Skip to comments.Is N.Y.'s Gun Confiscation Scheme Tied to Larger Federal Plan?
Posted on 04/17/2013 5:25:15 PM PDT by robowombat
Is N.Y.'s Gun Confiscation Scheme Tied to Larger Federal Plan?
Written by Dave Bohon
A report from TheBlaze.com alleges that the state of New York is using its recently enacted NY SAFE Act as justification to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens specifically individuals who have been prescribed anti-anxiety medication. But some Second Amendment advocates allege the scheme is part of a larger federal gun control plot.
According to the Blaze, on April 1 a legal gun owner in upstate New York, later identified by a Buffalo newspaper as 35-year-old David Lewis, received an official notice from the state ordering him to surrender any and all weapons to his local police department. The note said that the persons permit to own a gun in New York was being suspended as well.
Lewis went to the police station with his attorney, New York gun law expert Jim Tresmond, where he voluntarily turned over his firearms, and was given a receipt for them. If Lewis had not voluntarily turned in his guns, the police would have come to his house to demand them.
The language of the NY SAFE Act explains that the purpose of the law is to protect New Yorkers by reducing the availability of assault weapons and deterring the criminal use of firearms. The new law bans assault style weapons meaning most semi-automatic firearms and imposes a strict gun-licensing process. As enacted, it also banned the sale of 10-round magazines, but this provision was amended to allow the continued sale of the magazines while requiring that no more than seven rounds be loaded into them.
There is an additional provision that applied to Tresmond's client, and, most likely, thousands of other New Yorkers. That provision requires mental health professionals, in the exercise of reasonable professional judgment, to report if an individual they are treating is likely to engage in conduct that will cause serious harm to him- or herself or others. Under such a determination, the Division of Criminal Justice Services will determine whether the person possesses a firearms license and, if so, will notify the appropriate local licensing official, who must suspend the license. The person's firearms will then be removed.
That provision apparently extends to requiring that doctors breach their responsibility of maintaining patient privacy by informing law enforcement agencies, led by the New York State Police, if a patient has been prescribed or is taking an anti-anxiety medication.
That is apparently what happened in the case of Lewis. Although Lewis has no criminal record or any history of violent behavior, he did, in fact have what Tresmond described as a temporary, short term health issue in his past that required medication. That record, known only to the health professional Lewis dealt with, is what appeared to trigger the confiscation.
But how did the New York State Police, which has been identified as behind the confiscation, access Lewis' private record? Tresmond said that it appears there was a violation of the federal HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), not to mention the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable search and seizure. Since Lewis' doctor did not report anything to the authorities, it seems the New York's law enforcement bureaucracy accessed Lewis' records a gross violation of privacy rights, said Tresmond.
Thankfully, the New York Supreme Court ruled that the local police had wrongly identified Lewis as having a mental health issue that violated the NY SAFE Act, and ordered the police to return his firearms to him.
For its part, the New York State Police accused the clerk for Erie County, where Lewis resides, with wrongly identifying him as a threat. In an official statement the state police insisted that it was very clear in its letter to the clerk's office regarding the need for due diligence and the need for a positive identification by the County before they removed any weapon. The final determination on whether to revoke or suspend a pistol permit or license rests solely with the County and the licensing officials.
But County Clerk Chris Jacobs shot back that the state police made a mistake in providing his office with information about the wrong person. The information they gave us, the letter they gave us with the supporting documentation ... was incorrect and we need to rely on accurate information from our state partner, said Jacobs.
As for Lewis and his attorney, they charge that there was no mistake the state police were definitely targeting Lewis to take away his guns. When they targeted David, they not only targeted him by name, but they also targeted him by his pistol permit, said Tresmond, so they identified him as David Lewis with this particular pistol permit number on the letter that they sent to him. That letter demanded that he surrender his firearms and informed him that his handgun permit was being suspended.
