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“The NYS SAFE Act is billed as a necessary law to protect the public and keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people,” reports. “But Hamburg attorney Jim Tresmond says his client was notified by letter that his gun permit was suspended upon the recommendation of State Police, who learned the man is on anti-anxiety medication.” With gun owners suffering prohibitions and regulation and fearing federal infringement, this story has gone viral. “Here’s one from The Department of We ****ing Told You So!” a TTAG reader wrote in an email heads-up. Yes, well, I’m not so sure . . .

When I first wrote this post, I hadn’t spoken with Jim Tresmond. I knew him as the Buffalo lawyer who went online looking for Empire State gun guys to participate in a class-action lawsuit against the SAFE Act. I reached out and he responded.

Tresmond and I spoke at length about the story. He emailed me the redacted document featured in the news report above [click here to read it] and provided some more details of the incident. . .

The gentleman in question is 35-year-old librarian David Lewis. According to Tresmond, Mr. Lewis received a prescription for Zoloft last year, after experiencing anxiety about blood tests. He has not been hospitalized for mental illness. He does not have a criminal record. He is no longer taking the drug.

When I asked Tresmond how he knew that the New York State Police pulled Lewis’ license because of his meds, the lawyer said that the information was provided by the court. Unofficially. When I asked Tresmond how he knew that the cops trawled prescription records for a pistol permit holder—as opposed to a medical professional alerting them to potential danger—same answer.

Tresmond sounds sincere enough. And he promised to provide updates. But I’m still left wondering: did this happen? Did the New York State Police really pull Lewis’ pistol permit simply because of his anti-anxiety meds?

It doesn’t make sense. The SAFE Act only directs mental health professionals to inform the state when there’s a public safety danger. As far as I know, it does not authorize access to HIPAA protected medical records. Any such move would bring down a significant shit storm at a time when Empire State gun grabbers are trying to amend and “correct” their anti-gun abortion.

I bring this to your attention for two reasons. First, to point out TTAG’s limitations.

In case you didn’t know, TTAG doesn’t have a team of reporters. While we’re cynical bastards and we dig around for “extra” info on stories as often as possible, we take a lot of stories at face value. We also edit stories for accuracy after publication (often thanks to our readers’ comments). And yes, there have been more than a few times when we’ve got it completely wrong and pulled a misleading or bone-headed post. So it behooves you to read anything we publish with a grain of salt.

Which brings me to point two: there’s a lot of fear and loathing out there. During these dark and dangerous days for American gun rights, gun guys are extremely sensitive to the slightest infringement—editorial or legislative, planned or actual. As well they should. But it’s our ability to see things clearly, as they really are, that distinguishes gun rights advocates from the civilian disarmament utopians. In other words, things are bad enough without making shit up. Or believing the worst without solid evidence.

This website has come a long way since it began, both in terms of traffic and coverage. I’m determined to use the income we generate from your patronage to improve our reportorial and, equally, our editorial standards. But ultimately it’s you, our readers, who keep us honest. Your comments and emails ([email protected]) are critical to our success. As you formulate your thoughts and share your knowledge, please remember that things are not often what they seem. Even when they seem bleak.

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  1. I’ve wondered for so long why anti-anxiety meds are so inexpensive compared to other drugs….now i’m beginning to see the bigger picture

    • R.F.,

      Thank you for telling it like it is. I appreciate your graciousness, humility and honesty in editing posts to reflect facts. Also, I would like to say I appreciate your clearly stating that your opinions are just that.

      I know what I am getting when I visit the site. Thank you for your consistency on content. I feel I can trust what I read here.

    • Look on YouTube for a movie called “Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging.”

    • This has been well-planned out for a long time: put the vets through holy hell, then, when they seek the slightest counseling, load them up with SSRIs and similar psychiatric hell-drugs.

      Since this now makes them “crazy”, or at least “troubled”, the chain of events has been carefully orchestrated so as to disarm the vets upon return to civil society. And WHY NOT? They’re combat-trained, battle-hardened, and thus the most able, willing and able to assist the battle when the clock approaches midnight for gun owners in America.

      THIS MUST NOT STAND. If they have to come turn them in, is it okay to empty the magazine just before doing so?

      • Really? The vets would never stand up for our 2a rights, in fact service members are second only to LEOs when it comes to grabbing guns from Americans. Say what you will about Bloomberg and Feinstein, they never lay a finger on a gun, its always the LEOs or service members who do so.

        • As a vet you are mistaken. In fact, I suspect you don’t know many vets because you couldn’t be further off base. If you have some documentation or facts to back up you absurd pontificating I’d love to see it. Otherwise, piss off.

        • Yea, i really don’t think that’s true about vets. I can see why LEO’s would want to take away guns, it makes them feel safer if they were the only ones with guns. They don’t care about your safety, only their own. And at the same token, they would also want to take away your 4th amendment rights as well, so they can basically search anyone or any car they think is suspect. It would make their job so much easier.

  2. The incidents in NJ where child services came to the guy’s door for a picture of his son holding a 22 LR and the guy in NY who had his licenses revoked for a threat his kid made also didn’t pass the initial smell test but both turned out to be entirely true.

    I’m in the camp now believing immediately that states like NY will absolutely do this because they don’t care. They want your guns, how they get them and any public outcry won;t matter because they will take cues from the White House to demonize anyone who disagrees.

    • The federal government and the state governments in places like NY have made it such that these days, I believe the “conspiracy theory” until it is debunked, rather than the other way around.

      Reports on “right wing extremists”, Fast and Furious, et al have made me a believer in the conspiracy.

      • Aye, a “Conspiracy Theorist” is just someone who no longer believes known liars.

        It is never a “Conspiracy Theory” to examine the evidence and to state that the evidence does not support the explanation that has been given.

        • The only thing you should say is, “I do not deal with conspiracy theory. I deal in conspiracy fact.”

        • wlce, personally I think conspiracy theories are generally more plausible than coincidence theories.

      • With apologies to Forest Gump … “Tyrants are as tyrants do.”

        Remember, it’s only a conspiracy THEORY if it’s not true.

        A “conspiracy theorist” is someone who notices things without official permission — and a “domestic terrorist” is anybody who challenges the government’s monopoly on violence.

  3. Thank you and your staff for all of your efforts RF- despite the limitations of TTAG you point out here there are also many benefits TTAG provides. Pro-Gun America needs to be rallied into a vocal group right now and I believe this site has helped make that possible.

    Obligatory reminder: Call your Senator this week and leave a message demanding that they oppose any new gun control law! The switchboard number is (202)224-3121 . A list of Seantors up for reelection in 2014 is here if you want to leave an extra message or two.

    • I would like to point out there are at least 8 Republican fence walkers for Thursday’s vote. Time to tip them the right direction. Also, Yahoo and others are calling Thursday’s vote Obama’s legacy vote, please lets not give him a gun control legacy.

      • “I would like to point out there are at least 8 Republican turncoats for Thursday’s vote.”

        See what I did there?

    • Called my two Senators from Ohio. Rob Portman (pro) and Sherrod Brown (anti). Got voice mail for both and both mailboxes were full. No doubt that this new development is causing a shit storm of calls

      • On the state level, used to be one could e-mail CA State Senate or Assembly representatives and leave them a pro or con message even if you were not residing in their district.

        After a huge push back campaign about more AR restrictions last year, the legislative e-mail system seems to have been upgraded so that an e-mail will only be delivered to the target representative if the senders address/zip code is within the representatives district.

        Consequently, the only way I’ve found to leave feedback with a CA state Senate or Assembly representative in whose district I do not reside is by phone or snail mail. Makes it harder to reach them, of course.

        • I discovered this recently when trying to provide my opinion to members of a committee (public safety committee?) that was debating some proposed actions against us. I was angered to find that I could not contact any of this committee’s members as none of them were from my district. Beautiful, our government is stacking the cards against us in every way possible. They will regret it later, I suspect.

  4. Regardless, the SAFE act does indeed provide for such measures to be taken by NY Police Departments. The evidence is thin here, but this story is in accordance with the language of the Act. NY has had wide discretionary latitude with the issuance of pistol permits for quite some time.


    • A bit cheesy, but good stuff 🙂

      Question for the law degree holder, if Black’s Law Dictionary comes out with a new edition, does that void all previous editions? For instance, you say that “infringement” is no longer in the Black’s you referenced, but was it in earlier editions and if so, are those earlier editions still valid?

      I love Black’s and reference it a lot to educate myself on various legalese, but sadly I do not have a law degree and thus, can hardly read!

      • Actually, older Black’s Law dictionaries are sometimes more useful as some of the older terms are actually removed from the newer versions. It can come in handy when reading older cases.

        • Aye, I mostly reference the older Black’s for that reason.

          But legally speaking, do newer editions somehow change existing laws in anyway shape or form because they exclude certain words and/or definitons?

        • Black’s is not binding authority, only persuasive authority. Same as any dictionary. But it is useful for terms that are no longer used, or used only in special areas of law (e.g., maritime law) with which one is not familiar. I think I’ve looked at a Black’s two or three times in the last thirty years.

      • I am thinking the most recent edition is the one of record. So… YES. Shit Creek just jumped its banks in our direction.

  5. How many Cops take (or have taken) anti-anxiety meds and/or anti-depressents?

    Will their firearms be taken as well?

    • No. Once the amendments are passed, like the omission of LEOs from the Act’s provisions, LEOs will be exempt. DV will get your rights pulled, but not if you’re a cop. Why should high anxiety, alcoholism or anger management issues be any different?

      • Thus creating two classes of people, those with rights and those without rights.

        All Animals are created equal, but some Animals are more equal than others.

      • I don’t know about Domestic Violence. By law, under the Lautenberg Amendment to the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, even exempt law enforcement officers would have to A: surrender their firearms, and B: not even be allowed to carry their duty weapon/be fired unless they can get an administrative job. I know because in the Army if a soldier is convicted of domestic violence they must be administratively separated from the service, a process that has come to be known as “being Lautenberged.” As a commander I had to separate two top performing soldiers for this reason. There was zero leeway. Unless I am mistaken this should apply to Law Enforcement as well.

    • I think as long as they prove to be of use to the gun-banning agenda, they are exempt. Once they have an opportunity to figure out the nature of the game being run on gun owners, they become as expendable as the rest of us.

      I predicted this here before: at some point, cops will be told they must leave all weapons at the station before going home at the shifts’ ends.

  6. Not only do the blown-up quotes not give any reference or reason, but if you blow up the whole document, you can read enough of it to see that nowhere in the part they show (which appears to leave out a paragraph or two) does it give reasons other than “information received from the New York State Police.” It’s just a notification of the revocation, procedures he has to follow, and information about appealing the revocation.

    A comment I found on a board while trying to research this sums it up pretty well: “googling it comes up with nothing but forums screaming about it.. no news coverage at all, which makes me highly skeptical.” (Source)

    • FYI – Google is the Ministry of Truth. Just because a Google search doesn’t turn up any results does not make it not true.

      Search algorithms are easy to revise to exclude various topics as well as manipulate to drown out various topics, not to mention exploit to push to the top various topics.

        • He means the google is a POS and what you find in a a google check is reliable as anything obummer WANTS you to know.

          And google is known to data mine for personal information they can extract from you searches and gmails which they use to construct a personal profile. Notionally used to send advertising to your google search pages that is most appropriate to you. Think the activities of the Feds/NSA but adding a profit motive (competence), And Google run my extemist leftwing anti gun wackos. Huge donors to obummer and ever leftwist political cause.

          Other search engines “better”? Maybe but certainly no worse.

        • neiowa: I understood what he meant. I was calling him crazy.

          Just so you know, while I’m not discounting what you said in this particular case, as a general rule when someone refers to Obama as Obummer or Obozo or any of the dozen or so other “clever” rewritings of his name that we see here occasionally, it immediately takes about 50% off their credibility, as far as I’m concerned.

          Of course, most of the people who use those terms will immediately say they don’t give a damn about their credibility with me, and a few of them will (and have) use the sole fact that I disparaged the misuse of his name to judge me a gun-grabbing socialist libtard who sleeps with Feinstein and worships Obama. But such is life…

        • “…who sleeps with Feinstein…” I just threw up a little in my mouth.

        • Dammit, Matt. Sleeps with difi? I got that image in my head now. Thanks a fvcking lot. I don’t believe I’ve ever called you anti gun or a libtard, but I’ll definately call you a cruel man after that.

          Now even my brain eyes will need bi focals. That just ain’t right.

      • Hear this, O TTAGgers: for all intents and purposes, Google and the NSA are one and the same.

        Or, more accurately, Google is one information arm of the National Security State’s intelligence-gathering apparatus, most specifically the NSA, but also CIA.

  7. yeah, I thought something was amiss about that story too. The trouble is that there are too many of these. One or two stories might be dismissable, but then there is this:

    Plus, there is the guy a few weeks ago who used a gun in self defense that was not registered to him and is being prosecuted (for a registration issue) despite the AG saying he used the gun in self defense.

  8. Scanning the netterwebs, I find 5 stories posted by TV stations on this topic. If it’s BS then he’s BS-ing in overdrive.

    • Yeah, there may be something to it, but it’s weird because there are a blue million websites out there covering this story, but if you actually go to those websites, every single one of them has the exact same story, with every quote, comma, and dotted ‘t’ the same. Many of them link to a radio interview with this attorney, and it’s all the same interview, hosted in a dozen different places. This is one interview or story that went viral, and literally nothing after that.

  9. Good point, RF. I see this all the time as an attorney – including clients who “neglect” or “forget” to tell me everything, usually because they know it will hurt their claim or case. Always blows up in their face.

    The NJ story brings up a point. Stop using general social media to show off your pictures and opinions. It will only get used against you. want to take pictures of your kid, doing nothing wrong or illegal, proudly holding yours/his/her gun ? Take a picture, print it, share the print only with your friends. Once it is out on the ‘net, it is there forever and never private. You have no privacy. While we know that local/state and federal law enforcement monitor all sorts of websites (you knew that, didn’t you ?), we still spout off. This is a real “war” against our rights, and the antis will use and twist everything you say or write. Things that might only be spoken of quietly between friends gets blasted all over the ‘net.

  10. and we readers and commentors have a responsibility not to make stupid, half-baked, conspiratorial statements about how Obama is going to try to stay in office past his term, how the UN is going to invade and impose martial law etc. things are bad enough without validating all the anti-gunners’ biases that gun owners wear tin foil hats

    • Are you saying don’t make “conspiratorial” comments like how the Government is going to ban semi-automatic firearms, restrict ammo purchases, or how the DHS purchased a couple billion rounds of hollow points?

      Oops…..looks like “conspiracy theory” became comspiracy fact!

      These days I draw the conspiracy line a Reptoids, but wouldn’t be surpirsed if that was somehow true.

      • I think he was pretty clear about the comments he was referring to when he said “half-baked, conspiratorial statements about how Obama is going to try to stay in office past his term, how the UN is going to invade and impose martial law etc.”

        But then, I always did get an A in Reading Comprehension.


          Everything I mentioned above was not but 4 or 5 months ago considered, how you say a “half-baked, conspiratorial statement”.


        • Sleeper just shows to go you that getting an ‘A’ doesn’t mean you apply the skills in life.

        • That’s a fallacious argument. Banning semi-automatic firearms was not a half-baked, conspiratorial statement 4-5 months ago. It might have been seen as unlikely, but it’s no secret that the Civilian Disarmament Movement had that in their back pocket all along, waiting on the right opportunity. Those who think otherwise are fooling themselves.

          On the other hand, NS is specifically referring to the stuff that strains the bounds of credibility, like the “Obama is going to impose martial law to stay in office past his term” and “UN invasion” theories. Gun control, ammo restrictions, and unusual ammo purchases are well within the bounds of realistic thinking, and should be reported on and watchdogged accordingly. But you have to draw a line between the rational things, even if some of them are a little “fringe-ey,” and the crazy stuff that just makes us look crazy. That line falls well short of “Obama is going to ignore term limits and appoint himself Obama I, His Holy Radiance.”

    • I was called a Tinfoiler 5 years ago when I said that the Progressives were working to Tank the Economy. Also when I called the Occupy Movement a Progressive Front co-ordinated through the WH, now MSNBC is broadcasting sections of the Communist Manifesto, just like OWS does
      You non-tin foilers need to Study Communist Revolutions, I suggest you use sources published Before 1968
      Ask yourself this:
      If America is disarmed who will come to it’s PPLs rescue?
      What nation will come to our aid?
      What will happen at the border?
      What will the Cartels who now employ members of Al Queda, do to American Citizens?

