Concealed carry law allows doctors to make call on gun ownership
An reader has emailed a brochure released by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). The brochure describes the responsibility of doctors and health care professionals under the Firearm Owner Identification (FOID) Mental Health Reporting System as part of the Firearm Concealed Carry Act (PA 98-063). The law requires clinicians and facilities to report patients who own firearms they believe pose a “clear and present danger” to themselves or others.
“IDHS must be notified of anyone who communicates a serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably identifiable victim or poses a clear and imminent risk of serious physical injury to himself, herself or another person; or who demonstrates threatening physical or verbal behavior, such as violent, suicidal, or assaultive threats, actions, or other behavior as determined by a physician, clinical psychologist or qualified examiner,” explains an IDHS web page.
IDHS and the state of Illinois have attached the requirement to the issuance of a concealed carry license and a Firearm Owner’s Identification card. “The new concealed carry law broadens the scope of the Illinois FOID Mental Health Reporting System, both in terms of who must report and what information they must report,” IDHS Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler said in January.
It also broadens the ability by the state to deny Illinois residents the right to practice the Second Amendment if a doctor or other health care professional makes a subjective decision declaring an individual a “clear and present danger” to society.
The effort to declare gun ownership a mental health issue arose following the Sandy Hook shooting. In March, the effort to link health and gun ownership came to the forefront when Senate Republicans opposed the appointment of Dr. Vivek Hallegere Murthy as Surgeon General. Dr. Murthy, a Harvard- and Yale-educated internist and former emergency room doctor, advocates draconian gun control legislation.
Murthy is also the president and co-founder of Doctors for America, an organization that melds healthcare and support for gun control legislation.
“If tens of thousands of Americans died every year of an infectious disease and there was no policy response, there would be a public outcry. If research clearly demonstrated that there were simple solutions to prevent all these deaths and still nothing changed, public health experts would be furious. It is time for us to recognize that we must take action to save thousands of lives and demand change from our politicians,” the organization argues.