New York Woman Sues State Over Gun Confiscation

The SAFE Act’s biggest cheerleader, Gov. Andrew Cuomo. (Photo: PRWatch)

A woman from New York is suing the state because she never received legal counsel following the wrongful confiscation of her firearms in 2015.

Donna McKay checked herself into a hospital in April of last year when she suffered an anxiety attack after taking cold medicine. She was mistakenly placed on a list of people who had been involuntarily hospitalized, which, under New York’s SAFE Act, made her subject to firearm confiscation.

While the state eventually returned her property, she was forced to defend herself at the hearing and is still listed on the FBI’s list of people prohibited from purchasing firearms.

“No one facing federal and state disqualification from the ownership, use, and possession of firearms should represent themselves at a license hearing,” Paloma Capanna said in a prepared statement about the suit she has filed on behalf of Donna McKay.

According to the New York Law Journal, Yates County Court Judge W. Patrick Falvey said medical records clearly indicate that McKay voluntarily entered hospitalized care, circumstances that do not constitute “commitment.”

It’s unclear how McKay ended up on the wrong list, but Capanna hopes that future mistakes will be corrected more quickly. Her lawsuit requests an injunction that will require New York to provide legal representation in future gun confiscation cases as well as official notification to anyone who is up for a potential confiscation.

“I didn’t know anything about what was going on until I heard a knock at my door and multiple officers appeared to serve me with a court order for the confiscation of all of my firearms,” McKay said in a statement. “Without a lawyer, I would have permanently lost my Second Amendment rights to defend my children and myself and to hunt for the deer and turkey that we eat.”

Capanna calls the Second Amendment the “modern civil rights movement,” and encourages anyone who believes in the “right to a fair trial” to join her in lobbying at the New York Capitol on Jan. 9.

The right to an attorney is guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which mandates the “assistance of counsel” to all criminal defendants. While McKay was not being tried as a criminal, Capanna argues in the official complaint that a constitutional right should never be forfeited without the benefit of professional legal counsel.

“At risk in these hearings is the permanent loss of and federal disqualification from one’s fundamental rights under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution,” Capanna notes. “There is no other fundamental civil right that can be or is being extinguished in a like matter.”

“The Second Amendment is the modern civil rights movement.”

{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Mercury3298 January 5, 2017, 6:45 am

    I can guarantee you that if they come banging on my door and tell me they are here to confiscate my guns. Someone is gonna need an ambulance or the coroner. The state of New York is another Nazi run regime of the liberal democrat nut cases. I can’t believe the people of New York believe they are being represented. Talk about sheep being led to the slaughter house.

  • Don Richardson January 4, 2017, 11:48 am

    There are way, waaay too many lists, rules, orders, regulations and on and on which can make it difficult for one to exercise their second amendment rights. We must continue to push to make it clear that “Shall Not Infringe” actually means what it says. The best way to do this is to convert all of your friends, neighbors and relatives to being good gun owners and second amendment supporters. Stand up for your rights or you will lose them.

  • Patriot December 31, 2016, 3:52 pm

    For whatever reason, the majority of voters in New York, California and New Jersey, have a screwed up opinion of Second Amendment Constitutional rights. The voters are also screwed up and do not know how to elect the people that will restore Second Amendment Constitutional rights rather than try to take away Second Amendment Constitutional rights, such as Cuomo and Schumer. At this time, New York and California seem to be a lost cause and the people in other states do not believe New York and California are capable of returning to the American way of life. Many people in New York and California must be miserable living in a state that has voters who are not able to understand the situation of state government control and the politicians who have terrible judgement, such as Cuomo and Schumer, who are doing all they can do to insure their own good life at taxpayer expense and repression of Second Amendment Constitutional rights for the protection of honest citizens. I no longer have any confidence in the ability and effort of the people of New York and California to return to the American way of life. The people of New York seem to prefer the life Cuomo and Schumer have in mind for them.

  • skipNclair December 30, 2016, 9:38 pm

    There are three states you just do not want to live in, if your in one of them get the hell out, do you and your loved ones a giant favor. Nobody retires and moves to any of these three states, and that is what tells you if a state is not only good, but at least decent. So if people retiring do not wish to move to these three states, that must show or prove they are less then decent. The three states are Calif. New York, and New Jersey. Avoid them at all cost do not even become a tourist to one of them, never spend a dime in one when traveling through, and that includes fuel, make sure you have a full tank when you pass through.

