Home

About
- About Us
- Community Guidelines

Advertising on BOR
- Advertise on BOR

Advertisements


We're Counting On You.

Burnt Orange Report is redeveloping our website for the first time in almost a decade.

We're counting on your support to continue providing you free and frequent coverage of progressive issues that matter to Texans.

Help us build a website that is as great as the content we publish on it.



Fort Worth Appeals Court Ignores Mental Health History, Orders Grant of CHL


by: Edward Garris

Mon Jan 13, 2014 at 10:40 AM CST


On Thursday, the Second Court of Appeals in Fort Worth ordered the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to renew the concealed handgun license (CHL) of a woman with a history of mental illness, and used federal law to do it.

DPS had previously denied the petitioner's application to renew her CHL because federal law disqualified her from purchasing a firearm and was, therefore, not eligible to have her Texas CHL renewed.

In July 2008, a Howard County, Texas, court had adjudicated the petitioner to be mentally ill and a threat to herself.  She was institutionalized, underwent treatment, and later applied to DPS to renew her CHL. DPS denied her application to renew, and the petitioner sued.  

After losing at the trial court, DPS only presented one issue on appeal - that the evidence was legally insufficient to show that the petitioner was qualified under state and federal law to purchase a firearm.

To see why the Fort Worth court ignored the petitioner's history of mental illness, read below the jump.  

ADVERTISEMENT
DPS argued that a letter from the petitioner's doctor was insufficient to qualify her for a CHL; the petitioner responded that her discharge from a mental health facility was the equivalent of having never been committed, and that, therefore, she was qualified under federal law to own a firearm.

WORKING TOGETHER - TEXAS AND FEDERAL LAW

Texas law does set requirements for obtaining and renewing a CHL, including a ban on anyone who is not capable of exercising sound judgment with respect to the property use and storage of a handgun, and anyone who is not fully qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun.

DPS argued that the petitioner was ineligible for a CHL because her previous mental health adjudication meant that she was not fully qualified under applicable federal law to purchase a handgun.  Federal law states that a person adjudicated "as a mental defective" may not "possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition" or "receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce." See 18 USC ยง922(g)(4).  The petitioner's history put her within the definition of someone who had been ruled as a "mental defective" under federal law.

AN AUTOIMMUNE DISORDER AND SEIZURES

The petitioner argued that 2007 amendments to that federal law negated the provision that rendered her as a "mental defective," and that for procedural purposes of the DPS and the CHL, it was if her commitment to a psychiatric ward had never happened.  The petitioner also argued that she did not have a history of mental illness, but rather "most likely" suffered from an autoimmune seizure disorder.

The Fort Worth appeals court agreed with this interpretation and agreed that the letter from the petitioner's doctor was sufficient evidence to show that she qualified for a CHL under Texas law.  Despite DPS' protest that there is already a process to show that a person with a history of mental illness is eligible for a CHL, the court disregarded this and ordered DPS to issue a CHL to the petitioner.

The case is Texas Department of Public Safety v. Randolph, 02-13-00025-CV.



Copyright Burnt Orange Report, all rights reserved.
Do not republish without express written permission.


Tags: (All Tags)
Print Friendly View Send As Email

. (0.00 / 0)
Good thing licenses and permits stop actual insane people from committing crimes with their concealed guns

Amazon Referrals
Buying Back-to-School Books?

Use BOR's Amazon Referral and we'll receive a share of your purchase, at no cost to you!




Click here to shop.



Connect With BOR
    

2014 Texas Elections
Follow BOR for who's in, who's out, and who's up.

Candidate Tracker:
-- Statewide Races
-- Congressional Races
-- State Senate Races
-- State Rep. Races
-- SBOE Races
-- Austin City Council

Click here for all 2014 Elections coverage

Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Texas Blue Pages

Texas Blue Pages
A career network for progressives.

Advertisement

Shared On Facebook

Burnt Orange Reporters
Editor and Publisher:
Katherine Haenschen

Senior Staff Writers:
Genevieve Cato
Joe Deshotel
Ben Sherman

Staff Writers:
Omar Araiza
Emily Cadik
Phillip Martin
Natalie San Luis
Katie Singh
Joseph Vogas

Founder:
Byron LaMasters

Blogger Emeritus:
Karl-Thomas Musselman

Read staff bios here.

Traffic Ratings
- Alexa Rating
- Quantcast Ratings
-
Syndication

Powered by: SoapBlox