Some concerned citizens have suggested that Lewis was chosen as a test case in a round-one confiscation strategy, targeting citizens deemed unsuitable to own firearms. Second Amendment advocate Dan Roberts, writing on Ammoland.com, noted that sources had told him that two prominent and well regarded Buffalo area psychiatrists received subpoenas from State Officials ... commanding them to turn over all of their patient files to the State.
More troubling still is that the alleged confiscation bid may thread its way to the federal Department of Homeland Security. According to Roberts, local Buffalo, New York radio talk-show host Tom Baurele said that multiple sources within the New York state government had told him a secret committee had been created in the state government after passage of the NY SAFE Act to work with the New York State Police and Homeland Security to obtain the private medical records of millions of New York residents. Those records would be compared with the records of known firearms owners and pistol permit holders in order to facilitate the confiscation of firearms under the extraordinarily broad language in the law regarding those that have been deemed 'mentally unstable,' reported Roberts.
New York is not the only state in which private records of gun owners are being accessed. In Missouri, the state's Highway Patrol admitted that on at least two occasions it had provided a list of 163,000 Missouri residents with conceal-carry permits to federal investigators. St. Louis Business Journal reported that in testimony before a state Senate committee, Missouri Highway Patrol official Ron Replogle admitted that the concealed guns list was given to an investigator looking into potential fraud involving Social Security benefits for the disabled. Replogle insisted that the feds would not be able to identify names on the list because the information was supposedly encrypted.
But St. Louis radio talk-show host Dana Loesch reported April 16 that Missouri State Senator Kurt Schaefer had discovered that the federal Department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) was the entity that had made the request for the Missouri conceal-carry list, along with the Department of Social Security. We were never told that the ATF was part of this request, Schaefer told Loesch. Why does the ATF need a list of Missouri gun owners except to have a list of Missouri gun owners?
In March Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder revealed to Loesch that the Missouri Department of Revenue is working with the Department of Homeland Security to collect data on Missouri citizens including, no doubt, records of gun owners and those holding conceal-carry permits.
Add to this highly publicized reports that Homeland Security has committed to purchasing up to two billion rounds of ammunition and dozens of armored vehicles, and it all begins to take an ominous aura of an impending assault on gun-ownership in America.
AmmoLand's Dan Roberts agreed, writing that taken individually, any one of these seemingly unrelated occurrences may easily be ignored. But when one endeavors to put those pieces together ... you eventually reach a point of critical mass and the end picture suddenly snaps into stark focus, Roberts wrote. He added that the end picture of the various activities and policies at both the state and federal level appears to be gaining focus, and what is emerging and should be self evident from the puzzle pieces ... is a picture of only one thing a full frontal attack on the vital Second Amendment freedom that is a crucial foundation of America's liberty.
Answer is yes, similar to Romney’s MA healthcare plan, the model for Obamacare, so why wouldn’t NY’s gun conrol plan be a model for a federal plan?
Come `n get it!
You SOB Cuomunists!
We got so much ammo it`s a 6 million acre ammo dump.
Is water wet? Do bees buzz? Do bears ....
They plan every move years ahead of time.
As a matter of record, any script must be written on state issues script pads which ARE numbered. Any script called in also goes into the state database. They don’t need to violate HIPPA all they need to do is cross reference script for drug X against permit holders and viola!!
Of course they are. Democrats are the same bunch of gun grabbing, anti-freedom socialists everywhere.
Ban pressure cookers and across the board registration for nails
“A report from TheBlaze.com alleges that the state of New York is using its recently enacted NY SAFE Act as justification to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens specifically individuals who have been prescribed anti-anxiety medication. “
Lets take this absurd law to its logical conclusion. Anti-anxiety medication includes the classes of medications that include benzodiazepines, sedatives such as barbiturates, IV anesthetics, opiates. In fact, anti-anxiety medicine is commonly prescribed, to reduce anxiety, before major surgery and most minor surgery and other painful needle procedures. So anytime a person has a medical procedure, there is a close to 100% chance that an anti-anxiety medicine or sedative is prescribed. If this law is to be applied equally, I don’t how one could restrict gun confiscation to people with anxiety disorders or psychiatric disorders.
