Court finds short mental health treatment doesn’t end gun rights
By Chris Eger
A federal court last week held that an involuntary emergency treatment of a Pennsylvania man for less than 24 hours did not trigger a lifetime ban on firearms.
Deciding in the case of Alton Franklin, the U.S. District Court held that his brief history of mental illness reported by the state did not square against federal gun prohibitions on those who have been committed to a mental institution.
According to court documents, in 2002 Franklin appeared at his local police station “needing to talk to someone” in the aftermath of a recent break-up with 20 lacerations on his arms he said he picked up as part of a drinking game with a friend. The officer he spoke to felt that Franklin posed a danger to himself or others and a county official completed a warrant that the man be involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility for up to 120 hours. However, Franklin only remained hospitalized for less than 24 hours before he was released.
Since then, he has not been the subject of a mental health order and went on to complete a bachelor’s degree, earn a paralegal certification and work as a corrections officer for the state of Kentucky. Nonetheless, in