Since its passage in 2013, New York’s gun-grabbing, anti-Second Amendment SAFE Act has come under intense scrutiny. One of the many problems with the law is that it acts on the principle of restricting citizens of their Second Amendment rights first, ask questions later.
One Vietnam veteran experienced this first hand when deputies showed up at his house with a notice that incorrectly stated he is a “mental defective” and demanded that he turn over all of his firearms on the spot. He is not a “mental defective,” and eventually got his guns back, but this should serve as a warning to us all.
Don Hall was sitting in his living room watching TV with his girlfriend about 9:30 p.m. earlier this year when he was startled by flashing police car lights in his driveway.
Hall met the Oneida County sheriff’s deputies in the driveway, worried that they were bringing bad news about a family member.
Instead, the deputies produced an official document demanding that Hall, a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran who is a retired pipefitter, turn over his guns to them on the spot. On the document Hall said he was described as “mentally defective.”
When Hall told police he’d never had any mental issues, Hall said, deputies told him he must have done something that triggered the order under the New York state’s SAFE Act.
The deputies left that night with six guns – two handguns and four long guns.
Hall, who lives in the Oneida County hamlet of Taberg, hired a lawyer and secured affidavits from local hospitals to prove he hadn’t been recently treated. At one point, he was told he’d have to get some of his guns back from a gun shop.
Eventually, his lawyer convinced a judge that authorities had him confused with someone else who had sought care and that his weapons should never have been seized.