FYI...on the NY Safe Act
Albany Police Officers Union, local 2841, We respectfully demand that you do the right thing and repeal the law.
To: Andrew M. Cuomo / Dean G. Skelos / Neil D. Breslin / John T- McDonald III / Phil Steck / Sheldon Silver / Jeffrey D. Klein / Cecilia Tkaczyk / Patricia Fahy Note; see the formal list of people this letter went to at the bottom.
Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen:
The Albany Police Officers Union condemns and opposes the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act (the SAFE Act) Substantively, we believe that it violates fundamental constitutional rights, that it is unduly and purposely burdensome on law-abiding citizens, and that it will not deter criminals or menially ill individuals from plotting and carrying out bloodshed and violence. Procedurally, we believe that the way in which the bill was rammed into law via an unjustified and expedient message of necessity, which circumvents the right and the ability of the citizens of this State to voice their concerns about the bill and have them addressed, is an outrage. This flawed law and the w ay in which it was rushed and passed., shows the apparent contempt that those who govern have for the governed, and. calls into question whether we truly have a representational government. Morally, we believe that this law is about ideology and politics and not about making anyone any safer. We respectfully demand that you do the right thing and repeal the law.
First, while we applaud and support your overall concern for public safety and your desire to improve it. The SAFE Act will not improve public safety. Criminals and the mentally ill will not abide by it, and it is either foolish or dishonest to think or suggest otherwise. While law-abiding citizens will abide by the law and not load a ten-round magazine with more than seven rounds, do you really expect a criminal or mentally ill individual intent on doing violence not load ten rounds into a ten-round magazine? While law-abiding citizens will abide by the law that previously legal thirty-round magazines must be sold within one-year to an out-of-state resident or turn in to local authorities, do you really expect a criminal or mentally ill individual intent on doing violence to sell or turn in his thirty-round magazines? While law-abiding citizens will abide by the law requiring that they register weapons which they already do and which have been deemed assault weapons, do you really expect a criminal or mentally ill individual intent on doing violence to do so? Do you really expect a criminal or mentally ill individual intent on doing violence to be concerned about any increase in penalties for shooting first responders? Do you really expect that a mentally ill individual who owns firearms and who is intent on doing violence will voice his intentions to his or her mental health professional and thus put into motion the confiscation of his or her firearms? Do you-really expect that a mentally ill individual will safely store his firearms? Of course you dont. Again, only law-abiding citizens, who are not intent on doing violence, will abide the NY SAFE Act criminals and the mentally ill who are intent on doing violence will not do so. The public will not be any safer under this 1aw. What then, have you accomplished?
Second., the SAFE Act carries with it unfair burdens on law abiding citizen. What is the point of making law-abiding citizens register their previously lawfully owned and lawfully used firearms which are now deemed to be assault weapons? What is the point of making law-abiding citizens who affirmatively opt into protection from public identification that they hold permits or own firearms? What is the point of making law-abiding citizens renew their pistol permits or assault weapon registrations every five years? Why are you preemptively punishing those who have done nothing wrong?
Third, -we fully believe that the SAFE ACT broad prohibitions against will not. withstand constitutional challenge and scrutiny. The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides and U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the right of individuals to possess and carry firearms and to use them for lawful purposes. The SAFE Act, however, infringes on that right as it bans the possession and use of certain firearms that were heretofore possessed and used lawfully for the defense of life, liberty, and property, and as it bans the possession and use of certain firearms that were heretofore possessed and used lawfully for safe use of firearms recreation, hunting, and shooting.
We as police officers are on the front lines of public safety. Respectfully, none of you are. We see, feel, work, and live with the effects of gun violence in ways that you cannot. We believe that you see gun violence as a means to move your agenda and your ambitions forward. You know that the SAFE Act will not work in the way that you pretend it will. You know that this shameful SAFE Act was about ideology and politics and not about making anyone safer.
