Scary things are afoot in NY

Let’s say you received a letter in the mail from your state level law enforcement agency and said letter commands you to surrender any and all firearms in your possession to your local police department. You have no criminal record whatsoever and nothing, as far as you know, inhibits your legal right to own any firearms. What do you do? Well, one guy in NY found out what is going on. Upon receiving his letter, he contacted his attorney.

Apparently, the New York State Police have access to at least some citizens’ medical records. What they are doing is making a list of those people who have ever undergone some form of psychiatric care that included prescriptions for certain medications relating to the treatment of depression and anxiety.

I wish I was making this up. I wish this was the plot in some novel.

Some of you, no doubt, are thinking these medical records should be protected by HIPAA. However, again according to the story, this is the key part of that privacy law that applies.

A major goal of the Privacy Rule is to assure that individuals’ health information is properly protected while allowing the flow of health information needed to provide and promote high quality health care and to protect the public’s health and well being.

The emphasis on that last part is mine. See, the argument appears to be that the public’s health and well being may be in jeopardy if someone who was treated for depression or anxiety in the past now has access to firearms. Also, there is this portion of the New York SAFE Act.

The NY SAFE Act is designed to remove firearms from those who seek to do harm to themselves or others. This means keeping the minority of individuals with serious mental illness who may be dangerous away from access to firearms. This law should not dissuade any individual from seeking mental health services they need.

The question is, though, who determines which individuals are at risk for doing harm to themselves or others? Well, apparently, the answer in this case at least is the New York State Police.

Now, this doesn’t affect me because 1) I don’t live in New York and 2) I lost all my firearms in a tragic riverboat accident years ago. But, is this a sign of things to come in other states?

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

3 thoughts on “Scary things are afoot in NY”

  1. I see it as a blatant attempt to disarm the nation's largest security force, the US Veteran. So many have had the label PTSD slapped on their medical record, (and a lot deservedly so and deserve all the care the VA can give them and more), and will become needlessly debarred their 2A rights. After all, we have the head of DHS labeling us as homegrown terrorists already.

  2. Lost all of your guns in a tragic riverboat accident? It sounds like you already have your story set up for when the Gun Police come around to take yours 😉

    It will happen if Hillary gets in the WH in 2016. But I’ll be in Belize by then…

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