AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - An Amherst man who had his guns taken away by the state is speaking out after the state admitted it made a mistake by suspending his pistol permit.
David Lewis is the man State Police deemed so mentally ill he was unfit to own a gun. They recommended to a state judge that the 34-year-old librarian's pistol permit be suspended and the judge signed the order.
Lewis turned his seven handguns in to Amherst Police. Lewis even got calls from State Police to make sure he gave up his guns that he uses for target practice.
"When you check your messages and you hear something like that? Oh it is intimidating, that is for sure. You don't hear that stuff, I am wondering what they want with me," Lewis said.
Then State Police determined they had the wrong man. They were looking for a different David Lewis and now the judge has rescinded David's suspension, but he still doesn't have his guns.
"But I have been embarrassed in front of my family, my friends, my co-workers, the local police. I really feel like I was let down in this matter," Lewis said.
State Police blamed the identity mix-up on Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs, saying it was the clerk's job to find the right person and that revoking or suspending a pistol permit rests solely with the County. State Police have no authority to suspend or revoke a pistol permit.
Lewis's attorney Jim Tresmond suspects State Police are just using the new SAFE Act to pry into confidential medical records.
"That's backwards. Chris Jacobs and his office have no investigatory ability to investigate any person that the State Police identify," Tresmond said, echoing what Jacobs told News 4 in a prior interview.
Tresmond also claims State Police have lined up a special unit to circumvent federal HIPAA laws to pry into gun owners' medical records, which State Police deny.
Amherst Assemblyman Ray Walters is among state lawmakers who are demanding answers from top brass at the State Police.
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