NY SAFE Act Adds 34.5k to “No Guns for Crazies” Database

(courtesy patheos.com)

Did you know that New York legislators had less two hours to read the SAFE Act before voting on it? That Governor Cuomo signed the bill as an emergency measure, avoiding the normal three-day waiting period? That the Act compels licensed mental health professionals to report any patient they deem “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others”? Who can wave their gun rights bye-bye without anything remotely resembling due process? True story. And now the New York Times reveals that the Act’s mental health prohibition database has 34,500 entries . .

“That seems extraordinarily high to me,” said Sam Tsemberis, a former director of New York City’s involuntary hospitalization program for homeless and dangerous people, now the chief executive of Pathways to Housing, which provides housing to the mentally ill. “Assumed dangerousness is a far cry from actual dangerousness.”

Kinda like assuming that New Yorkers shouldn’t be able to exercise their natural, civil and Constitutional right to keep and bear arms until and unless they can satisfy the Powers That Be that they’re not fraternizing with felons on Facebook.

In this case, however, cops are obliged to revoke the gun license and confiscate firearms from anyone who’s on the list – which is compiled without the gun owner’s knowledge. They are barred from possessing a firearm until their names are purged from the system.

Someone on the list can challenge their inclusion in court – at their own expense, of course. It’s way worse than that, if you can believe it.

The way the law has played out, local officials said, frontline mental health workers feel compelled to routinely report mentally ill patients brought to an emergency room by the police or ambulances. County health officials are then supposed to vet each case before it is sent to Albany [for a final decision on whether or not to include an individual on the “No Second Amendment for You” list]. But so many names are funneled to county health authorities through the system — about 500 per week statewide — that they have become, in effect, clerical workers, rubber-stamping the decisions, they said.

From when the reporting requirement took effect on March 16, 2013 until Oct. 3, 41,427 reports have been made on people who have been flagged as potentially dangerous. Among these, 40,678 — all but a few hundred cases — were passed to Albany by county officials, according to the data obtained by The Times . . .

Kenneth M. Glatt, commissioner of mental hygiene for Dutchess County, said that at first, he had carefully scrutinized every name sent to him through the Safe Act. But then he realized that he was just “a middleman,” and that it was unlikely he would ever meet or examine any of the patients. So he began simply checking off the online boxes, sometimes without even reviewing the narrative about a patient.

“Every so often I read one just to be sure,” Dr. Glatt, a psychologist, said. “I am not going to second guess. I don’t see the patient. I don’t know the patient.” He said it would be more efficient — and more honest — for therapists to report names directly to the Division of Criminal Justice Services, which checks them against gun permit applications.

So New Yorkers’ gun rights can be revoked by “frontline mental health workers.” How great is that? For the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, it’s awesome!

Even if just one dangerous person had a gun taken away, “that’s a good thing,” said Brian Malte, senior national policy director of the Brady Campaign To Prevent Gun Violence.

But what if one person who’s had their gun(s) taken away dies because they couldn’t defend themselves or their family? Isn’t that a bad thing? Anyway, when the irredeemably anti-gun New York Times thinks a gun control law is a POS, you can bet it’s a steaming POS. Of course, the Times can’t leave it at that. After exposing the inefficiency and uselessness of the SAFE Act’s mental health provisions, the Times concludes is doesn’t go far enough.

Despite the breadth of the law, significant loopholes remain. Outside of New York City, permits are not required to buy long guns, so nothing would stop someone in the database from buying a shotgun, for example, after being released from a hospital. Also, it is unclear exactly how the process for confiscating someone’s guns is enforced. And law enforcement officials may not even be aware of all of the guns someone owns.

Unbelievable.

comments

  1. avatar jwm says:

    Only 34,000. In NYC. You have to be crazy as a sh*thouse rat to live there.

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      No, you just have to be crazy to seek treatment for mental illness here.

      1. avatar Taylor TX says:

        It really is getting to the point where you are crazy by asking for help.

    2. avatar Pikes Pete says:

      People keep confusing New York State and New York City. HELLOOOO ….The SAFE Act and this database covers ALL NEW YORK STATE. The only licenses for firearms OUTSIDE of NY CITY is for handguns. NY City has a license structure for all guns. Claro?

      1. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

        OK. Does any of that make things any less bad?

  2. avatar LarryinTX says:

    All still rests on the difference between those who believe all people should be protected from all harm by govt and laws, and those who believe all people should be free (spelled “FREE”!) to defend themselves from evildoers, poverty, starvation, ignorance, unemployment, etc, etc, by their own actions.

