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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there. I’m new to this forum, and to the state of Georgia.

So I recently moved to Atlanta, Georgia for a job and want to apply for a WCL.

So here’s the deal. I’m an OIF veteran and have attended a voluntary 6 week long inpatient PTSD treatment program with the VA about 4 years ago.

I have never had any issues, have always worked, obtained my Masters Degree since EASing, have been a productive and normal member of society, and have supported my wife and children the whole time. It was a program that was suggested by a VA doctor as being beneficial, not necessary.

I currently shoot, take my wife and two sons shooting, and want to be able to protect my family while at public events or on the go.

Will my medical record come to haunt me while applying for the GA WCL?

Do they go through VA medical records that long ago?

I always check No on everything when purchasing a firearm because I’m not ill, nor a threat to anyone. And I value my ability to protect my family over such nonsense.

It’s never been an issue in the past and I have always advocated the 2nd Amendment for as long as I can remember.

What can I expect when applying for the WCL and might this cause problems for me in future gun purchases if they deem my history a problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It was voluntary, of course. I’m not sure how it’s labeled in a medical record though. How does Georgia go about looking it up?
 

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You can always apply and see what happens. If there is a problem, you would probably go before the judge to explain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is what I was concerned about. All it takes is one government flunkie to not understand how to read medical records, and automatically assume Veterans Affairs + PTSD treatment means ineligible, and I lose ALL my 2A rights for a year or more while paying enormous sums of money to lawyers to clear things up, all while under a Biden administration during a contentious political era. Any person should be concerned about such a situation.
 

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What county will you be applying in? That will make a lot of difference in the outcome.
 

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As to the FEDERAL laws about mental health problems putting a person on the "prohibited persons" list for people who can't even possess any firearms or ammo...

ATF, the federal agency charged with interpreting and playing the classes of prohibited persons written in the gun control act of 1968, says this term "committed to a mental institution" does not apply if you checked yourself in voluntarily to an inpatient treatment program.

 

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As to STATE LAW, regarding eligibility to be issued a Georgia weapons carry license:

Code section 16-11-129 (j) says if you were an inpatient in a mental hospital or an alcohol or drug treatment center recrntly (within 5 years) you are presumed disqualified from a carry license, unless you can show that you are not a danger to yourself or others at this time.


Georgia's restriction is not limited to only people who are committed involuntarily, so it would apply to checking yourself in with full freedom of choice and consent.

But, the good thing is that our law provides a process by which you can get your license even with a recent mental health episode in your history so long as you & a mental health professional can show you don't have those serious mental problems anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great. And how efficient is that process? if I go through this process and they still decide that they unilaterally wish to withhold my 2A rights because “politics,” am I at risk for losing the right to own firearms altogether? Will it decline me on future NICS checks? Will I be forced to handover my firearms until this matter is resolved? What I’m asking is, how much risk is there that I might lose what rights I already have, if I wish to pursue this?

Lastly, I never had serious mental health problems. I attended the program because I asked about it. The doctor didn’t feel it was necessary, but there were open beds available, and she felt that it was a service that I deserved.
 

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One option would be to wait until you are past the 5 years Georgia requires. That way it should be pretty clear cut and stress free. This is the route I would go. Not optimal, but a good, clean option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I was thinking about this as well. And waiting it out is a valid option, just not optimal.

Just for the sake of knowledge, how likely is it that the office, when processing my application, will come across my medical history through the VA when performing their check? I was being treated years ago in West Virginia. So nowhere near the state of Georgia.
 

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Just for the sake of knowledge, how likely is it that the office, when processing my application, will come across my medical history through the VA when performing their check? I was being treated years ago in West Virginia. So nowhere near the state of Georgia.
Extremely unlikely. Your medical records are not part of their background check system. They are only using information available through the FBI NICS system, which is just criminal records.
 

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I certainly would not interpret the previous post to suggest you should falsify anything on your GWCL application. That could turn into a major problem for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Agree 100%. do not lie on the application.
I agree. I’m not going to. Too many reasons not to. I can either take the risk and honestly apply, and risk whatever decision they come to. Or simply choose not to pursue carrying.

Personally, given that I am not violating any Federal firearms laws regarding private firearms ownership. I think I have to just accept that Georgia concealed carry is simply not in my future. It is what it is.

I’m not willing to risk my right to general firearm ownership because of an employee or judge who might have an uninformed bias against mental health treatment programs at the department of veteran’s affairs.
 

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The uninformed bias you're more likely to encounter, particularly in the metro area, is a Probate Judge who just flat out doesn't like firearms and would use something like your voluntary hospitalization as an excuse to not issue a GWCL even if their reasoning is technically invalid. Also, I noticed you mentioned "concealed." A GWCL is required for handgun carry, openly or concealed in GA. A lot of people mistakenly think you can open carry without a GWCL. That is not true in GA. Just wanted to make sure you understand that, being new to GA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The uninformed bias you're more likely to encounter, particularly in the metro area, is a Probate Judge who just flat out doesn't like firearms and would use something like your voluntary hospitalization as an excuse to not issue a GWCL even if their reasoning is technically invalid. Also, I noticed you mentioned "concealed." A GWCL is required for handgun carry, openly or concealed in GA. A lot of people mistakenly think you can open carry without a GWCL. That is not true in GA. Just wanted to make sure you understand that, being new to GA.
Oh thanks for the head’s up. Yeah, I understand that open and concealed carry both require a GWCL. I just chose that phrasing because I have no interest in open carrying.

Anyway, I think I’m pretty much in the position that I’m in. It sucks though. Atlanta isn’t exactly Mad Max land. But it’s not exactly safe in many parts of the city either. I think I’ve more than earned my right to defend myself and those I care about. It’s a shame that, by default, engaging in a voluntary medical treatment program through the VA can be held against me despite the fact that I’ve never had any mental health related behavioral or conduct issues.

It’s not like some some angry anti-social teenager in high school who is making threats against teachers and peers and such. Veterans generally tend to be very patriotic and community/family minded, given the nature of military service.

Sorry, I’m just ranting at this point...
Appreciate the help.
 

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I don't understand. If you wait another year you are at the five year mark, and in the clear.

Why did you state that carrying is not in your future?

Also getting denied a carry license doesn't make you a prohibited person from owning firearms. Why the fear?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I don't understand. If you wait another year you are at the five year mark, and in the clear.

Why did you state that carrying is not in your future?

Also getting denied a carry license doesn't make you a prohibited person from owning firearms. Why the fear?
Your last paragraph is my fear. Yes, I can and will wait a year if that’s what it takes. When I said it’s not in my future, I should have said my immediate future. I forgot about the 5 year rule.

But my fear is that a denial ruling on a CCW permit would then impede me on future firearm purchases. The way I understand it is that getting a denial on any single thing can then black you out from everything else. So for example, if the state deems that you are not trustworthy enough to have a CCW, then you are not trustworthy enough to own firearms period.

That’s not the biggest deal at this point since I pretty much already own everything I want. I do eventually want to get a suppressor for my AR and eventually add a Steyr AUG to my collection one day. But that’s just for fun. Clearly those two incentives are lower on the totem pole in terms of personal protection.

What if they decline my GWCL and then decide to come over to my home and confiscate ALL my firearms?

I don’t know the answer to these questions and I hope I’m wrong. I just know that we are in a tense political era where such things are not outside the realm of possibility and I don’t want to become the posterchild for a new type of legal battle.
 
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