  • Chris Baker December 30, 2016, 5:55 pm

    Just another reason to never ever register your weapons. We are all better off if the government doesn’t know who has weapons.

    • 2B or not 2B 2A January 2, 2017, 6:50 am

      I am somewhat confused about a registration. I purchased a S&W pistol over a year ago. As always, I read the handbook that came with the pistol. S&W urged me to register my firearm for safety, recall, etc via their website or to fill out and send in the registration letter via mail. I promptly went online and filled out the registration. Model number, serial number, purchase date, etc.
      Now my question is. Did I register my S&W firearm, thru S&W website, with the authorities or is this internal to S&W for safety recalls, etc? I did not register my other firearms after purchase (Ruger & Mossberg).

  • Joe mcHugh December 30, 2016, 2:50 pm

    I don’t think that this woman understands the reason for the recently passed, (Jan. 2013), New York Sate S.A.F.E gun law. Our Governor Andrew Cuomo, initiated this law to address our state crime rate, and he assured us that it would make a big difference in the that crime rate. Governor Cuomo stated that guns in the home cause tragic child accidents, and usually lead the eventual criminal activity by the wrongheaded state residents who insist on keeping their firearms.

    At last count, 146 different rifles and shotgun models have been found to be too dangerous under normal considerations. This list of guns was obtained from Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat from California. The governor’s staff was unsure about which firearms were dangerous, so they asked Senator Feinstein to assist with the identification.

    All rifles and shotguns on that list must be registered just like handguns. Example: If a person owns an AR15 type rifle it cannot be sold or even given to a family member. If the rifle owner dies, his estate must surrender the rifle to the New York State Police for destruction. Oh, and Governor Cuomo’s new S.A.F.E. gun law required a NICS clearance to buy a box of ammunition, including a box of (50) .22 caliber rimfire cartridges. Obviously, the state assembly and the state senate felt that people buying ammunition could be just as suspect as the people who purchase firearms.

    Governor Cuomo stated that one doesn’t need a gun for self defense in the home. He said that if we have time to retrieve a gun, we have time to dial 911. He also said that a home invader was just as likely to take the gun away from us and use it against us.

    I trust Governor Cuomo’s thinking in this matter, and I sold my .22 caliber bolt action rifle before the S.A.F.E. act became effective. My wife and I now feel much better about not having that gun in our house. We appreciate what Governor Cuomo is trying to do and we will vote to re elect him at the next election cycle.

    (sarc. sw. off)

    • Chris Baker December 30, 2016, 5:58 pm

      It’s laws like this and rulings like these that make it impossible for me to visit friends in New England, and New Jersey. I will not travel there. I will not purchase from vendors there. Until such time as the people get off their butts and kick these lying power hungry politicians out of office I won’t spend a penny there.

    • Bigdaddy61 December 30, 2016, 6:12 pm

      Lets see after you dial 911 how fast the police respond to your house .

    • Dr Memory December 30, 2016, 7:33 pm

      I feel much safer knowing people like you live in NY and I don’t.

      • Martin December 30, 2016, 10:56 pm

        I laugh wow, how can anyone defend craziness and political activists working to take all guns from LAW abiding citizens. So only the criminals have guns.
        Illinois has more guns laws than any state in the country and they have the worst record… Crims have more guns as they don’e care.
        Wake up.

      • Joe McHugh December 31, 2016, 8:25 am

        DrMemory, not all right thinking people like me live in New York State. People are always moving to other states and they never fail to vote for the candidates who promise to curtail the Saturday Night Specials flooding the streets of all American cities. We don’t need flintlock muskets to fight off the Indian savages, or to hunt for game for our dinner tables anymore.
        I mean, the grocery stores have all the meat you could possibly require.

        Assault weapons like the M-15’s have no place in American homes. These evil devices with bayonet lugs and flash hiders are just too dangerous looking. And why do you need a 50 round magazine to kill one rabbit?
        Our police forces are perfectly capable of providing the security that is needed against the criminal class. Thank goodness for the right thinking governors like our Andrew Cuomo. He understands the scourge that the private ownership of guns represents.

        The Second Amendment was only meant to enable the army troops to have muskets to defend civilians against the hostile Indian tribes. They are long gone and there is no need for guns, even in the hands of the policemen. Policemen have murdered too many minority group members to justify allowing them to carry such lethal devices. It is shameful that cities don’t weed out these homicidal maniacs with psychological tests, before these racists can become policemen.

