Navy Vet, Retired Cop Was Having Trouble Sleeping, NY Labels Him “Mental Defective,” Seizes His Guns
By Robert Gehl
A Navy veteran and retired police detective was judged a “mental defective” and had his firearms seized after he went to the hospital for insomnia.
Donald Montgomery, who lives on Long Island, is suing New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other state officials for violating his Constitutional Rights. Officials were operating under the state’s draconian “SAFE Act,” signed two years ago by Cuomo, which allows New York to confiscate weapons of anybody it deems mentally “defective.”
Montgomery – who had four handguns and a state handgun owners’ permit from New York – first went to his doctor back in May complaining of insomnia, resulting from a move to the state to be closer to his family.
A few days after the first visit and still unable to sleep, he went to the emergency room at a hospital in Long Island. He was diagnosed with depression and insomnia, given prescription medication and sent home.
Several days later, he returned to the hospital, still unable to sleep and voluntarily checked in for a 48 hours stay. The notes from his visits give no indication that Montgomery was “defective.” On the contrary, the notes read:
“Patient has no thoughts of hurting himself. Patient has no thoughts of hurting others. Patient is not having suicidal thoughts. Patient is not having homicidal thoughts,” the notes read.
A psychological assessment labeled him “mildly depressed,” but otherwise determined “there is no evidence of any psychotic processes, mania, or OCD symptoms.”
“Insight, judgment, and impulse control are good,” the assessment reads.
Somehow, though, the hospital listed him as having been “involuntarily” committed – and that’s where the state came in.
Four days after leaving the hospital, New York State police sent a letter to the Suffolk County clerk’s office stating “has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution” and that he was prohibited from possessing any firearms.
The next day, Montgomery received a call from an officer at the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department informing him that his guns would have to be confiscated.
Montgomery says that on May 30, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department showed up to his house and confiscated his pistol license and four handguns — Colt .38 revolver, Derringer .38, Glock 26 9mm, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380.
He is suing alleging violations of his Second, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
You can view the lawsuit here.