Prohibition of Persons With Mental Illness From Gun Ownership Under Tyler.
The U.S. Supreme Court's Heller and McDonald decisions are the most important legal affirmations of the right of U.S. citizens to possess and bear firearms under the Second Amendment. Heller and McDonald are also significant in citing persons with mental illness as an exceptional group, whose right may be restricted by the U.S. Government. From 1968 onward, federal and state governments have enacted legislation prohibiting gun ownership by persons with mental illness who have been involuntarily committed to an institution or deemed by a legal authority to be dangerous or mentally incompetent. The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in its first Tyler decision (Tyler I) placed limitations on legislation that restricts persons with mental illness from owning firearms. In its second decision (Tyler II), the appellate court reversed and remanded the case to the district court with instruction to apply "intermediate scrutiny" to determine whether this statute was constitutionally applied to appellant Charles Tyler, whose right to possess firearms was restricted in 1985 after a singular involuntary commitment during a transitory mental health crisis. Although it applies only to the Sixth Circuit, Tyler could have precedential influence on gun restrictions for persons with mental illness in other jurisdictions.
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