Civil Liberties Group Questions "Pink Slip" Provision In Republicans' Gun Proposal

Oct 4, 2019

The American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio is also raising concerns mandating more reporting of information into a database used for gun background checks.

There are concerns about a provision in the bill from Reps. Phil Plummer and D.J. Swearingen allowing for people with substance abuse issues to be hospitalized against their will. 

The Republican sponsors of the bill say they want to update Ohio’s law on “pink slipping” or involuntary hospitalization to define “mental illness” to include moderate to severe substance abuse disorder.

Gary Daniels with the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio said there are real questions about whether pink slipping is effective, but also about a shortage of treatment beds in Ohio.

“That’s a very big problem across all of Ohio, and so it seems what you’re doing here is you’re compounding the problem by involuntarily committing people into a system where there already is not capacity," Daniels said.

Daniels said the ALCU also has questions about the personal and private information about mental health and substance use that would be entered into a state background checks database. He says the law is silent on who can access that information and whether it’s public record.