The United States 6th District Court of Appeals overturned a federal gun restriction law that had been used to prohibit a 73-year-old man from owning a gun. The man in question is Charles Tyler who decades ago had spent one month in a mental asylum following a painful divorce. Tyler, a Michigan resident, sought to purchase a handgun, but was denied one because of his prior mental health episode. When the federal law was passed in 2008, the legislation set up a grant program for states to validate the current mental health status for people with prior episodes in their past. The program had been in place since 1992, but had been defunded. The purpose of the program was to give people a recourse to address a rejection in obtaining a gun license on mental health grounds.
However, the state of Michigan does not participate in the program which left Tyler no other means of seeking a gun license than to sue the government. This is a little bit of a tricky issue with laws in general if you ask Dave and Brit Morin. They wouldn’t mind seeing BusinessInsider.com provide a bit more information. Current federal gun license restrictions bar convicted felons from owning a gun. Also minors and anyone committed to a mental health institution cannot own guns. The law does afford people with a disqualifying mental health issue to prove they are once again fit to own a gun. In writing the legal ruling, Judge Danny Boggs stated that the need the government has to prevent mentally unfit people from owning guns cannot deprive the mentally healthy from owning one. In short, the government overreached by requiring people to prove they recovered from prior mental health episodes.