Regarding the reduction in violent crime this new legislation is proposed to have, in 2011 the most current year for which FBI crime statistics are available, New York State had 77l homicides, 445 were committed with a firearm, 394 of that 445 were committed with a handgun, 5 were committed with a rifle, 16 were committed with a shotgun, in 30 the firearm type was unknown, 160 were committed with a cutting instrument, 143 were committed with another type of weapon, and 26 were committed with bare hands. We believe based on these statistics, that the SAFE Act will do nothing to reduce violent crime as the primary target of the legislation is the assault rifle which would be included statistically with standard rifles and used in less than 1% of New York homicides in 2011.These so called Assault Weapons were not used in the commission of one reported crime in Albany County in 2011.
For the reasons set forth above, the Albany Police Union believes that the SAFE Act is wrong - substantively, procedurally, and morally. The SAFE Act infringes on the rights of law-abiding citizens, it will burden and negatively impact firearms ownership by law-abiding citizens and will not affect the willingness of criminals or those who are mentally ill from perpetrating violence. Again, we respectfully demand that each and all of you do the right thing and repeal the law.
Very truly yours,
Thomas Mahar: President Albany Police Officers Union, local 2841 Council 82, AFSCME, AFI-CIO
the definition of unsuitable wil balloon from this point on.
late on your property taxes, unsuitable
credit rating down too low, unsuitable
second amendment proponent, unsuitable
believes the government is becoming tyrannical, unsuitable
smaller government advocate, unsuitable
conservative christian, unsuitable
white person, unsuitable
It is coming. In fact, it is already here.
The first targets will be recovering addicts (including alcohol), veterans, anyone who has ever been prescribed an antidepressant or sleep aid.
I would also include any male who has ever been involved in any type of domestic dispute (even if there were no charges).
The net will then suddenly be cast far and wide. Psychiatry is a "made up" science. They have the ability to invent any "condition" or "syndrome" they wish.
The very fact that you resist is further evidence that you require "treatment."
B F L
Now, for the rest of the story...
Around '96 I visited one of the worlds' largest credit card processors. A twenty-some story building just outside a major city, I was there to discuss acquirer rates and so on. After the meetings, they took me on a tour of their processing center.
First, I was told they had power supplied by two different power companies and on site generation capacity in the event both went off line. Down in the bowels of the building, checked by one guard, through a secure door lock behind us, checked by another guard and through another door, locked behind us.
We were in a cavernous room that once, I was told, was filled with huge reel to reel data tape machines. They had been replaced by a cabinet, roughly the size of a couple dozen 4 drawer file cabinets arraigned in a row, two deep. All their data was inside that box. They removed the end cover and inside on small shelves, top to bottom, end to end, were countless DAT tape cartridges. The far end had a number of drives and each side had a robot that would retrieve tapes on call and plug them in to one of the drives, afterward pulling an idle tape and returning it to it's nitch.
Further on, behind another secure door, were a number of employees with terminals and monitors. On one wall was a video screen about 30 feet wide with a map of the U.S.A. Overlaid were all data trunks flowing throughout the county and the staff monitored the load. They had the ability to reroute data in the event of overload caused delays. They said they were required to complete a back and forth transaction within 25 seconds, but they were looking for the mid to upper teens.
Here's the kicker: those requirements weren't in place for credit cards. Their federal contract was to respond to every pharmacy query about medication conflicts. The DAT tape data was a record of prescriptions for every person in the country.
I have no doubt they could respond in a timely fashion for, say, a NICS check.
The DHS is really turning into quite the little brown shirt operation isn’t it? It’s becoming a rogue agency worse than BATFE
Regarding Missouri’s mention in this story - recall that a couple of years ago the “Missouri Information Analysis Center” produced a report describing veterans, Tea Party members, etc as potential terrorists.
Do an FR Keyword search on “MIAC” for a collection of those stories.