As a result of having been taken into custody, assessed and admitted pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) sections 5150, 5151 and 5152 as a danger to self or others, you are prohibited from owning, possessing, controlling, receiving, or purchasing a firearm for a period of five years from the date of discharge.
A previous client had called me about a friend’s daughter who was 5150 admitted earlier this year and is now in the process of pursuing a job with a law enforcement agency. Due to the firearms prohibition, she was very distraught because besides this one incident, she has a stellar educational background and would be a viable candidate to be a peace officer.
Just this morning, I had an attorney representing an individual who would like to pursue a career that involves possessing firearms. The preparation of the instant motion and the subsequent hearing is complex and in order to insure that the court grant the client’s request, it is critical to hire an effective attorney with experience in this matter.
If you were held involuntarily in the facility for more than three days, then federal law may prohibit you from owning or possessing firearms for a longer period of time. Relinquishment could mean selling or transferring your firearms to a non-prohibited third party using a licensed firearms dealer (Penal Code section 28050) or you may utilize the Power of Attorney for Firearms Relinquishment Sale of Disposal (Penal Code section 29810).
WIC section 8103, subdivisions (f) and (g), allow you to request a hearing by the Superior Court to provide relief from the firearms prohibition. Upon discharge from this facility, you will be provided with a Request for Hearing for Relief from Firearms Prohibition. If you request a hearing at the time of discharge, the completed form will be forwarded by the mental health facility to the Superior Court in your county of residence unless you elect to submit the form yourself.
If you do not request a hearing at the time of discharge from the mental facility, a single request may be made to the Superior Court in your county of residence at any time during the five-year prohibition. The form is a form from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and entitled Bureau of Firearms, Request for Hearing for Relief from Firearms Prohibition.
Upon completion of the form and filing it at the appropriate Superior Court, the court shall set a hearing date within 30 days of receipt of the request. You can either request a confidential private hearing for restoration of your rights to own or possess firearms. You have the right to request this pursuant to WIC section 8103, subdivision (f)(5). If you want a confidential hearing, the hearing is closed to the public unless the court finds that the public interest would be better served by conducting the hearing in public.
The Bureau of Firearms in the DOJ collects the information requested on the form and all the personal information requested in the form must be provided. In order to establish patient request for hearing relief, DOJ may need to share the information with any peace officer or other person designated by the Attorney General upon request.
Firearms prohibition due to 5150 assessment/custody/admission is a period of five years and for many who want their constitutional rights to not be infringed upon, this is a matter of serious gravity. For this client, it means her future career and livelihood so it is critical to file the appropriate forms and be able to present a cohesive and comprehensive presentation as to why the court should grant your request.
I am a firm believer in being prepared and because of this, the more information and documentary evidence you provide to the court and DOJ, the higher your success rate will be.