longer be viewed in a negative way, make the next story all the more incredulous.

"Ron Kelly, who retired from the Army in 1993 after 20 years of service, was recently turned away when he tried to buy a .22-cal rifle at a Wal-Mart in Tomball, Texas, after a computerized background check flagged the 42-year-old arrest. The story was on the front page of the Houston Chronicle in July, 20138.

Bear in mind that the last three U.S. Presidents have all admitted to having used marijuana. Apparently the disclosure of having broken the law in the past carries no penalty from being president, only owning a gun. There is no question that we are entering a new period of issues relating to the Second Amendment. Where the NRA is in all of this, is unknown.

It is difficult to conclude the total amount the U.S. government is spending to undermine state privacy laws. The following quote confirms that billions have been spent, nearly that much was allotted in 2009, when, "... states spent $89.6 million (7 percent of total funds for that year) on information sharing projects, such as initiatives to increase records provided to NICS."

The following is from the GAO:

    8 Section 103 of the NIAA authorizes appropriations for the NARIP grants for fiscal years 2009 through 2013 in the following amounts: fiscal year 2009: $125 million; fiscal year 2010: $250 million; fiscal year 2011: $250 million; fiscal year 2012: $125 million; fiscal year 2013: $125 million. Actual appropriations have been as follows: fiscal year 2009: $10 million (Pub. L. No. 111 - 8, 123 Stat. 524 (2009)); fiscal year 2010: $20 million (Pub. L. No. 111 - 117, 123 Stat. 3034 (2009)); fiscal year 2011: $16.1 million (Pub. L. No. 112 - 10, 125 Stat. 38 (2 011)); fiscal year 2012: $5 million (Pub. L. No . 112 - 55, 125 Stat. 552 (2011)).

Tim King

23 January 2014


  1. Government Accountability Office "Report to Congressional Requesters"
  2. FOX News - Obama administration proposes new executive actions on gun background checks
  3. Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O, Walters EE. Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of twelve-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R). Archives of General Psychiatry, 2005 Jun;62(6):617-27.
  4. NIMH - The Numbers Count: Mental Disorders in America
  5. Salem-News - Feds Tell Veteran He Will Lose 2nd Amendment Rights Because of PTSD
  6. Salem-News - VA letter to Pat Kirby referencing Brady Bill and termination of gun ownership rights
  7. Power 105 FM - Misdemeanor drug conviction from 1971 prevents 20-year vet from ever owning a gun
  8. Houston Chronicle - Army vet can’t own gun over minor pot arrest 42 years ago



Comments Leave a comment on this story.

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.

Anonymous February 15, 2014 12:02 am (Pacific time)

for ALL Americans, the United States Constitution DOES NOT segregate our 2nd amendment right to bear arms into WHOMEVER they should choose. Our US Constitution ASSURES EACH American these rights, whether or not your Mental state, your AGE, your convictions, and/or arrest record. Remember that the US govrmnt. is trying to get EVERY American on public record so that they can control the US PEOPLE...... the Constitution was written to ensure the Correct government FOR THE PEOPLE. not against them.

Ralph E. Stone January 25, 2014 7:00 am (Pacific time)

Those supporting or opposing these regulations can still comment by March 2014 (

Thank you Ralph.

Sandy Poli January 24, 2014 5:43 pm (Pacific time)

It is so frustrating when, once again...a certain select persons are being attached. We had privacy laws put in place for a reason! To protect our privacy! Really? This is getting old! Leave GUN RIGHTS alone!

amanda leduc January 24, 2014 11:48 am (Pacific time)

Armed guards in schools?!?!? I'd be yanking my daughter out of school so fast! I wonder if the people who are being targeted at the moment are also people who oppose the direction the american political agenda is heading at the moment?? Hmmm...what do they call it, 'political dissidents'?

Anonymous January 24, 2014 10:37 am (Pacific time)

Under the "Public Health and Safety" clause in the hipaa rules, you have lost your right to Patient/Doctor confidentiality. In case you're like me who has never taken the time to read this when your doctor supplies it, maybe you should do so now. How many of our congressmen who served our country or were taken prisoner of war are allowed to run this country if they too are struggling with PTSD or other Mental Health issues that make them a threat to the Public Health and Safety of others?

Ken January 24, 2014 8:51 am (Pacific time)

Using an old saying "a slippery slop" what sounds good can be moved from a “good” idea to be morphed into a totally different thing. We would all agree the a truly certified mental illness person (based on long established criteria not “modified”) should not have guns for obvious reasons. However it is the nipping at the edge” of that definition that is the problem. When you add a drug offense and the thought is a habitual drug offender may make sense, but then someone else sees drugs as pot and legally that is a drug right then you are in the laws bull’s eye.

Anonymous January 24, 2014 4:09 am (Pacific time)

I don't think there are many true gun nuts, and think many will regret these decisions when their families are being murdered and raped by armed forces one day ....there is a difference between exercising non violence and just sitting there watching these things happen to people around you and yourself.

Paul January 24, 2014 3:48 am (Pacific time)

i see the menatl health issues thing.depends on the issue. but, minor drug stuff. c'mon. step on some rights.

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