  3. avatar Craig says:

    I’d hate to say it, but I haven’t heard much from the Molon Labe crowd about this. The SAFE Act is THE “they are coming for our guns” law, and NY was more peaceful than CT was back when CT went full retard.

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      The SAFE Act specifically prohibits even the number of registered “assault weapons” to be made public, citing privacy concerns (yeah right). So, there’s no way of knowing how many owners registered and there’s certainly no way of knowing of how many owners brought their rifles into compliance, sold them out of state or simply did not comply.

      Hopefully, a FOIL suit will eventually overturn that baseless provision of the law.

      1. avatar John Galt says:

        That’s the “Legislators’ Illegal Embarrassment” (LIE) section of the SAFE ACT.

  4. avatar GS650G says:

    Simply lower the standards for crazy, dangerous or just plain obnoxious and almost no one will be able to own firearms. The few remaining qualifiers will be real quiet and cooperative from then on.

    1. avatar Jus Bill says:

      You have just described SAFE II.

    2. avatar John Galt says:

      You’re questioning government authority!?

      Disqualified! No gun for you!

  5. avatar surlycmd says:

    The utter ignorance in the comments section is saddening. So many enthusiastically support this action.

  6. avatar barnbwt says:

    I don’t suppose the good Dr. Glatt would care to testify under oath, his daily work routine, in front of a judge for the lawsuit(s) challenging this arbitrary and irresponsible denial of American civil liberties? “Rubber stamp rejection” is exactly what gets ‘may issue’ thrown out in courts about once every two months, these days. You’d think the NYC pols would know better than to set themselves up this way if they want to cling to their precious gun control (and religion worshipping the State –get it?)

    TCB

  7. avatar barnbwt says:

    Disturbing is the number of replies on that article to the effect of “if only we could ban all those guns, we wouldn’t have to lock up the crazy people.” It’s like these over-socialized urbanites perceive freedom as simply which side of the bars they are told they reside in, by the jailers. Lots of talks of “quelling” and “suppression” of assumed-irresponsible gun owners and citizens in general for the benefit of The Greater Good. If this attitude is anything close to mainstream (by which I mean like 25% of the population) I’d be getting the hell out of Dodge while I was still allowed to. In a few years, I can see myself being subject to automatic face-scan walking downtown, being tagged as an out-of-state gun owner via social media search, and being approached by officers for a general inquiry. I think I’ll steer clear of City 17 going forward.

    1. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

      Remember that the majority of people commenting on any article pertaining to the state of New York are probably from the five burroughs; those who believe in the tenets of liberty and common sense from upstate have learned to spare themselves the headaches by not reading these articles. City dwellers still have this idea that, “if we applied our policies on just about anything to the rest of New York, the north-east, or even the entire country, the immediate result would be a utopia because we’ve never done anything wrong ever”. This crude narcissicm is practically a talking point for tourists.
      These people are so aloof that every gun owner in so-called “fly-over country” could be thrown in concentration camps and their reactions would range from passively indifferent to cheering in the streets. Nobody sane will admit it, but they’re all more than cool with people of differing (read: non-leftist) political opinions being purged for any reason, so long as they never have to be the trigger pullers or get blood on their hands. Their universities play a huge part in the creation of this ideology and quelling of the slightest dissent.
      What makes me laugh though, is when people from that prison try to argue how they’re “free” compared to the rest of the country. There are only so many retail outlets, movies, plays, bars, nightclubs, strip clubs, museums, public parks, and restaurants you can go to and they think that’s all you really need to be “free”. Forget private property, forget low taxes, forget the Bill of Rights. Bread and circuses indeed. Of course the police-state flourishes much more there, and even the cops on mopeds wear feldgrau kevlar helmets. With each passing visit I think I’m one year closer to seeing Snake Plissken dive through a shop window, and pretty soon I’ll stop setting foot there altogether

      1. avatar John Galt says:

        Let’s not forget that Cuomo said conservatives aren’t welcome in New York.

        Conservatives aren’t welcome in New York, according to Governor Cuomo
        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/24/governor-cuomo-conservatives-not-welcome-new-york

        You’re seeing that play out in New York. … The Republican party candidates are running against the SAFE Act – it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

        —————-

        Sounds familiar. Hmm. Oh yeah.

        Kristallnacht: Background & Overview
        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/kristallnacht.html

        By 1936, Jews were prohibited from participation in parliamentary elections and signs reading “Jews Not Welcome” appeared in many German cities. (Incidentally, these signs were taken down in the late summer in preparation for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin).

