Should alcohol rehab disqualify someone from owning a gun?
A couple weeks ago, a man had gotten out of rehab for alcohol abuse. He bought a shotgun on his way home, and immediately used it to kill his daughter and then himself. Substance abuse is already a disqualifier for buying a gun. Should being in detox/rehab for alcohol abuse also disqualify someone from a firearm purchase?

Yes; lets further discourage alcoholics from getting the help they need. Further, lets take away their right to vote and search for Pokemon.

It is? Apart from being convicted of a felony???

18. U.S.C. 922:

And Form 4473 (the form for purchasing a firearm from a licensed firearms dealer) specifically asks " Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?", separately from the questions about being a felon, fugitive from justice, and so on.

I don’t believe alcohol is considered a controlled substance.

Yep. And let’s explore what the meaning of “is” is. Are we saying that Obama could not buy a gun? He’s admitted to using marijuana and cocaine. The code says no one who “is an unlawful user” of or addicted to a controlled substance. What is" “an unlawful user”?

Note that 21 U.S.C. 802 defines an “addict” but not “an unlawful user”.

In the sixth circuit:

The BATFEhas said:

And the BATFErulemaking:

Alcohol doesn’t count.


After a stable and documented period of sobriety, NO it shouldn’t.

For that matter, Felons who served their debt to society and haven’t committed additional crimes should have ALL of their rights restored, including their right to bear arms.

I don’t think it should be a permanent ban either, but there does need to be a period of sobriety after leaving rehab. In the link in my OP, the killer literally bought the weapon on his way home from the detox facility. He then immediately murdered his daughter with it.

If the killer left his doctor’s office would you think that disqualifying? Post office? A restaurant? Seems like reaching to add more disqualifying circumstances.

This is part of the reasons people oppose background checks for private party sales.

What’s really most fucked up is the prominence of Marijuana on these rules. Surely anyone who has been around both knows a stoner with a gun is far, far less scary than a drunk with a gun.

Brilliant public policy, that.

Besides the fact that the number of people who leave rehab and then immediately murder someone is very low, how exactly would the confidential medical information become known to gun dealers?


I can’t get a FOID card in Illinois because I saw a psychiatrist once. Gotta love that Bill of Rights!

No, but this story is an excellent argument for a waiting period. States with waiting periods have 51% fewer firearm suicides and 27% fewer suicides overall.