        So DrMemory, remember my words, the politicians in your state will also see the wisdom of ridding your state of these awful instruments of destruction. It’s only a matter of time until all guns are gone and the criminal class will be unable to steal the poorly secured guns in the homes.

        (sarc. sw. off)

        • deanbob December 31, 2016, 2:48 pm

          Not everyone lives in a metropolitan area or city where the police can respond fast enough to prevent senseless violence against the homeowner. Do you advocate claw removal of lions/bears for killing or maiming in self defense ?

        • David5300 December 31, 2016, 8:55 pm

          Ever heard the axiom “When seconds count the police are just minuets way? ” or better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6 ” ??? I really don’t care if you think you can talk your way out of a situation with a irrational and hateful criminal who will have exquisite joy harming or killing everything you love . Just do have the common courtesy not to impose your obtuse belief system of values on the rest of us.
          Cuomo Really??
          The man is not even cognizant of his own existence.

        • Ng January 3, 2017, 9:51 am

          Lol. I thought this guy was serious until he called a magazine a magazine.

    • bison1913 December 30, 2016, 11:35 pm

      What’s the name of that bird… oh yea… dough dough bird!
      The only thing the 911 call is going to do for anyone is the police writing down the homicide report. Keep thinking the NOT so SAFE ACT is good for you!

    • retrocon December 31, 2016, 11:13 am

      Honestly, if you hadn’t hit the sarc switch at the end there, you had me convinced you were a far leftist loon!

      thanks for the laugh, filled in with some very informative truth about Cuomo.

      • Joe McHugh December 31, 2016, 5:56 pm

        retrocon, thanks for your appreciation. I try to inform the readers of some of the ridicules thinking of the anti-gun liberals.
        For the most part, these people are followers of the the liberal elite, who themselves promote the false political theory of socialism. I sometimes use role playing to make people think for themselves instead of relying on the “wisdom” of both the liberal elite and the Republicans in name only.

        The Second Amendment is about as straight forward as it gets. However, the Founding Fathers could have presented that inherent right in way that would defy argument.
        Example, instead of one concise sentence they could have wrote: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, shall not be infringed. The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” That would have prevented the anti-gun people from describing the prefactory clause as being a condition on the operative clause.

        But let’s consider the liberal argument that the intent of the Second Amendment was to only arm the military. In other words, our military troops would be marching around without rifles without the Second Amendment! In what country does the army need a special right to carry rifles?

        The majority opinion in the District of Columbia et al. v. Heller, June 26, 2008, included this statement: “…the Second Amendment extends, prima facia, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding.” In plain words, if you can pick up a fully automatic Browning Automatic Rifle, you can operate it as designed. The National Firearms Act, (N.F.A.) of 1934 recognized that right when it allowed the ownership of even operational belt-fed machine guns, once they are registered with the appropriate Federal department.

        Never the less, this topic involves what the individual states are doing about privately owned firearms. ALL ten amendments in the Bill of Rights have been incorporated into state codes. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of the United States has allowed the states to regulate, (read infringe on), gun ownership.I like to ask the anti-gun liberals a question.
        “If the Federal Government is prevented from abusing private gun ownership, what gives the states a right to do so?” The following silence is deafening.

    • Randy December 31, 2016, 12:26 pm

      How many people are killed each year by drunk drivers — probably far more than by firearms.
      Now, for those offenders, substitute “car” and “fuel” in place of “guns” and “ammo” above”. Have these same state officials ever considered that drastic course?
      Nope — the automobile and oil lobbies would never agree to that!

    • Daniel December 31, 2016, 4:18 pm

      That ain’t freedom.

    • DannyMac December 31, 2016, 4:19 pm

      What are you? Some troll from Cuomo’s anti gun crew.You feel “safer” without a gun in the house? Gun owners will just have their guns takin away from them by the perps and used against them.What a crock of bullshit!!Put a sign in your yard saying “I
      have no guns in my house” and when the boogie men break in and you dial 911 let’s see how long it takes the popo to get there.
      stupid fucker.

      • Joe McHugh January 2, 2017, 2:52 pm

        DannyMac, to answer your question, I am a person who thinks that guns have no place in our modern society. We should emulate England or Australia when it comes to gun laws. They are intelligent enough to understand that when guns eliminated, and thus kept out of the hands of the criminals, the innocent citizens enjoy a peaceful existence.

        Why can’t you understand that chances are that you will never be robbed by a criminal. Even if one confronts you, the best thing to do is give up your jewelry and cash, these things are not worth defending. Just submit to the demands and the criminal will go away with things that can be replaced. The worst thing that you could do is to resist the robber. You would force him to stab you with his knife in order for him to get your valuables.

