Veteran Sues Cuomo for Confiscation of Permit, Guns

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posted on January 5, 2015
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A U.S. Navy veteran and retired police detective is suing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials after his firearms permit and four handguns were confiscated under terms of the state's restrictive Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act.

In a lawsuit filed Dec. 17 in U.S. District Court in Rochester, NY, Donald Montgomery alleges his constitutional rights were violated by the SAFE Act—a measure Gov. Cuomo signed into law in Jan. 2013, the Daily Caller reported Jan. 2.

According to the complaint, Montgomery sought treatment for insomnia on May 6, shortly after he and his wife moved to New York from another state to be closer to family. The stressful move involved the purchase of a new home and selling an old one, hundreds of miles away.

Several days after his first doctor's visit, Montgomery went to the emergency room at Eastern Long Island Hospital, still suffering from insomnia. He was diagnosed with depression and insomnia, prescribed medication and told to follow up with a doctor if symptoms did not improve, The Daily Caller reported. On May 23, he was back in the doctor's office with the same complaint and was monitored at the facility for 48 hours.

The suit alleges that hospital staff incorrectly listed him as an involuntarily admitted patient, which triggered a portion of the SAFE Act requiring health professionals to report individuals who are deemed threats to themselves or to others according to mental health directors, the suit alleges. Montgomery's suit claims his Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights were violated, as was his privacy when the hospital shared information with authorities.

The suit also demands that a judge strike down New York's Mental Hygiene Law, which requires mental health professionals "report individuals who are deemed threats to others or to themselves to mental health directors who in turn report serious threats to the department of criminal justice services," according to news reports.

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