A retired police officer who served in the U.S. Navy is suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other New York state officials for confiscating his guns after he was mistakenly diagnosed as mentally unstable.
Complaining of insomnia after moving to a new house, Donald Montgomery checked into a Long Island hospital, where he was described by medical personnel as “calm, cooperative, no mania, insight good, speech fluent.” He was discharged with a diagnosis of “depression, insomnia.” He later returned to the hospital for further treatment but was mistakenly listed as an “involuntary admission.”
Under the state’s new SAFE Act gun-control law, an involuntary admission for mental health issues revoked his right to own a handgun, and his four weapons were confiscated by the state.
“Donald Montgomery is a Navy veteran and accomplished NYPD detective. No stranger to dealing with stress and firearms. Despite the fact that Montgomery’s jobs not only allowed, but required, him to handle firearms in high stress situations, the state of New York decided he was unfit to own firearms after he sought treatment for extreme insomnia,” said Dan Cannon at the Guns Save Lives blog.
The SAFE Act was “passed literally under the cover of darkness in New York following the Sandy Hook shooting,” the blog post said.
“One of those new laws changed the state’s mental health laws and encouraged healthcare workers to report people they deemed to be possibly dangerous to themselves or others to the state. It does not have to be a mental health professional who makes these claims.”
The report said Montgomery “was never involuntarily treated, which is usually a requirement for limiting a person’s firearms rights.”
In fact, several notes in Montgomery’s medical files specifically say he was not experiencing suicidal or violent thoughts. Montgomery was ultimately diagnosed with insomnia and mild depression – possibly caused by the insomnia – but otherwise no mental health issues were ever mentioned.
According to the lawsuit, various notes in his file state: “Patient has no thoughts of hurting self. Patient has no thoughts of hurting others. Patient is not having suicidal thoughts. Patient is not having homicidal thoughts. … This is a well-developed, well-kempt male, dressed casually and in no acute distress. He is calm, pleasant, cooperative. Eye contact is good, speech is fluent. Mood is mildly depressed. Affect is appropriate, somewhat anxious but otherwise mood-congruent. He denies suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation. There is no evidence of any psychotic process, mania, or OCD symptoms. Insight, judgment, impulse control are good.”
Written by BOB UNRUH
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