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Letter to the editor

The article regarding the SAFE Act and gun confiscation on arrests for domestic violence left a big gap in the problems associated with the new law. It is correct that the Lautenberg Law is a federal law and prohibits possession of a firearm for anyone who has been convicted of a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence. It is even enforced if the conviction is discovered before the law was passed. The Ex Post Facto provisions are not germane to this law.

However, the SAFE act has enacted provisions that allows for abuse of the process. Since the SAFE Act was passed, anyone who has been accused of being involuntarily admitted to a hospital or had a social worker or certain medical professionals report that in their opinion, the person was a danger to themselves or others, the person is put in a process that makes them lose their right to possess firearms. They don’t get due process or confirmation by a qualified mental health professional to confirm the accuracy of the report.

The report, even if inaccurate, is reported to the FBI and the person is put on the federal NICS list and is denied the right to purchase or own any firearm. The damage is done and if those who have been cleared by a judge that the report was false or inaccurate, the state does not contact the FBI to correct the mistake.

Once the name in on the list, it is almost impossible to get off. It takes time and money for a lawyer to attempt to do so. The state will do NOTHING to correct their error. It is strictly up the victim of the false report. A false report of domestic violence can have the same disastrous result. A vindictive person with a false order of protection can do harm to a person who committed no crime. Without severe penalties for making false statements, this law can harm many innocent people while doing nothing to reduce “gun violence.”

Budd Schroeder
Chairman Emeritus SCOPE

Budd Schroeder