Guns Confiscated after Man Seeks Insomnia Treatment

In the old Soviet and East German police states of the Cold War, police kept secret files on scores of common people.  Information was fed to the police by thousands of clandestine sources – and a seemingly banal or routine interaction with nearly anyone could lead to a surprise “knock on the door” by authorities.  During the late Soviet era, communist leadership moved away from the executions and purges of the Stalin years and began to increasingly rely upon medical professionals to diagnose “enemies of the state” as insane – thus, a routine trip to your doctor could lead to a visit from police.

Although the Cold War ended over two decades ago, a lawsuit filed December 17 in U.S. District Court in Rochester, NY alleges that such heavy-handed police-state tactics are presently being employed in Andrew Cuomo’s New York.  The suit, filed by attorney Paloma Capanna on behalf of plaintiff Donald Montgomery, alleges that the New York State Police ordered the permanent confiscation of Mr. Montgomery’s registered handguns after he sought treatment for insomnia.  The confiscation was ordered under Cuomo’s “SAFE Act” gun-control law.

The allegations in the case are downright scary.  The complaint contends that Montgomery, a Navy veteran and retired police officer who rose to the rank of detective sergeant during his 30-year career, voluntarily sought treatment for insomnia at a hospital on Long Island in May of 2014 after relocating to a new home several hundred miles from his previous residence.

According to the suit, the hospital diagnosed the plaintiff as “mildly depressed,” and his clinical evaluation stated, “Patient has no thoughts of hurting himself. Patient has no thoughts of hurting others. Patient is not having suicidal thoughts. Patient is not having homicidal thoughts…” and “there is no evidence of any psychotic processes, mania, or OCD symptoms. Insight, judgment, and impulse control are good.”  The suit further alleges that a psychiatrist told the plaintiff, “I don’t know why you were referred here. You don’t belong here.”

Nonetheless, the suit contends that five days after being discharged from the hospital, the local sheriff’s department showed up at Montgomery’s door and seized his four registered handguns, including his former duty sidearm, after the sheriff had been subjected to “repeated pressure” by the New York State Police, who claimed that Montgomery had been declared mentally defective and had been involuntarily committed to a mental institution.

Montgomery alleges that the hospital violated his privacy by transmitting his medical information to the State Police without his consent or knowledge.  Montgomery subsequently requested a hearing to have his handgun ownership permit reinstated, but the sheriff’s department allegedly terminated his permit without a hearing.  The suit alleges that police denied Montgomery’s Freedom of Information requests to see what information has been placed in his secret file, and that both police and the hospital refused to allow him to correct the falsehoods in his record.

The suit names Gov. Cuomo, Eastern Long Island Hospital, and several state officials, including the superintendent of state police and the local sheriff, as defendants, and alleges that they violated Montgomery’s Second-, Fourth-, Fifth-, and Fourteenth-Amendment rights.  It seeks injunctive and declaratory relief for Montgomery and all similarly situated persons.

Last year, Cuomo publicly stated that “extreme conservatives” – namely, gun owners and opponents of abortion and gay marriage – “have no place in the State of New York.”  In other words, they are enemies of the state.  Cuomo’s use of medical records against gun owners under his “SAFE Act” is clearly an effort to confiscate firearms from people who “have no place” in his police state.

Residents of other states should be wary that progressives will make similar efforts to use the federally mandated electronic medical database required by Obamacare against gun owners and/or political dissidents in the future.

You can read the full text of the lawsuit here.

In the old Soviet and East German police states of the Cold War, police kept secret files on scores of common people.  Information was fed to the police by thousands of clandestine sources – and a seemingly banal or routine interaction with nearly anyone could lead to a surprise “knock on the door” by authorities.  During the late Soviet era, communist leadership moved away from the executions and purges of the Stalin years and began to increasingly rely upon medical professionals to diagnose “enemies of the state” as insane – thus, a routine trip to your doctor could lead to a visit from police.

Although the Cold War ended over two decades ago, a lawsuit filed December 17 in U.S. District Court in Rochester, NY alleges that such heavy-handed police-state tactics are presently being employed in Andrew Cuomo’s New York.  The suit, filed by attorney Paloma Capanna on behalf of plaintiff Donald Montgomery, alleges that the New York State Police ordered the permanent confiscation of Mr. Montgomery’s registered handguns after he sought treatment for insomnia.  The confiscation was ordered under Cuomo’s “SAFE Act” gun-control law.

The allegations in the case are downright scary.  The complaint contends that Montgomery, a Navy veteran and retired police officer who rose to the rank of detective sergeant during his 30-year career, voluntarily sought treatment for insomnia at a hospital on Long Island in May of 2014 after relocating to a new home several hundred miles from his previous residence.

According to the suit, the hospital diagnosed the plaintiff as “mildly depressed,” and his clinical evaluation stated, “Patient has no thoughts of hurting himself. Patient has no thoughts of hurting others. Patient is not having suicidal thoughts. Patient is not having homicidal thoughts…” and “there is no evidence of any psychotic processes, mania, or OCD symptoms. Insight, judgment, and impulse control are good.”  The suit further alleges that a psychiatrist told the plaintiff, “I don’t know why you were referred here. You don’t belong here.”

Nonetheless, the suit contends that five days after being discharged from the hospital, the local sheriff’s department showed up at Montgomery’s door and seized his four registered handguns, including his former duty sidearm, after the sheriff had been subjected to “repeated pressure” by the New York State Police, who claimed that Montgomery had been declared mentally defective and had been involuntarily committed to a mental institution.

Montgomery alleges that the hospital violated his privacy by transmitting his medical information to the State Police without his consent or knowledge.  Montgomery subsequently requested a hearing to have his handgun ownership permit reinstated, but the sheriff’s department allegedly terminated his permit without a hearing.  The suit alleges that police denied Montgomery’s Freedom of Information requests to see what information has been placed in his secret file, and that both police and the hospital refused to allow him to correct the falsehoods in his record.

The suit names Gov. Cuomo, Eastern Long Island Hospital, and several state officials, including the superintendent of state police and the local sheriff, as defendants, and alleges that they violated Montgomery’s Second-, Fourth-, Fifth-, and Fourteenth-Amendment rights.  It seeks injunctive and declaratory relief for Montgomery and all similarly situated persons.

Last year, Cuomo publicly stated that “extreme conservatives” – namely, gun owners and opponents of abortion and gay marriage – “have no place in the State of New York.”  In other words, they are enemies of the state.  Cuomo’s use of medical records against gun owners under his “SAFE Act” is clearly an effort to confiscate firearms from people who “have no place” in his police state.

Residents of other states should be wary that progressives will make similar efforts to use the federally mandated electronic medical database required by Obamacare against gun owners and/or political dissidents in the future.

You can read the full text of the lawsuit here.