Our world has become an ever increasingly violent place. However, not everyone who has been labeled as potentially violent is actually high risk for violence. With current law in Indiana, individuals who have committed no crimes can quickly have their access to own and carry firearms taken from them with little to no due process. The law is referred to as the Jake Laird Law IC 35-47-14 (https://www.in.gov/isp/3484.htm). Often the person had an argument with someone, became sad or depressed over the ending of a relationship, or had an over-protective friend or family member call the police for a wellness check. All it takes for a person to lose their gun rights is for one of those caring family members or friends to tell an officer that they believe legal gun owner is a danger to themselves or others and then the officer can take weapons based on the Red Flag Law.
How do you prove you are not a danger? You need to have a mental health provider complete a detailed violence risk assessment with you to determine clinically if you are at an evaluated risk for violence toward yourself and/or others. There are three main components to violence risk assessments. First, I conduct a detailed one-on-one interview with you. Regardless of what the incident was, we start with a very detailed psycho-social clinical interview. Second, I administer psychological testing to determine if there are any mental health issues, impulse control issues, aggression problems, or psychosis that would suggest that you are high risk for future violence. Third, I review any relevant external documentation regarding this risk. These documents may include police records, mental health or medical records, court records, employment records, or any other relevant records.
If I have a mental health problem, does that mean I'm high risk for violence?
No. Simply having mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia does not mean that you are high risk for violence in the future. People can have significant mental health disorders but not be violent. People can be violent and not have any mental health conditions. That is why our assessments do not focus just on whether or not you have a mental health condition. Some of the psychological testing that we use are what we call actuarial violence risk assessment tools. These tools specifically look at your risk for physical violence toward others. The scores on those tools are not greatly affected by the existence of any mental health issues.
What if my report says I am high-risk for future violence? Does that mean I can never get my guns rights established?
No. If after I have completed your assessment it is my clinical opinion that you are high risk for violence in the future, I will lay out a detailed treatment plan of what you can complete so that your risk for future violence will decrease. I am a firm believer in the fact that everyone can change. Someone can go from being high-risk for future violence to being low-risk for future violence. We are all able to change, improve, and grow as human beings.
Questions? Are you ready for your assessment?
At our offices, I do the best I can to treat everybody with respect and dignity. I understand that dealing with allegations that you are high risk for violence can be a very stressful time in your life. Therefore, I do my best to make these assessments as stress-free as possible. I look forward to seeing you.
To schedule your appointment with Dr. Lombard, please call our office at (260) 459-2900 or email us at [email protected]. When you call our office, we will need to know what attorney you are working with and your time frame for completing this review. Dr. Lombard looks forward to working with you.