Walter Investigates Illegal Seizure of Firearms

    Assemblyman Ray Walter (R,C,I-Amherst) is investigating the forced forfeiture of firearms and wrongful suspension of the pistol license of local Amherst resident David A. Lewis. Walter reached out to Mr. Lewis to offer his assistance with regard to this very troubling matter. Walter has also contacted Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs as well as State Police Superintendent Joseph D’Amico to discover exactly how Mr. Lewis’ constitutional rights were clearly violated. A meeting between Walter and Superintendent D’Amico has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 16.

     “What happened to Mr. Lewis is deeply troubling and there is no mistake that he has been victimized. Not only was he forced to surrender his belongings to police, but his private medical records have become public in all of this,” said Walter. “I have spoken with Mr. Lewis’ attorney to offer my assistance and assure them that I am doing everything within my power to get to the bottom of this issue.”

     Mr. Lewis, a college librarian, was wrongfully identified by the State Police and the Erie County Clerk’s office as someone who, under the new mental health provisions of the NY SAFE Act, was not allowed to own firearms. He was incorrectly identified as someone who had a mental illness and could be a danger to himself or others, and as a result, he was forced to forfeit his firearms and his pistol permit was suspended on April 1. Now, his permit has been reinstated, and his belongings will be returned shortly, but as a result of all this, Mr. Lewis’ medical history has also been made public, a clear violation of his rights as a citizen.

     “Whatever your opinion is about the SAFE Act, the fact that this incident took place is deeply upsetting. A law-abiding citizen had his possessions taken from him and this is exactly what we were assured would not happen. When I meet with Superintendent D’Amico, I plan on reviewing procedure with regard to the SAFE Act, ask exactly how this incident occurred, and how we can make sure this never happens again.”



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