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 person’s 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.
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