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Lawsuit Alleges State Illegally Using Confidential Data for SAFE Act Confiscation

Written By Editor on 1/1/15 | 1/1/15

A lawsuit is alleging that the state is using its authority under the SAFE Act to illegally target gun owners. Under one provision of the law the state is using data from medical professionals to construct a state database of at risk residents, as reported yesterday.

A federal class action lawsuit led by Donald Montgomery claims that such data is being compiled illegally. The suit occurred after Montgomery had his guns seized after checking into a Buffalo hospital for trouble sleeping. This happened despite him being both a retired law enforcement officer and veteran.

Montgomery is suing Governor Cuomo and several other state officials for what he believes is an unconstitutional law. His lawsuit alleges that the state compiles data from medical professionals without a subpoena and without knowledge of the person whose information is being shared. This is in conflict with years of medical confidentiality. The plaintiff calls this a "gross overreach."

The lawsuit also alleges that the number of people listed as being unfit to own guns has been called "too low" by Governor Cuomo in October.

The suit alleges that the law unfairly punishes patients for voluntarily visiting mental health professionals, especially targeting former military and police.

If Montgomery et al wins the lawsuit, the portion of the SAFE Act dealing with such mental health provisions will be overturned.

Text of the lawsuit can be found below.

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