TTAG has repeatedly highlighted the lax administrative procedures surrounding the mental health provisions of New York’s SAFE Act. Front line mental health professionals are legally obliged to determine if a patient should keep their gun rights – without any set guidelines on how to make that call. And so it begins . . .”The state says six people in Jefferson County, five in St. Lawrence County and one in Lewis County are not mentally safe enough to own guns,” wwnytv.com reports. The news org goes on to chart the Kafka-esque bureaucratic process that follows . . .
[The mental health professional] files a report, which in Jefferson County is sent to county Community Services.
“We review it, confirm that the license is indeed appropriate and that the case meets the criteria of the SAFE Act,” said Director of Jefferson County Community Services Roger Ambrose.
Once they’ve verified the report, it’s sent to Albany.
From there, State Police find out if the person identified has a gun permit.
If he or she does, police present their findings to the local county court judge.
The judge decides whether or not to suspend or revoke the permit and has local law enforcement confiscate the guns.
Notice something? It’s pure bureaucratic fiat. The gun owner can’t contest facts or file an appeal until after the police show up at his door. After his firearms are in police custody. The subject of the judge’s decision never had a chance to contest what might be a frivolous statement, one taken out of context, or one maliciously filed for personal or political reasons.
In Lewis County one person has already had their guns seized as a result of this process according to the county court clerk.
For the 11 remaining in Saint Lawrence and Jefferson counties, it may just be a matter of time.
Of course, this also points out the dangers of the permitting process. Registration leads to confiscation. First, for gun owners determined to be “dangerously” mentally ill (without due process). Then what?
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch