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UPDATE: NY Police Claim Gun Grab A Case of Mistaken Identity

 Zoloft (courtesy

You may recall that TTAG took a circumspect view of the incident involving New York pistol permit holder David Lewis. Mr. Lewis’ lawyer claimed the Empire State Police had trolled his client’s HIPAA-protected medical records, found a Zoloft script, and yanked his chain. And now . .  . “County Clerk Chris Jacobs received a voicemail from State Police in Albany, saying it was all a mistake and that they had the wrong man,” reports. “‘Now we find out that State Police and the Division of Criminal Justice in Albany got it wrong. They did not do their due diligence; they did not appropriately and fully investigate this to make sure it was the right person. And now, we have to quickly act to reinstate that right,’ Jacobs said.” That’s not all the clerk had to say about that . . .

Jacobs believes David’s case shows there is a serious flaw with that part of the [SAFE Act].

“If you try to read the legislation on the mental health provision and how this is supposed to work, it doesn’t look like it’s going to work on paper, and now we know it really doesn’t work,” Jacobs said. “And as a result, in this case, we had somebody who was, I think, probably embarrassed. Name was dragged out in public; they were deprived of their property and their rights here.”

As Lewis attorney might say (in private), cha-ching. In public he says “Due process should come before the suspension. That’s where due process comes in. Before your rights are taken, due process must occur. That’s our constitutional right, not the reverse.”

Also not mentioned: with ANY gun control law there is ALWAYS the possibility of a bureaucratic screw-up. In fact, it happens all the time. For example, the FBI isn’t saying how many “false positives” NICS has generated but they number well into the hundreds of thousands.

And then there’s abuse of laws and their “evolution” by not-so-well-meaning gun grabbers. Cough. Terrorist watch list. Cough. If you think about it, the NY po-po’s SAFE Act “screw-up” could well be the harbinger of things to come.


  1. avatar David says:

    And if you resist in any way (even if you are right) then they WILL shoot you dead
    . . . and your little dog too!

    1. avatar Megrim says:

      Oh man, nooooo. Not the little dog!

    2. avatar DJ says:

      Big dog…

    3. avatar My Name Is Bob says:

      They better make sure I stay dead if they kill my dog!

    4. avatar Joseph says:

      No, this is NY, the LEO’s will shoot AT you. Eventually you will die from sheer terror at the realization of how incompetent the people who you pay to protect you are and what that means for your personal safety.

      No wonder LEO’s and the Alphabet soup agencies are so focused on death by a thousand paper-cuts, if they didn’t keep screwing over the law abiding citizens they’d have to *gasp* go after real criminals! Those people are dangerous!

  2. avatar fiun dagner says:

    They still have not explained how his medical information came to be in the possession of the police department in the first place. Or how the medical information of the other David Lewis came to be in the possession of the police. There is more to this story that will hopefully come out to the light of day

    1. avatar Gene says:

      No, it won’t because… New York.

    2. avatar Ofnir says:

      Probably in a similar way to how DHS and Social Security Administration got the list of CCW holders in Missouri.

    3. avatar J says:

      He needs to sue NY for all the money, just all of it.

  3. avatar Peter says:


  4. avatar ChuckN says:

    Yes there are obviously holes for enforcement in the SAFE Act;
    but the cynic in me thinks that the only reason the NY State
    Police are coming clean is that Lewis’ story went viral. I
    wonder how many others have been wrongfully targeted but
    are too intimidated to speak out.

    1. avatar dwb says:

      he was lucky to have a lawyer. how many dont.

  5. avatar Pantera Vazquez says:

    So his card gets pulled, his gat gets taken, his name is in the papers. How do they intend to make this right? How long before some bad guy sees his name and address in the paper and steals his gun? Guess the state didn’t think about that…..or maybe the state just doesn’t care…………………

    1. avatar Gene says:

      Simple, they say, “Whoops, our bad.”

  6. avatar Quiet Professional says:

    They’re not denying going after gun owners merely because they’re taking antidepressants. They’re just saying that, in this instance, they went after the wrong guy.

    Bet a lot of state troopers, square as they are, take SSRIs. To equate taking an SSRI with being “dangerously mentally ill” — a la the Bloomberg ad — is beyond absurd.


    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      The problem, as I understand it, is not so much being on the SSRI’s, as being on and off and on them again. Someone wrote a pretty detailed comment a few weeks back, about how most of the side effects (suicidal thoughts and the like) happen during the first few weeks of taking them, as your brain chemistry adjusts. If someone is on them and stays on them, no problem. If they don’t take them consistently, then they yo-yo back and forth through those “first few weeks” over and over.

      1. avatar ransom_ says:

        Side effects for any given drug are different for everyone. Some people taking SSRIs may have increased suicidal thoughts or ideation, many will not.

  7. avatar Ralph says:

    So they violated the Constitutional rights of one David Lewis, but they actually intended to violate the Constitutional rights of some other David Lewis. Is that what they’re claiming? Well, I don’t know about you, but I feel totally relieved knowing that they didn’t just pull some poor [email protected]’s name out of Governor Mussolini’s @ss.

    1. avatar Human Being says:

      Go get ’em, Ralph!

  8. avatar ST says:

    Fortunately, we can derive some idea of how many “false denials” NICS clocks in by doing some basic math. According to recorded Senate testimony on the Brady law back in 2002, the system was tallying a 95% accuracy rate.

    A 5% error percentage doesnt seem that bad, until one realizes that applied again st the tens of millions of national BG checks per month, you get a number north o f 500000 wrongfully denied purchases.


    Its like a lottery, except instead of a check you get a 6 month time out from exercising your civil rights.That doesnt include state level errors from the various databases like Californias DROS.

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      My only quibble with your statement is that “tens of millions of national BG checks per month” is a healthy exaggeration. The highest month on record was December 2012, with 2,783,765, and the monthly average for all of 2012 was 1,632,692. That brings your 500k wrongfully denied purchases down to 81k.

      I’m not getting into the accuracy of your statement, just the math.

  9. avatar Quiet Professional says:

    Many of my gun owning and gun toting friends take SSRIs. And it’s no big effin deal. It’s amazing how open they are about it. Times have changed. I would trust my six to these guys. Some serve with me in my reserve unit.

    That said, “Science” has already deemed ALL Republicans/conservatives to be, by definition, psychotic.* If you’re a Republican who also happens to own a gun and take Zoloft, triple trouble: you’re now an enemy of the state.


  10. avatar Paul53 says:

    So let me understand this. If I hear voices telling me to do bad things, and get help, the man will take my gun away. But if I don’t get help, I can keep the gun? I know I’m not smart like our politicians (Palin and Bachman come to mind), but isn’t this the reverse of the desired effect?

    1. avatar C says:

      Yeah, if you tried to make a system that more discouraged people to seek aid, i don’t think you could do a whole lot better.

      1. avatar Bruce says:

        And even better, it will be people with guns who aren’t getting the help they need.

  11. avatar SpeleoFool says:

    “Due process?” What’s that? Is it anything like “due time?” Someone wake me up when it’s fun to shoot again….

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      Under ObamaCare, a medical diagnosis will constitute “due process”.

  12. avatar BLAMMO says:

    Any law-abiding gun owner in New York faced with the prospect of registering an assault weapon rifle will have to do some real soul searching.

    You can’t UN-register.

  13. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    You don’t think they are saying that because they are about to get the piss sued out of them, yeah, me neither. Big expensive lawsuits are what turned black civil rights, wait till contingency lawyers get on the bandwagon for us, Randy

  14. avatar Lemming says:

    We here in Cuomostan appear determined to serve as a warning to the United States.

    1. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Those of us still living under the U.S. Constitution appreciate the sacrifice you New York and Chicago residents are making for the rest of us. Watching your crime rates skyrocket even as your rights are stripped by draconian laws is painful, but hopefully it will serve to wake up the rest of the country to the simple fact that “gun control” doesn’t work.

      Well, it doesn’t work for its claimed purposed, to reduce crime. It works very well for its actual purpose (making citizens even more dependent on the government), but the anti-gun crowd would rather we not discuss that aspect.

      1. avatar Lemming says:

        It is painful, becoming the south pole of the moral compass

    2. avatar Kirk says:

      As a resident of California, I can attest that it’s no fun being a cautionary tale for others.

  15. avatar Jeff Fisher says:

    Hypothetical news story for ya.
    “Mr. Hutchinson was found to be in possesion of a black ski-mask during the early months of spring this year. A check of his criminal records showed that he had been convicted of armed robbery 20 years earlier involving the use of a ski-mask and his personal vehicle. The local police ordered Mr. Hutchinson to surrender his ski-mask and drivers licence, as he MIGHT have been planning to drive to the scene of a robbery wearing the ski-mask.”
    Imagine reading this in the paper or on a news site.
    Would this EVER be an OK thing to do for ANY law enforcement organization EVER?
    My hypothetical person had been CONVICTED of a crime in which he used a ski-mask and drove to the scene in a car. And it STILL wouldn’t be OK for this to happen!
    The reverends and the ACLU would GRILL that department over hot coals!
    Pre-Crime at its best. I guess descrimination is alright if you REALLY don’t like the people you’re targeting. Racist organizations rejoice! You have like-minded friends in office! Ticker-tape parade! Descrimination is fine now!
    I’mma go puke now.

    1. avatar Paul53 says:

      Convicted under Cuomo regime of possession of a 32 oz cup of soda. Plea bargained down from summary execution to a life sentence in New York. His name? Snake Pliscomb! Hey Snake, I heard you were dead!

      1. avatar Jeff Fisher says:

        Awsome! Love it!
        Hey! I’ve got an idea!
        Since we’re judging entire groups of people by the actions of their worst, can we judge the millions of peaceful Muslims in the world by the actions of the 19 9/11 hijackers? Hmm?
        No? That’s what I thought! The same people that repeatedly told us that you can’t judge all by the actions of a few are turning around and doing it themselves! And loving every second of it! There’s a word for this sort of thing….
        It’s never been alright to stereotype. But now suddenly it is!
        Like I said, puking under the end-table right now.

  16. avatar Coloradan says:

    OT : here’s the language for the Toomey/Manchin amendment to the Schumer bill.

  17. avatar Marcus says:

    All a mistake. And when they storm the wrong house and kill your husband and dog you can always get new ones. No hard feelings, right?

  18. avatar mediocrates says:

    The problem with the SAFE act is that it is unconstitutional period. I’m still thinking a peaceful million man march, armed with AR-15s, on Washington DC is a good idea.

  19. avatar GS650G says:

    If this happens a permanent record will always exist somewhere. Especially if they go for full SWAT breech and arrest you as well. No one will care that you were found NG or someone made a mistake. You’ll forever be the gun nut that the cops raided at the end of the street.

    So the idea is to discourage anyone from having any guns at all. Mission accomplished.

  20. avatar Crunkleross says:

    A left handed cartoon revolver seems so appropriate.

  21. avatar FrankInFL says:

    No more “NY po-po”. From now on, it’s NYStaPo, okay?

  22. avatar Troy Peterson says:

    What a cesspool. Just the place for a bloomturd.

  23. avatar Joe T says:

    How does a state “reinstate a right”? do our rights come from the state or from G_d. just saying.

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