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Amherst man wrongly identified under SAFE Act

WBFO News file photo

New York State Police admitted they wrongly identified a local person under the state's new gun control law.  Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs tells WBFO News State Police told an Amherst resident to surrender his pistol permit under the SAFE Act's mental health reporting rule. "The state has made a mistake, and a big mistake," said Jacobs. 

Jacobs said the Clerk's office had previously received correspondence from the State Police that a pistol permit holder in Erie County had a mental health condition that "made them a potential harm to themselves or others."

But Jacobs said on Wednesday afternoon he received a voice mail message from the State Police saying it made a mistake.

Jacobs calls it a "real problem" and he believes this is another critical flaw in the new law. 

"If we can not rely on the validity, accuracy and due diligence by State Police and Division of Criminal Justice, we are going to have a real problem," said Jacobs. 

Local media has identified the resident as 35-year-old David Lewis. His attorney said Lewis has been on an anti-anxiety drug. 

"We do apologize, but we really need the state to step up and take ownership of the mistake and look into the process and procedures they have so it doesn't happen again," said Jacobs. 

A judge is expected to reinstate the pistol permit Thursday.