Law Enforcement Wrongfully Confiscates New York Veteran’s Guns

BY Herschel Smith
4 months, 2 weeks ago

New York Upstate:

TABERG, NY – Don Hall was sitting in his living room watching TV with his girlfriend about 9:30 p.m. earlier this year when he was startled by flashing police car lights in his driveway.

Hall met the Oneida County sheriff’s deputies in the driveway, worried that they were bringing bad news about a family member.

Instead, the deputies produced an official document demanding that Hall, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran who is a retired pipefitter, turn over his guns to them on the spot. On the document Hall said he was described as “mentally defective.”

When Hall told police he’d never had any mental issues, Hall said, deputies told him he must have done something that triggered the order under the New York state’s SAFE Act.

The deputies left that night with six guns – two handguns and four long guns.

Hall, who lives in the Oneida County hamlet of Taberg, hired a lawyer and secured affidavits from local hospitals to prove he hadn’t been recently treated. At one point, he was told he’d have to get some of his guns back from a gun shop.

Eventually, his lawyer convinced a judge that authorities had him confused with someone else who had sought care and that his weapons should never have been seized.

To this day, no one at a hospital or the state and local agencies involved in taking Hall’s guns has admitted to Hall that a mistake was made, explained what happened or apologized. A county judge did acknowledge the mistake and helped him get his guns back.

Hall said the ordeal was frustrating.

“I was guilty until I could prove myself innocent,” Hall said. “They don’t tell you why or what you supposedly did. It was just a bad screw-up.”

Under what legal authority Hall’s guns were confiscated is in disagreement.

Hall and his lawyer said they are convinced his guns were taken as a result of a report under the NY SAFE Act. The New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act was adopted in 2013 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newton, Conn.

The law includes, among other things, a provision for health providers to report patients that they believe are a risk to harm others or themselves.

The state Office of Mental Health, however, found Hall’s case was reported through a system set up by the federal Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, said James Plastiras, a spokesman for the state mental health office. That law, adopted in 1993, is named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinckley Jr. during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

The federal law includes a provision that requires a hospital or medical facility to report anyone who is involuntarily committed or has been ruled mentally defective by a court or similar legal body.

A hospital reported to the state Office of Mental Health that a person had been involuntarily admitted to a mental facility, Plastiras said. That information was passed onto the FBI for inclusion on the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, he said.

[ … ]

Once the state Office of Mental Health is alerted through either law, the staff checks records held by the state Department of Criminal Justice Services to see if the person has any guns.

Any matches go to the state police to verify that the identity of the person matches the identity of the gun owner. Once confirmed, the state police takes the case to a local judge who issues an order to confiscate the person’s weapons. Local police usually are dispatched to confiscate the weapons.

One thing the state and Hall and his lawyer agree on is the misidentification that lead to Hall’s guns being seized appears to have started when Hall was confused with some other patient at risk.

The day after Hall’s guns were seized in February, he called the gun licensing office in Oneida County. When he told them his guns were wrongly taken, he was told he could attend a hearing in a few weeks.

Instead, Hall called lawyer John Panzone, who advised him to get depositions from every local hospital stating he had not recently been treated. Panzone hoped the affidavits would prove Hall couldn’t be the person initially reported to be at risk.

Hall said he and his girlfriend, Connie Heidenreich, spent the next day visiting three Utica-area hospitals to get the statements.

Hall said the only time he had been a patient at any of the hospitals was four years ago when he had a sleep apnea test at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

At St. Elizabeth’s, Hall said a clerk looked up his name and read him a Social Security number. He said it was slightly different than his. “She turned white as a ghost,” Hall recalled.

Panzone believes another patient from Oneida County with Hall’s name was treated at the hospital and flagged for a mental health issue. Somehow that man’s Social Security number got mixed up with Hall’s, thus creating the error, the lawyer said.

The YouTube video of this report can be found here.

First of all, I don’t want to hear another word about how oath-taking LEOs will respect the constitution and refuse to obey unconstitutional orders.  The confiscation order was clearly unconstitutional and immoral and yet the LEOs enforced it upon command.

Second, I don’t care that the person who made the screw-up was a hospital employee.  She was an organ of the state when she made the reporting, and if I had that job I would resign.  When you do things like this you are in effect a government employee.

