A mistake centered on a portion of New York’s new gun laws led to a fair amount of finger-pointing in western New York on Wednesday.
From Gannett’s WGRZ-TV in Buffalo:
It could be the first foul up involving the state’s new gun legislation. Who’s to blame? That’s still being hashed out.
The attorney for a Western New York gun owner who was told to surrender his pistol permit because of the SAFE Act says his client will get his guns back. The Erie County Clerk is now blaming New York State Police for making the mistake that could have cost the 35-year-old librarian his gun collection.
“Who messed this up?” asked Channel 2’s Kelly Dudzik.
“I think that first and foremost, it stems from a flawed law that was passed so quickly without forethought on how something would be implemented. Certainly, I am disappointed on the fact that we were given information from State Police that this was an individual that we needed to act immediately on,” says Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs.
That individual is David Lewis. He is a 35-year-old college librarian. His attorney says he has an anxiety-related medical issue which prompted a doctor to prescribe him medication. Lewis owned seven guns until he received a letter from Jacobs’ office. That letter told Lewis the New York State Police wanted the County Clerk to suspend his pistol license right away.
“They made the mistake. They handed the mistake to us, to our local judges, and it’s really disappointing that they’re not standing up and taking responsibility here,” says Jacobs.
Jacobs feels the State Police are targeting his office, which he says only serves an administrative role when it comes to enforcement of the SAFE Act.
New York State Police issued a statement Wednesday saying “No guns are being taken because an individual is on anti-anxiety medication” and refused to answer our questions or do an interview.