New York Police Confiscating Firearms From People Taking Anti-Anxiety MedicationGovernment increases “onerous activity” to confiscate legal firearms.
Apr. 10, 2013
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The New York State Police are suspending the handgun permits of people in the state who are prescribed anti-anxiety medication, according to Jim Tresmond of the Tresmond Law Firm in Hamburg, New York. Tresmond Law specializes in firearm litigation.
“We are representing a client right now who is impacted by this onerous activity of the government,” Tresmond told WBEN, a news talk radio station in Buffalo, New York.
“We were flummoxed by this whole matter,” the attorney said. “The HIPPA act is supposed to prevent this kind of thing from happening. It’s a gross invasion of our privacy rights.”
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy Rule establishes national standards to protect individuals' medical records and other personal health information, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Tresmond said the New York State Police are responsible for taking action against legal firearms owners. "Based on information the county received from the New York State Police, they’ve suspended the permits. The State Police instigates the proceedings.”
Section 9.46 of the NY SAFE Act of 2013 authorizes therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers to report patients they determine may engage in conduct that may result in harm to self or others. If a determination is made that the person in question poses a threat, the provision permits the government to confiscate firearms. The provision is a direct violation of the Fourth Amendment and the legal standard of probable cause.
Experts said many mental health providers will likely ignore the provision.
NY SAFE was passed by the New York State Legislature on January 15, 2013, and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo the same day.