        Arkansas county to repeal 64-year-old ‘whites only’ drinking fountain ordinance
        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/govbeat/wp/2014/10/15/arkansas-county-to-repeal-64-year-old-whites-only-drinking-fountain-ordinance/

        Donna Massey, a justice of the peace in Pulaski County, said she found out about the ordinance from a friend of a friend of a friend who collects vintage signs and came across a “whites only” drinking fountain sign with a county ordinance number. The county, which includes Little Rock and its suburbs, approved the ordinance in 1950.

      2. avatar Maineuh says:

        Wow. Solemn nods all the way through. Nicely stated.

      3. avatar Tom says:

        My sister in law and her husband who work in media and live in NYC have told me that they have no problem with mass arrests and murder of gun owners who will not comply with bans, licensing, or registration laws. Its frightening to think we have significant numbers of Americans who would be supportive of the liquidation of those who do not see things their way politically.
        Its the totalitarian mentality of many NYC residents that enable the sordid record of abuse by NYPD. The city has paid out over 500 million dollars to settle lawsuits. And there is no outcry by the taxpayers who ultimately have to pay for these settlements.
        The same media types who live in NYC and rant about the horrors of prisons in Texas and Florida seem to be deaf and blind when it comes to prison conditions in New York state which make Florida and Texas look like summer camp.

        1. avatar Jus Bill says:

          Your comment is truly troubling.

          For them: ATTICA! RIKERS!

      4. avatar Accur81 says:

        Sad, but true. NYC has been on my “do not visit” list for some time now. Communism is alive and well in NYC.

    2. avatar Taylor TX says:

      FREEMAN!!!!!!

  8. avatar Leg says:

    Mental hygiene!?
    Is that something like brainwashing?
    This is damn scary and just as wrong as it gets.

  9. avatar Bob72 says:

    In the old USSR, at one time disagreeing with the Communist Party on any issue was considered a mental illness. It will be interesting to see what New York does with this extra-Constitutional authority they granted themselves.

    1. avatar John Galt says:

      The next step would be to designate certain people as obsolete.

      Rod Serling – Twilight Zone – The Obsolete Man

  10. avatar Sgt Frank says:

    Leave these states…..I know some gun manufacturers have left states like these and people should also,I left Massachusetts…..these states take your money and hold you prisoner. These states are all in huge financial trouble and it is only getting worse and the politicians are scrambling to please any potential voting group.

    1. avatar John Galt says:

      Yes, help depopulate the slave states!

      As their numbers shrink relative to free states, they will lose seats in Congress.

      In addition, the free states become more free as like-minded liberty lovers influence state legislatures.

      Census 2010: Gains and Losses in Congress
      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/12/21/us/census-districts.html

      Freedom in the 50 States
      http://freedominthe50states.org/

      Free State Project
      https://freestateproject.org/

      1. avatar roger says:

        Or, people flee “slave states” and then vote for the same ignorant policies they voted for that made their original states shitholes, thus fucking up their new homes. Colorado would be good example of this.

        1. avatar Cinncinatus says:

          Sadly, this is exactly what’s happened in Colorado…but the rest of us are working hard to contain/reverse the damage.

  11. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    Yep…never get treatment for mental illness. Self-medicate. Live off the grid. This BS is eerily similar to the old USSR. That was reserved for believing in GOD…and leave NY. I thought Illinois sucked.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      Exactly. The net effect of laws like this will be to drive people who need treatment for highly treatable illnesses like clinical depression away from the very people who can quiet easily help them. It’s truly amazing what the right meds can do for someone who is suffers from even long term depression. What’s equally bad, although I haven’t read the law, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find that mental health professionals can lose their licenses or even be sued for malpractice if they fail to report. If you are a gun owner and you need help, don’t seek it in the state of NY. Go outside the sate and get help there. The SAFE act governing mental health reporting stops at the state line.

  12. avatar Jus Bill says:

    …the Act compels licensed mental health professionals to report any patient they deem “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others”

    [emphasis added]
    So the entire NY State and NYC governments can be instantly added to the list, right? And a whole bunch of county and city flunkies too, yes?

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    When you consider how many New Yorkers vote Democrat, 34,500 on the crazy train seems low.

  14. avatar Scottlac says:

    “Also, it is unclear exactly how the process for confiscating someone’s guns is enforced. And law enforcement officials may not even be aware of all of the guns someone owns.”

