New York Dem’s Bill Would Let ‘Anyone Who’s Concerned’ Have Your Guns Confiscated

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A New York state assemblyman is pushing to allow “really anyone who’s concerned” to temporarily deny even law-abiding citizens access to guns. 

Democratic assemblyman Brian Kavanagh of Manhattan announced legislation last week that would let anyone bring law-abiding citizens into court for a temporary order to either confiscate their guns or prevent them from buying any firearm in the first place. The bill would force citizens to defend themselves to a court of law even if no charges have been filed against them.

“This is a bill that would permit family members or friends or medical professional or law enforcement or really anyone who’s concerned that somebody having access to guns poses a serious danger to go to a court and present evidence of that, and if the court were persuaded, they would be able to issue a temporary order preventing the person from acquiring or possessing guns,” Kavanagh said, according to New York public radio WAMC.

“The person who is the subject of the order would then have an opportunity to appeal that decision,” after the court has taken away their firearms due to someone else’s concerns.

Kavanagh said that his proposal would balance “the needs of individual and communities to feel safe” with “the fact that we’re aware people have rights to possess guns in some circumstances.”

Currently in New York, people with concerns about whether someone is dangerous to society can contact law enforcement, who are then able to determine if it’s a threat worth pursuing or not. But Kavanagh wants to send anyone — legitimately concerned family, well-intentioned busybodies or even abusive reporters — to be able to send gun-owners straight into the court system.

“The legislation is redundant,” New York State Rifle and Pistol Association president Tom King said about Kavangh’s proposal. “It’s a typical election year, election time piece of legislation that’s not going to do anything to make anybody safer.”

Kavanagh’s bill is modeled after a California law which allows for confiscation of guns from those with “anger issues” or who are “temporarily depressed,” according to the blog Mental Recession. But in New York, those terms are not legally defined and could lead to mass confusion if courts were forced to hold hearings on anyone accused of being unstable.

Even well-intentioned mistakes could lead to miscarriages of justice. One incorrect 911 call recently led to 22-year-old John Crawford III’s death. A bystander reported to police that Crawford was carrying a gun (it was a toy rifle) and pointing it at children (he wasn’t) in a Wal-Mart before police charged the store and shot Crawford to death. (RELATED: Witness In Fatal Wal-Mart Police Shooting Changes His Story)

And as with any law, Kavanagh’s proposal would be open to abusive reports as well. National Review reported just last week that fringe-element gun control activists condone lying to police about whether someone who is legally carrying a gun is threatening or dangerous.

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