      • “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

      • “On the other hand, NS is specifically referring to the stuff that strains the bounds of credibility, like the ‘Obama is going to impose martial law to stay in office past his term'”.

        Please let me know how you like your crow frittered, Matt.

        • I would assert that the only way the traitor-in-chief won’t actually try that is if his handlers decide he’s outlived his usefulness.
          Otherwise, his narcism will compel him to try.

          For those who say that’s absurd, I’ll make it easy on you … I make a hell of a squirrel pot pie, but for you I can substitute crow for the squirrel when the time comes.

  11. There are several perfectly good reasons to be cautious about Tresmond, but Robert lists exactly the wrong ones.

    1) Yes, he has this story on his FB page. The one for the company, not his personal one.

    2) I believe the next milestone for his case is April 29th. I think that’s NY’s day to respond? I’m not sure how much noise one should expect from a lawyer who is waiting for the other side to make the next move? I haven’t heard much from NYSRPA (who I think we can all agree is serious) since their initial filing on NY SAFE. I haven’t heard much from SAF (who is about a serious as you can get) since the orals on Kwong v. Bloomberg. Indeed, one of the goofier aspects of Tresmond IMHO was the endless puffery that characterized him.

    • The problem with Tresmond is that he could botch up something that would cause it to be legal precident and screw up other cases. He is rough IMHO and out of his league.

      • See, that’s a perfectly sane reason to be cautious about Tresmond. Perhaps I’m biased because I share your concern.

  12. I find something like this extremely unfair. I had gone to my doctor because I was having problems sleeping, she prescribed me anti anxiety pills (which I never took, I threw them out) but it really upset me that she had done that, I thought she was giving me something for sleep until I got home and read the pill information. It’s upsetting knowing that this prescription is now on my file and seeing this article it now scares me that it is there.

  13. “But ultimately it’s you, our readers, who keep us honest.”

    How about we start with this gem:

    “Yes, well, I’ve been a journalist for 732 years now and grew up in Rhode Island.”

    If someone has found the fountain of youth please let me know. If this is sarcasm then I’m the literalist retard.

  14. As I see it, the gist, or even the truth of this story, raises little surprise. Remember who we’re talking about. These liberals are the people who are devoted, even married to the concept of the ends justify the means. They consider this one of their bona fide virtues. The truth of this story matters only for the sake of accuracy in reporting, as it has just been explained, not in the trajectory of how the liberal thinks, and acts, in this case, about their fetish to reduce all Americans to permanent victim status. Anybody willing to violate the rights that are enshrined in the Constitution, is going to have no problem violating HIPAA, as a means to achieve their ideological ends. Even if this isn’t true, it probably exposed an idea they already have given some thought about using.

    • Careful here. “Even if this story isn’t true, that doesn’t really matter because everyone knows…” From whom have we frequently heard such an argument? CoughstephaniecutterCoughCoughdebbiewassermanschultzCough

    • “These liberals are the people who are devoted, even married to the concept of the ends justify the means.”

      Yeah. That’s the one.

  15. WTF, i was given anti-anxiety medication when i had PRK(LASIK) eye surgery done. PRK is like someone taking sandpaper to your eyeballs, and they burned so excrutiatingly bad for the next 3 days. So in anticipation, doctors give patients really good pain meds and anti-anxiety pills to help deal with the stress caused by the pain.

    I don’t see how anxiety makes people want to go on a shooting spree? WTF? What’s next, take away guns from people on cold medicine?

    • Okay. Pay attention, because here’s the devil in those particular details: it’s not the anxiety that makes one go on a shooting spree – IT’S THE SIDE EFFECTS OF THE DRUGS THEMSELVES.

      PLEASE look at the ADMITTED side effects of the drucking fugs themselves. Because in all instances of shooting sprees I’ve been able to look into, save one (and not sure about that one), the shooters were on SSRIs.

      READ THE SIDE EFFECTS. Y’know, the ones the companies already cop to.

  16. I think Matt in FL summed up my argument nicely. There is a big difference between something that can be corroborated with evidence (bills, past statements, logic) and something that is completely outlandish. The other day someone commented that the cops in an Obama photo op probably had no rounds in their guns “in case one of them upheld the Constitution”, the implication being fairly obvious. We don’t need any of that trash. It’s absolute nonsense.

