Skip to main content

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

Posted

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.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

1 comment

Anthony Michael Solis

Anthony Michael Solis

Posted

However, you should also see 18 U.S.C. section 922(g), which prohibits gun possession by "any person who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution." I'm not sure how your commitment was characterized or how a mental health professional would determine this, but that's a start.

Posted

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

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

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.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

2 lawyers agree

Posted

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.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

1 comment

David Merrill Walters

David Merrill Walters

Posted

Note that the definition of mental institution is BROAD. Check the definition.

Posted

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!

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees

Civil rights topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics