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Navy veteran has guns confiscated after seeking medical treatment for insomnia

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(NaturalNews) A Navy veteran has become a casualty of New York state's Stalinist-like gun control laws, for no other reason than he was having trouble sleeping at night.

According to American Thinker, Donald Montgomery filed suit in December in U.S. District Court in Rochester, alleging that state police in New York ordered his registered handguns permanently confiscated because he sought treatment for insomnia. The confiscation was ordered under the state's "SAFE Act," billed as one of the most restrictive gun control laws in the country. It was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in January 2013.

According to The Associated Press, provisions of the Act include:

Further restrict assault weapons to define them by a single feature, such as a pistol grip. Current law requires two features.

Make the unsafe storage of assault weapons a misdemeanor.

Mandate a police registry of assault weapons.

Establish a state registry for all private sales, with a background check done through a licensed dealer for a fee, excluding sales to immediate relatives.

But the law also requires any therapist "who believes a mental health patient made a credible threat to use a gun illegally to report the threat to a mental health director who would then have to report serious threats to the state Department of Criminal Justice Services. A patient's gun could be taken from him or her."

And it is likely under this last scenario that Montgomery -- also a retired police officer who rose to the rank of detective sergeant -- was deprived of his Second Amendment rights.

"You don't belong here"

It is important to note that Montgomery voluntarily sought treatment -- for a medical, not mental, condition -- at a hospital on Long Island in May 2014, after relocating to a new home several hundred miles from his former residence.

The suit claims that staff at the hospital diagnosed Montgomery as being "mildly depressed," but a clinical evaluation of him 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, "[T]here is no evidence of any psychotic processes, mania, or OCD symptoms. Insight, judgment, and impulse control are good." In addition, Montgomery's suit alleges that, while staying at the hospital where he voluntarily sought treatment, a psychiatrist told him, "I don't know why you were referred here. You don't belong here."

Still, the suit alleged that five days after being seen and discharged from the hospital, a local sheriff's deputy came to his home and confiscated his four registered handguns, which included his former duty sidearm, following "repeated pressure" by the state police on the local sheriff. The state police, the suit alleges, claimed that Montgomery was mentally defective, had been involuntarily committed to a mental treatment facility and was therefore not eligible under the law to retain his registered firearms.

A number of constitutional rights violations alleged

American Thinker further reported:

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.

In his suit, Montgomery has named Cuomo, Eastern Long Island Hospital, and a number of state and county officials, including the superintendent of the state police and the local sheriff, as defendants.

The suit alleges that the initial misdiagnoses and resulting confiscation of his firearms violated Montgomery's Second, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.





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