    Interestingly, most tin foil stuff can be solved with Occam’s Razor. For instance — the idea of Obama retaining power after his term is up. Is it more logical and feasible that he would try to effect as much change as possible while in office and appoint as many people to positions of power so that his legacy can continue once his term is up, or that he would, in a modern democracy with a free press (yes I know MSM sucks but we aren’t North Korea), strong military and 300 million armed citizens take no heed to that and bunker himself in the White House?

    Making outlandish statements feels good because it’s radical, but it is a big distraction. Make no mistake: your rights are under attack. But I am more worried about incremental chipping away than a sudden police-state style usurpation. I’m not saying it will happen, but I’m also not saying that it can’t. It certainly can. But I believe our energies are best spent not giving up an inch on verifiable threats, and doing away with behavior that can only be thrown back against us.

    • Actually, the props, er cops, that stood behind Obama were reportedly disarmed per secret service demands.
      And, a close examination of the photos of the marines marching in der fuhrer’s recent coronation, er inauguration, parade will reveal that they were rendered non-functional.

      • Ceremonial rifles are pretty much standard at those things, regardless of your particular political persuasion.

  17. By the way, it’s HIPAA (2 As, 1 P) and if law enforcement accessed this guy’s medical records that is a MAJOR breach of privacy and most likely a federal felony. I can’t imagine how any judge would sign off on that, let alone actually have the jurisdiction. But I’m no lawyer. Needless to say, this could get very interesting.

    • Do you really believe that the sort of people who would commit atrocities like Waco, Ruby Ridge, and others would actually hesitate over a little thing like HIPAA?

      • I don’t believe they would hesitate, Carl. I believe they should, that’s why the law exists after all… But they won’t and that just adds fuel to our collective case against them. That was more or less the direction I was heading with my post. Sorry I wasn’t clear.

  18. I’m curious about the disposition of the weapons. Does he have to turn them in to the police? Could he ship ’em to his brother out of state or something? Or sell them, for that matter?

    • And yet the guy still has to meet with a judge to get his “right” restored.

      What a load of crap.

      I can hardly wait for the next “mistake” that results in a few deaths. The cops are going to, at some point, run into someone who isn’t willing to quietly give up their guns.

      Of course, the anti-gunners see no problem with the cops making a few mistakes, until the mistake involves them.

      These statists continue to live under the illusion that “this time it will be different” even though there is a couple of thousand years of history that says otherwise.

  19. So who is the real person who was supposed to get his rights taken away?

    This is now the 3rd story where a year ago I would have dismissed completely that this couldn’t happen in America.

  20. A New York resident got into a high-profile fight with the state government this week after officials ordered him to turn over his gun license and his firearms — a dispute that exposed potential problems with the recently passed gun law.
    Buffalo-area resident David Lewis has since gotten his license reinstated in what was apparently a case of mistaken identity under the state’s new SAFE Act. The case drew outrage on gun-rights blogs warning that the state was exploiting the law to seize weapons.

  21. Why does anyone not believe that this “trolling” by the NY State Police occured and what the purpose was and will continue to be. It’s the so called low hanging fruit. Do you really believe the SAFE Act is anything but the beginning of the end of all constitutional freedoms? Have you ever talked to or had personal contact with some of the uniformed “protectors of the public safety”? Not the brightest bulbs in the marquee! They do what they’re told without question (they don’t remain “troopers” if they think for themselves) no matter which of the supposedly “elected” criminals gives the order. What could this librarian possibly have done to get on the jack booted thugs radar. Did he “shush” someone? The other interesting part of the story is the way the state police are trying to blame the county clerk for this trampling of citizen’s rights. Do they next expect neighbor to turn in neighbor? Sound familiar? Cattle cars, barbed wire and crematoria next.

    • NY has offered a $500 bounty to anyone who rats out their neighbor, family member, etc. for “illegally” possessing a firearm … So THAT is already happening, too.
      I wonder how long it will take before the confiscators realize that they will become targets if they keep it up? There are a LOT of people who will fight rather than be disarmed … And many will step up to defend their friends, neighbors, and family member, too, when they start doing confiscation raids in earnest.

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