Albany, N.Y. (WKBW) - A large portion of gun owners, who may be deemed mentally unstable, won't be reported as required by the gun law in New York State. That is because the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs said it would not comply.
The law requires health care officials in New York to report anyone they deem unstable to authorities, which could prevent them from buying a firearm. Veteran Affairs officials said they wouldn't do it.
The VA follows federal, not state laws. This affects a large portion of New Yorkers, where there are nearly one million vets. There are several thousand here in Erie County.
Critics said this is another example of how this bill was passed through too quickly, without thorough examination.
"I don't believe there was enough time for the legislators to read what they were voting on. There was none of the 3-day waiting period that where the public can weigh in, give their concerns to their representatives, and the representatives can decide what to do, you know, based on that," Erie County Legislator Joseph Lorigo said.
Governor Cuomo's response to all of this is also creating controversy. He said the law leaves the decision of whether to report a patient up to the therapist. That actually contradicts language in the law, which clearly states therapists are required to report mentally unstable patients for a background check.
The VA does report patients to a federal background database but only those who are deemed incompetent to handle their own affairs.