State Police: SAFE Act Mixup Not Our Faultby Jon Campbell Gannett News Service April 12, 2013
State Police say they aren't to blame for a mixup that led to the suspension of an Erie County man's pistol permit, suggesting fault should lie with county officials.
A quick refresher: David Lewis, a 35-year-old college librarian, was told by the Erie County clerk's office to surrender his pistol permit under the SAFE Act's mental-health provision<http://polhudson.lohudblogs.com/2013/04/11/safe-act-mistake-leads-to-pistol-permit-seizure/>. But Lewis had only been prescribed anti-anxiety medication, and Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs (pictured) said State Police had made a mistake and was to blame for the mixup. Now, State Police are firing back, saying that the final decision of whether to revoke a pistol permit comes from county officials. Here's the agency's full statement: "The SAFE Act requires mental health professionals to file notification when a medical professional determines that an individual he or she is treating is at risk to themselves or others. Medical prescription records are strictly private and not shared with the state, and no firearm license would ever be revoked for an anti-anxiety prescription. "The notification forwarded to the Erie County Clerk's Office required additional follow-up before a positive identification of a person at risk to themselves or others became final. The State Police was very clear in its letter to the Clerk's Office regarding the need for due diligence and the need for a positive identification by the County before they removed any weapon. "The final determination on whether to revoke or suspend a pistol permit license rests solely with the County and the licensing officials. The State Police has no authority to suspend or revoke a pistol permit in these circumstances."