        Guns are evil things that only lead to injuries and even your death. We would all be better off without firearms. The police in England don’t have guns and they seem to handle their violent criminals OK. We residents here in New York are thankful for the wise leadership in Albany that is working to eliminate guns from our streets and homes.

        (sarc. sw. off)

        • Robert January 3, 2017, 4:39 pm

          I hope when you sign (sarc. sw. off) it means you where being sarcastic

          In which case it …..should still be stopped.

    • Josh Melton January 1, 2017, 2:16 pm

      The first responder is always you. Calling 911 brings the second responders. Because you have this opinion, it’s okay to turn in your guns, but you have no right to take away the inalienable rights, identified in the Constitution, of others. Trying to deny others of their rights only incites and invites discord and violence.

      • Joe McHugh January 4, 2017, 6:11 am

        Josh Melton, yes, as I explained to retrocon, My posts ending with (sarc. sw. off), are tongue in cheek ploys to show how ridicules the anti-gun “thoughts” really are. I purposely set up easy to refute liberal statements so the other contributors can hit them out of the ball park.

        However, some of the readers who did respond were somewhat reluctant to use the flame-thrower as a retort as I often do when I am being serious about the subject of firearms. However, it is really futile to argue with liberals about guns in general. They either refuse to address the rational for the Second Amendment, or worse, they are unable to understand why the very existence of an armed populace is critical for the survival of a free society.

        As we know, the Second Amendment was not inscribed in the Bill of Rights for the purposes of target shooting and hunting game. It was created to enable the people to have a credible means to maintain their independence from a government that might abuse their inherent rights.

        Josh, I don’t own a gun, or have enough ammunition to re fight the landing at the Normandy beaches in WWII. So all of this discussion is an exercise in semantics for me. You believe that, don’t you? Oh, did I mention that the N.S.A. Department is still monitoring every Internet communication for “subversive” behavior?

  • RGE December 30, 2016, 2:25 pm

    I have to say that this will discourage people from seeking any medical treatment at any hospital anywhere for any disease precisely because bureaucrats will simply mischaracterize or miscategorize patients in order to confiscate their firearms.

    This is a dangerous precedent set by the state, and likewise under the US Government SSA rules, will discourage people from legitimately seeking medical help even though they are not in any way mentally unfit to own a firearm.

    Its almost as if the government wants people to die or become seriously injured rather than seek medical attention. Whatever happened to the doctor/patient privilege? Its evaporated under current regs. Under current regs the government mandates computerized and digitized records so they can track you.

    Basically speaking, America is no longer the land of liberty. It is the land of bureaucrats who are not elected but appointed and then self anointed to run our lives like Big Brother of Orwellsian lore.

  • Bobo December 30, 2016, 10:51 am

    Besides the taxes this is one reason I packed up and left NY years ago. What is funny I read about politician after politician being investigated or convicted.

  • Chastran December 30, 2016, 9:29 am

    I pray she is NY state’s worst nightmare….

  • Blasted Cap December 30, 2016, 8:54 am

    Kinda surprised they knocked.

  • OpenDemEyes December 30, 2016, 7:22 am

    ALL infringements upon law abiding citizens UNALIENABLE RIGHT to keep and bear arms are UNCONSTITUTIONAL and ILLEGAL. All remnants of those infringements need to cease to exist. Eliminate all of the “statutes” and regulations and all of the departments which enforce them.

    • retrocon December 31, 2016, 11:16 am

      Yup, but sadly, until we have a way to rally around our patriot peers, the “law” will still try to take our guns, and they will still our number us.

      We need a rallying spot to say “hey, i didn’t do anything wrong, and they are here to take my guns. ” Then, we have 100-200 armed neighbors show up immediately, stand behind the cops and demand the reasons for the confiscation. If the “reason” is unconstitutional (person showed up on some federal list, no other crimes or court convictions), we ask them to leave, nicely.

  • Lennon December 30, 2016, 2:52 am

    She needs to drag them through court and get them to pay court costs! If I didn’t live in Florida I would be there on Jan 9th! This is totally unacceptable, for them to just come in and take her guns because she went to the hospital. I hope she gets her day in court, can’t wait to hear what happens.

  • DRAINO December 29, 2016, 5:14 pm

    Good for her!!!! About time someone took these Libtards to court for taking peoples rights without cause. And she is right, there is no other right under attack like the 2A right.

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