Insomnia Patient Sues New York After Police Confiscate Firearms

Well, it was bound to happen and it’s bound to continue to happen unless something is done about the draconian New York SAFE Act, the state’s sweeping gun control law enacted in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

What happened? A U.S. Navy veteran and retired police detective was stripped of his fundamental right to keep and bear arms after he voluntarily sought treatment at a local hospital for insomnia. That is correct. Insomnia. Not suicidal or homicidal ideations, but “Hey doc, I’m having trouble sleeping, do you have anything to help me with that?” was enough for police to confiscate his firearms.

Donald Montgomery, an upstate New York resident, moved to the area from another state to be closer to his family last spring. The move caused him to lose sleep, so he went to his primary care physician for treatment.

Montgomery was diagnosed with “Depression; Insomnia.” He was given a prescription for his ailment and was instructed to return if he continued to struggle sleeping.

On May 23, Montgomery returned to the doctor’s as the medication was not helping his insomnia. He ended up staying at the hospital for 48 hours.

While there, nurses noted that “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.”

A psychological evaluation found Montgomery to be “mildly depressed,” but went on to say that “there is no evidence of any psychotic processes, mania, or OCD symptoms,” and “Insight, judgment, and impulse control are good.”

According to the lawsuit, a psychiatrist at the hospital told Montgomery, “You don’t belong here” and “I don’t know why you were referred here.”

Yet, despite these findings Montgomery’s records were turned over to the Mental Hygiene Legal Service, which monitors those with mental health issues, and four days after his visit to the hospital state police sent a letter to the Suffolk County clerk’s office stating that the veteran and former police detective “has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been involuntarily committed to a mental institution” and was, therefore, not permitted to possess firearms.

On May 30, sheriffs from the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department showed up at his front door and seized his pistol license along with four handguns, “Colt .38 revolver, Derringer .38, Glock 26 9mm, Smith & Wesson Bodyguard 380.”

In September, Montgomery’s pistol permit was officially terminated. Now he’s suing the state, claiming that his Second, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated. In addition, he wants the judge to rescind the Mental Hygiene Law and the state to send letters to all individuals who have had their information collected.

Montgomery v. Cuomo

H/T Daily Caller

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Todd Lee February 2, 2018, 9:45 am

    This is concern for all Americans who believe in the Constitution and personal liberty. If politicians in one state can do this in their’s, it can happen anywhere as our society becomes more transient. Individuals with leftist, big government agendas get themselves elected at the local and state government levels where they relocate to. I have seen it happen here in Charlotte, NC where I have lived my entire life. It is gradual and insidious in it’s process.

  • Rollin Shultz December 29, 2017, 5:12 am

    Another example of how the state and the medical establishment both have too much control over our lives. Both must be put in their places. Also when asked by your doctor if you own any guns, say no or none of your business.

  • ejharb January 21, 2015, 7:38 pm

    1 more reason I’ll never set foot in that hellhole of putrid libtards and fools who think the tyranny wont bite them.

  • Willie January 12, 2015, 11:05 pm

    You’d think all that collusion to violate his natural rights would be like criminal conspiracy and fall under the RICO Act.

  • Scott January 12, 2015, 10:40 pm

    How many people who truly have mental disorders will think twice or better yet, not seek help for fear of losing their rights? Do the fruits who passed these laws truly think they are helping save lives? Seems that more will be at risk than saved because of these nonsensical laws.

  • Al January 12, 2015, 4:15 pm

    Clinically depressed cannot posess handguns? Wow. Another brazen, unconstitutional attempt to grab our guns! Next thing you know, they’ll ban ownership for those confined to psychiatric institutions. BTW, the article says “he returned to the doctors” but “ended up staying at the hospital for 48 hours”. Something major missing there in this version of the yarn.

  • Abner T January 12, 2015, 9:52 am

    Right on a par with California, which just put a law into effect whereby ANYONE can CLAIM that you are harassing them and, without any further proof, get a family law judge to issue a restraining order banning your possession of a firearm. It’s up to you, then, to prove your innocence versus your guilt.

    They can’t take guns legally from law-abiding citizens, so they make it financially unfeasible to fight the system. Been doing it through other venues for decades.

    Welcome to the new America…

    • Russ January 12, 2015, 3:21 pm

      Land of the Free handout and home of the Brave criminal.

  • JD II January 12, 2015, 9:03 am


  • mattitiude January 12, 2015, 7:56 am

    More than likely this would get settled out of court as I’m sure the State doesn’t want to take the stand and try to defend this “law” in front of a judge and more importantly the public. This was a late night, back door law and I’m willing to bet they want to keep it that way and would throw a decent amount of money at this poor guy and reinstate his “privileges” to drop the case. I hope that doesn’t happen as I would love to see this play out in court.

  • Rabbi Rich Zelling January 6, 2015, 3:18 pm

    I thought that confiscation law applied only to those who were COMMITED 0r sent to see a PSYCIATRIST by a JUDGE issuing a court order FORCING the person to do so. And NOT if you decided to see your doctor on your own . Dealing with New York would give any sane person a headache. I better never ever see Gov. Grease Ball or any of those boyfriends of his on that panel buying aspirin. If so they must have a headache, and according to there logic , they too must have a brain impairment . And I’ll bet you they too own guns, and won’t have to give them up like this poor ex Cop. They just don’t want anyone else than them to own a gun. NEVER EVER KEEP ALL OF YOUR GUNS IN ONE PLACE ! Scatter them in various places. They can’t get them all then .

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