    That’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

  15. avatar MamaLiberty says:

    Garrison Hall, I do wish it was as simple as that. The drugs pushed by the psychiatric system are actually part of the problem, not the solution.

    Depression, anxiety, uncontrolled anger, and so many other supposed “symptoms” of “mental illness” are caused in great part by the same things that destroy our freedom… these politicians and psychiatrists don’t want people to be self owners, self responsible and exercising self control. They want helpless, mindless, drugged out victims who are totally dependent on the state.

    If you separate any living creature from a healthy environment, cram them into close quarters, and never allow them to truly rest or eat properly, they will all go ‘crazy’ eventually.

  16. avatar Delmarva Chip says:

    That quote from Brian Malte is awfully disturbing.

    So it’s ok if the RKBA is infringed for innocents as long as one dangerous person has a gun taken away, is it ok for innocents to be locked in jail as long as the bad guys are too?

  17. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    This is what happens when government is deified You get Godvernment. It’s “In Godvernment We Trust” or nothing for these folks. Godvernment will provide, as opposed to the mythical, fictional, Christ God, who will not. These superior intellects have anointed themselves as our demi-saviours,…and they’ve set out to accomplish what God can not, or will not do. Godvernment is like any religion. It needs a church of obedient, faithful believers.

    There will always be slavery….because there will always be those who are willing to be slaves.

  18. avatar Nigil says:

    Laws like this are why I am reticent to seek help for my suicidal depression. Illinois already has law in place that inpatient treatment for any mental illness of any kind is an automatic 5 year ban on owning firearms. How long until it becomes outpatient too? Hopefully never, but until then, I don’t take any chances.

    1. avatar Deek says:

      Nigil, slip across the state line to Indiana. Our mental health folks are top-notch, and we don’t have these idiotic “Seek help, lose your rights” statutes. And the leaves in the Hoosier state are really pretty this time of year… Hope you get the help you need.

  19. avatar Powerwiz says:

    Time and time again the New England area displays why you should not live there. If you do your crazy.

  20. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

    And yet, Cuomo is leading in the polls for re-election by some 24 points or so. Not even remotely close to competitive.

    As long as the (un)SAFE Act doesn’t render internal migration illegal, I’d suggest outnumbered, outvoted, liberty-minded New Yorkers to vote with their feet.

    1. avatar Tommyr says:

      I’m seriously thinking about it. Cuomo’s going to win in 15 days. I hate to admit it. We need to send a STRONG message.

  21. avatar Paelorain says:

    The State tried to keep this data secret:

    “The Cuomo administration initially refused The Times’s request for data on the program and rebuffed a public records request, turning over limited information only after an appeal process.”

    So, by visiting a psychiatrist or other mental health professional one can be reported as “potentially dangerous” for being depressed. One such suggestion is all it takes to immediately add someone to the registry, and suspend their constitutional rights with no review. Then the police will seize all their firearms, and probably invade and search their property to do so. New York is becoming East Germany, where saying the wrong thing to the wrong person (“Doctor, I had thoughts about suicide…”) will be reported to the authorities and immediately criminalize you. It takes no more than rumor for the Stasi/NYPD to come to your home to seize your property and ability to defend yourself from violence. How long before people of the “wrong” political affiliation are declared “potentially dangerous” and have their constitutional rights suspended indefinitely?

    I’m a New Yorker. I’ve lived here my entire life. There’s a lot I love about this state. But I no longer find it a tolerable place to live because of the laws and environment that has been created by people like Andrew Cuomo. I’ve been planning my move for several years and am eagerly awaiting my move to the land of the free. The Statue of Liberty is not my signpost of freedom, weapons are. Still, I don’t call New York a “slave state”. I would use a more moderate phrase. Are New Yorkers slaves? No. They’re free in the way Saudi Arabians, Chinese, Cubans, and Russians are free.

  22. avatar Garrison Hall says:

    ” . . .Garrison Hall, I do wish it was as simple as that. The drugs pushed by the psychiatric system are actually part of the problem, not the solution. . .”

    No, they are not part of the problem and if you’d ever seen someone’s life transformed by taking the right meds you’d know what I’m talking about. Clinical depression, which I intentionally mentioned, is the easiest mental illness to treat. If anyone is reading this and is suffering from depression, regardless of how minor or severe, find a good psychiatrist who specializes in affective disorders and not just some GP who’ll prescribe meds out of a book. The sad thing about states like NY is that many people who could be helped now won’t seek help out of fear of being reported to the state.

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