In New York: 34,500 People Mentally Unfit to Own Guns

At Law Shield we continue to worry about provisions of New York’s SAFE Law affecting our members.

The SAFE Act, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is one of the toughest gun-control laws in the country. Most notably, the law banned high-capacity modern semiauto rifles.

It also created a list of the mentally ill whose guns could be seized. The basis for such seizures: Someone suspects a person might be “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others.”

The SAFE Act compels county officials to screen and forward names provided by health-care workers to the state. Now we know that a database of 34,500 New Yorkers have been deemed too mentally unstable to own a gun.

Also worrisome: The Cuomo administration initially refused to release data on the program in response to the New York Times’ public-records requests.

And, incredibly, New York governments, which keep detailed statistics of every crime imaginable, aren’t keeping records on how many firearms are taken from New Yorkers under the SAFE Act.

Really? We get very worried when government agencies studiously don’t keep records of the effects a law is having on citizens. Going forward, how many New Yorkers will have been determined to be too dangerous to own a weapon? We may not be able to find out.

In our view, judges should be making these determinations in a court of law, not a faceless health-care worker, LE officer, or bureaucrat.

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