State Police: SAFE Act mixup not our fault

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State Police say they aren’t to blame for a mixup that led to the suspension of an Erie County man’s pistol permit, suggesting fault should lie with county officials.

A quick refresher: David Lewis, a 35-year-old college librarian, was told by the Erie County clerk’s office to surrender his pistol permit under the SAFE Act’s mental-health provision. But Lewis had only been prescribed anti-anxiety medication, and Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs (pictured) said State Police had made a mistake and was to blame for the mixup.

Now, State Police are firing back, saying that the final decision of whether to revoke a pistol permit comes from county officials.

Here’s the agency’s full statement:

“The SAFE Act requires mental health professionals to file notification when a medical professional determines that an individual he or she is treating is at risk to themselves or others. Medical prescription records are strictly private and not shared with the state, and no firearm license would ever be revoked for an anti-anxiety prescription.

“The notification forwarded to the Erie County Clerk’s Office required additional follow-up before a positive identification of a person at risk to themselves or others became final. The State Police was very clear in its letter to the Clerk’s Office regarding the need for due diligence and the need for a positive identification by the County before they removed any weapon.

“The final determination on whether to revoke or suspend a pistol permit license rests solely with the County and the licensing officials. The State Police has no authority to suspend or revoke a pistol permit in these circumstances.”

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5 Comments

  1. Quick refresher?

    Are you implying a story preceeded this one?

    This “mistake” sounds alot like a violation of someones civil rights, as well as a possible violation of federal HIPPA law.

    It appears that this mistake will be very expensive one for the taxpayers of New York.

    BTW, how many violent gun crimes were prevented while the State Police were working on this allegedly dangerous librarian?

  2. READ MY LIPS: I DO NOT WANT MY HARD-EARNED TAX DOLLARS PAYING FOR THIS NONSENSE. THE SAFE ACT IS A CROCK OF NONSENSE. ONE OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS IS THAT IT WASN’T THOUGHT OUT AT ALL AND NOW, HERE IS THE RESULT. I DON’T CARE IF IF WAS ERIE COUNTY’S FAULT OR THE NYSP’S FAULT – THE TRUE FAULT LIES WITH OUR BUFFOON GOVERNOR AND THE LEGISLATURE.

  3. The county clerks office is strictly a record keeping office. The State Police on the other hand have very broad investigative authority under direct control of the Executive Office of Mr Cuomo. Through all of the information coming out of this case from various sources there has been 1 common thread. The State Police contacted the County Clerks office to verify information FIRST. How or most importantly WHY did the NY State Police have the information protected under Federal HIPAA Law in the first place? Governor Cuomo was already proven to allow corruption under his direction, has now got a major Federal rights case blowing up under his watch. Obviously at the very least he is incapable of leading, but more likely these things were his direct orders. He MUST be called on to resign in shame.