Third, consider what has happened in this report.  A man who is a war veteran had his weapons confiscated because someone submitted his name as having an admission to a local hospital for a mental malady.  Now listen closely.  Even if this was correct (and we know from the facts of the case that it wasn’t), we’ve already demonstrated conclusively from the reports of mental health professionals that mental illness has no relationship to propensity for violence, and that violent behavior cannot be predicted by mental health professionals because of this.

The case is closed.  There is no longer any debate on this issue.  Moreover, we know from scientific studies that limiting access to firearms of the mentally ill does not reduce suicide deaths.  For some progressives who simply want to worship the totem pole of mental health and behavioristic psychology, and who are well intentioned, they refuse to listen to the science behind their incorrect perceptions of the world.  They want to bow down and worship at the altar of the local witch doctor, or the psychiatrist, as if he knows how to make everything better.

But for most people, they know better than to believe that violence is related to illness rather than moral maladies and evil, and yet they throw out the red herring of mental illness anyway in order to cover over their real intentions, which is yet another gun control and confiscatory scheme.

That’s what happened here.  The SAFE act is anything but safe, because it protects no one and places peaceable, law abiding men in harm’s way.  But there are hundreds like it around the country, where guns cannot be purchased unless LEOs sign off on forms that include mental health information, or send out confiscation orders upon command from their superiors over anything from family problems to alleged abuse by some pissed off spouse.

Those LEOs will confiscate guns just like the LEOs in this report.  Don’t doubt it for one minute.  Be prepared.  And if you believe in God, family and the second amendment, and especially that the second amendment is about amelioration of tyranny, you are in danger of being judged mentally incompetent.  There are thousands of Soldiers and Marines who served faithfully who are in the NICS today because someone said they have PTSD.

Finally, note that every time the government – local, state or federal – involves themselves in a program, they are a fuck-up.  They cannot get anything right, except for running a military, and most of the time they don’t even do that well.  A lot of bad men make it to staff and flag officer level, and if you think we have thinking men running the show at the Pentagon, take a look at the two campaigns of “armed social science” we had in Iraq and Afghanistan, believing that we could force Muslims to accept liberty and freedom with COIN tactics, men who love tyranny and the yoke of oppression more than life itself.

And the progressives want to put the government more fully in charge of your health care.  Think about that for a moment.  Let that wash over you.  Incompetent fools and clowns like the ones described above want to make decisions on health care for your families.

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Comments

  1. On August 1, 2017 at 2:29 am, Francis Porretto said:

    Gotta love that Fourth Amendment, eh what?

  2. On August 1, 2017 at 7:10 am, GA Patriot said:

    Why is this surprising? The Communists have used Psychiatry as a political tool for decades. It is natural that the American flavor of Communists would employ it where possible.

  3. On August 1, 2017 at 7:39 am, Fred said:

    Everybody involved in all of these schemes needs to be rounded up and hung from the neck until dead.

    And wrt sandy hook; show me the autopsies.

  4. On August 1, 2017 at 8:58 am, Ned said:

    Yep Fred – fraud based upon a fraud – all at the sheeple’s expense, of course…

  5. On August 1, 2017 at 9:23 am, NatSass said:

    Linked to this at Carolina Firearms Forum. Excellent work, as always, Mr. Smith.

  6. On August 1, 2017 at 10:00 am, Longbow said:

    “…was clearly unconstitutional and immoral and yet the LEOs enforced it upon command.”

    Jeepers! Ya think?

  7. On August 1, 2017 at 10:05 am, Longbow said:

    “Those LEOs will confiscate guns just like the LEOs in this report.”

    You mean just like they swore they would never do, but DID during Hurricane Katrina?

    Well, shucksbygolly!

  8. On August 2, 2017 at 9:10 am, Diamond Mair said:

    And yet, ………… here in Texas, I personally know of a case, where a convicted felon purchased a 9 mm at a national chain store, “passing” the NICS (!?!?). I believe this was accomplished by his using the SS number of someone else, perhaps a family member, and claiming a “first name foul up”.
    Semper Fi’
    DM

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You are currently reading "Law Enforcement Wrongfully Confiscates New York Veteran’s Guns", entry #17483 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Gun Control,Guns and was published July 31st, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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