WEBSTER, N.Y. -(Ammoland.com)- Civil rights attorney Paloma A. Capanna today blasted Governor Cuomo for discriminating against law-abiding gun owners through excessive reporting of patients to the FBI.
The statement was made immediately following the FBI release of the 2016 year-end statistics of reports voluntarily made by states to the FBI for inclusion in the “National Instant Criminal Background Check System” (“NICS”), a database of persons disqualified from firearms ownership, use, or possession in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
“In the past 12 months, Governor Cuomo has reported more than 80,000 residents of this State to the FBI for having been involuntarily committed to a mental institution,” says Capanna. “Out of the total of more than 460,000 persons reported since 2013, a few people across the state have somehow been targeted by the NYS Police for revocation of their handgun license and confiscation of their firearms. Every person I have represented to date in such a license hearing has proven to the satisfaction of the court that the report against them was false. This upsurge in reporting by Cuomo to the FBI is nothing more than opportunism to discriminate against law-abiding gun owners by fanning the flames of societal fear against people who voluntarily seek care and treatment.”
Capanna represents plaintiffs in federal, state, and local courts, fighting against systematic false reporting of “involuntary commitment” and additional reporting under the “SAFE Act.”
Among the decisions currently pending are the records, if any, of more than 2,000 individuals who submitted Freedom of Information Requests to the NYS Police for any records it may be harboring against them from medical providers.
Capanna previously won the case of Robinson vs. Cuomo for the release of the numbers of firearms registered under the “assault weapons ban,” including an award of attorney’s fees and costs against the state.
Oddly, the ATF annual report also shows that in eight other disqualifying categories, Governor Cuomo has not reported a single person to the FBI. The ATF report shows zero (“0”) reported felony convictions, zero persons under indictment, zero fugitives from justice, zero illegal aliens, zero who have renounced their U.S. citizenship, and zero who have committed a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
State reporting of disqualified persons to the FBI is voluntary. Since 2009, New York has received more than $13 million in federal funding under the “NICS Act Record Improvement Program,” more than any other participating state.
New York receives incentive money to report individuals as “involuntarily committed” and as having a restraining order issued against them. These are the only two categories of federal disqualification for which New York reports individuals to the FBI to include in the NICS database.
In addition, the NYS Police maintain a second, secret database on New Yorkers under Mental Hygiene Law §9.46. It is estimated that more than 200,000 reports have been made into that database, or, a total of more than 700,000 records between the two tracks of reporting.
This would mean that 3.7 percent or 1 out of 27 New Yorkers are housed in the NYS Police database under “mental health” allegations. The NYS Police have previously stated that they conduct no investigation into the veracity of the allegations.
Both types of reports originate from a medical provider. No notification is required to be given to the patient of the report being made, nor is the report required to be part of the patient’s medical record.
Neither is patient consent obtained for the transmission of their medical information to law enforcement, including any diagnosis and provider narrative.
Legislation called the “Civil Rights Restoration Act” is currently being discussed with Democratic and Republican Members of the State Legislature, according to Capanna.
“At the point we win notification to every man and woman in the secret NYS Police database, people will understand why I keep saying this civil rights scandal under Governor Cuomo will eclipse the McCarthy Era.”