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Will an involuntary commitment to an eating disorder treatment program 20 years ago somehow prevent me from purchasing a gun?

Seattle, WA |
Filed under: Civil rights

I am a female wishing to purchase a handgun for my self- protection, as I live alone, and was wondering if the background check would possibly reveal my long ago involuntary commitment for anorexia nervosa. I was committed involuntarily twice for this disorder, once at 18 years of age and again at 24 years old. I am now 43 and have not suffered from this for 17 years now. Could this possibly be an obstacle to my buying a gun after so many years and is this information about me on record or is it private? (as I believe it should be). Please let me know. Thank-you.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    It is doubtful that this would prevent you from owning a gun if it wasn't part of a criminal case. However, if you apply for a gun, answer the background information fully and completely. Also, if you want a better answer before applying, you can contact an attorney, or possibly check with a REPUTABLE local gun dealer, they might have more specific information.


  2. I agree with the previous answer and from the fact you do not suffer from mental illness now and you should be fine.
    Good Luck

    If this answer was helpful, please mark as helpful below. Please be sure to indicate the best answer Only If and until you and I sign an Agreement for Legal Services, I am not your attorney. These answers are provided for informational and/or novelty purposes


  3. A gun dealer will have the federal form - take a look a the one I have linked to at the ATF. See question "f." A detailed reading will cost you nothing, but the language is convoluated.

    Rather than have to fight an uphill battle after a possible denial, you could see an attorney. Or, as my colleague suggests, see a reputable gun dealer.

    We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.


  4. Involuntary commitment to a mental institution makes a person a "prohibited person" under 922(g)(4). A prohibited person may not purchase or possess firearms or ammunition. See the link below and consult an attorney.

    This is for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


  5. I agree with the previous answers. The specifics of your situation make it likely that your rights can be restored in Washington State relatively easily. You can do that on your own, but it is more confusing than it really needs to be and an attorney can really speed up the process. Best of luck!

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