During March of this past year Lynette Phillips’ home was raided by police who were there to confiscate her husband’s guns and ammunition. The reasoning? She has voluntarily checked into a mental health hospital for three days, making her ineligible to possess guns under California state law.
For those of you who missed the original story, here’s an excerpt from The Blaze,
Lynette had purchased a gun years ago for her husband, David, as a present. That gun, as well as two others registered to her law-abiding husband (who does not have a history of felonies or mental illness), were seized last Tuesday.
“My husband is upset that they took the right from us that should never have been taken,” Phillips said.
Phillips and her husband were seated at their dining room table and questioned about the firearms. Phillips showed authorities where the weapons were located — a handgun in the top dresser drawer and two rifles in a safe in the garage. After Phillips unlocked the case in the garage, she said officers pulled her away from the guns and back into the house.
“They weren’t mean,” Phillips said. “I know they were just doing their job.”
But it’s a job Phillips said that never should have had to be done in the first place.
Phillips had an adjustment to her medication in December and could not stop crying. Her personal psychiatrist suggested she go to Aurora Charter Oak Hospital in Covina, Calif., where she said she was admitted voluntarily, not a threat to herself or others. Then, when she reviewed her file, Phillips said the nurse had recorded that she was involuntarily admitted and indicated she might be a suicide risk. Phillips claims the nurse had put words into her mouth.
“I kept telling her I had a grand-baby at home and had to be better for Christmas,” she said. “Does that sound like the words of someone who is a risk to themselves and others?”
Now the family has finally received their confiscated firearms, but only one problem…the ammunition still hasn’t been returned.
“This is the biggest problem with the mental health thing,” he said, “They keep everyone for up to 72 hours because they’re afraid of getting sued.”
There also were other missteps that occurred that now have Phillips in a position where she will have to appear before a judge in a hearing — likely with a statement from a psychiatrist stating that she isn’t considered a threat to herself or others, even though she was never diagnosed to be this by a doctor in the first place — to have her right to own a firearm restored.
“How do you determine when someone is crazy or mentally unstable enough?” Michel asked. “It’s a hard societal issue to come to grips with.”
California’s law also gets to the problem that many have been wrestling with when it comes to firearms and mental health: How does a doctor decide that someone is mentally ill enough to have this right revoked?