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Behav Sci Law. 2015 Jun;33(2-3):238-45. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2169. Epub 2015 Feb 24.

Physician Beliefs about Physical and Mental Competency of Patients Applying for Concealed Weapon Permits.

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University of North Carolina School of Medicine, U.S.A.
Duke University Department of Medicine, U.S.A.
Duke University School of Law, U.S.A.


Law enforcement officials have asked health care providers to evaluate patient applications for concealed weapon permits. The current study was designed to examine physician beliefs regarding competency to carry a concealed weapon for patients with specific physical and mental conditions. Among 222 North Carolina physicians who participated in this survey (40% response rate), large variation and uncertainty existed for determining competency. Physicians most frequently chose mild dementia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and recent depression as conditions that would render a patient not competent to carry a concealed weapon. Male physicians and those owning a gun were more likely to deem a patient competent. Almost a third of physicians were unsure about competence for most conditions. Physicians asked to assess competency of patients to carry a concealed weapon have quite disparate views on competency and little confidence in their decisions. If physicians are expected to assess patient competence to carry a concealed weapon, more objective criteria and training are needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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