Fish & Game News July 11, 2014 Elliott
It’s a heck of a claim to make:
Gun confiscation has started in NY. This video highlights two cases out of NY state where guns are being confiscated under the NY SAFE Act. I know this is long, but please watch it in it’s entirety and share this video anywhere you can and tell your friends and neighbors and co workers about this. Gun confiscation is underway!
The men in this video make a compelling claim… but is it accurate?
As the men claimed that the Delaware County (New York) Sheriff’s Department as their source of information, Bearing Arms contacted the Department, and directed them to the claims made in the video.
Undersheriff Craig Dumond provided the following response to Bearing Arms.
As you are aware, a component of the (anti) Safe Act requires mental health providers to notify the State Police regarding individuals with firearms who are deemed to have mental health issues. The State Police then make a request for the court with jurisdiction to issue an order requiring the surrendering of all firearms pending a hearing. In our two cases here in Delaware County we received an order from the court directing this enforcement. Since the State Police was the initiating agency in this matter we respectfully requested the court to direct the order back to the State Police instead of us (Sheriff’s Office) and the court graciously complied. To insinuate the court is somehow an active participant in confiscations is inappropriate… they are following the law (as we all are because we have no choice) and procedures set forth accordingly. We were very please our judge (Judge Becker) was willing to be flexible in directing the order back the NYSP (instead of making us the enforcement agents) and information claiming the contrary is simply inaccurate.
In regard to the components of the Act relating to mental health issues, Sheriff Mills supports these components as well as the NYS Sheriff’s Association. We do not support many of the other provisions of the (anti) Safe Act and feel the law is severely flawed and violates many aspects of our 2nd Amendment rights.
As noted in the first line of Undersheriff Demond’s response, the NY SAFE Act requires mental health providers to notify the State Police if individual with firearms are deemed to have mental health issues.
Obviously, the gentleman speaking the video, George Covello, seems to think that the (temporary) confiscation of this couple’s firearms pending a hearing is a sign of a wider confiscation effort.
Put bluntly, I strongly disagree, both as related to the specific instances mentioned here, or in a wider context.
Time and again, we’ve noted as Second Amendment advocates that their needs to be better mental health care to help stop the mentally ill from harming others. We also recognize that overwhelming short-term mental distress is every bit as much a danger as severe long-term mental illness. Such distress seems to be behind the majority of most domestic homicides and suicides.
The Delaware County Sheriff’s Department is clearly no fan of the NY SAFE Act—calling it “the (anti) Safe Act” in their response—but they and the NYS Sheriff’s Association who strongly disagree with the act overall, acknowledge that the mental health components of the act save lives.
There is no credible information that the mental health provisions of the NY Safe Act are being used to permanently confiscate firearms from citizens.
The confiscations are temporary pending a hearing, and those affected can petition the courts to have their arms returned. If the courts and mental health professionals determine that the temporary mental distress isn’t over, or that the person(s) in question are actually suffering from long-term mental illness, then we don’t want these people armed... do we?
Likewise, these confiscations are only occurring in a handful isolated incidents, refuting the claim that the represent an attempt at widespread confiscation.
There are many politicians in this nation who would love nothing more than to confiscate every firearm in the nation that isn’t under their control. They will do everything in their power to pass laws that make it difficult, if not impossible, for citizens to be armed.
But when people in our community keep crying wolf and insisting that mass confiscations are beginning every time someone suffering mental distress is relieved of their arms as the should be in isolated instances, they are doing none of us any favors.