Disabled 9/11 firefighter sues over confiscation of firearms collection

A retired firefighter is taking the Nassau County police to federal court to try to get his $100,000 firearms collection, confiscated after a call to his home last February, returned.

Marc Weinstein, a former New York City Fire Department member disabled following injuries received because of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, now occupies his time as a competition long-range rifle shooter.

In responding to a call to his home on Feb. 25, 2014, over a shouting match between Weinstein and his adult son over use of a washing machine in which there was no violence or threats of violence, Nassau County Police demanded that the former firefighter surrender his guns and pistol license under threat of arrest. Nearly a year later, and with no charges or court orders filed against him, Weinstein is suing the agency and county in federal court.

“We believe this case shows the disdain with which Nassau County and New York politicians in general hold the Second Amendment rights of their citizens,” Robert Bean, Weinstein’s attorney, told Guns.com Tuesday. “This is a policy run amuck. As the Supreme Court stated in Heller, the fact that possession of firearms is an individual constitutional right ‘takes certain policy choices off the table.'”

Bean advised that there has never been any domestic abuse in the household and no record of any.

According to court documents filed in U.S. District Court for Eastern New York in the case of Weinstein v. Krumpter, the plaintiff is suing the police chief and at least three of the officers who appeared at his house last February to collect his firearms. In doing so, he is seeking the return of his guns, valued at $100,000 and $2 million in compensatory and punitive damages in addition to ending what his legal team terms as a policy by Nassau County of confiscating all firearms in response to any domestic disturbance call.

Besides this, the lawsuit seeks that guns so collected in the future be returned within 10 days providing no court orders preclude it.

Bean argues that his plaintiff’s weapons were collected illegally without a warrant or probable cause, violating his rights against unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment. Further, since the plaintiff had to surrender his pistol permit and cannot possess a handgun without it due to local laws, he is being deprived of his Second Amendment rights as well.

This case comes only weeks after news that a U.S. Navy veteran and retired police detective is suing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state of New York after his firearms were confiscated under the new gun control laws following medical treatment for a sleep disorder. That case, also in federal court, is seeking to strike down the state’s new Mental Hygiene Law as being unconstitutional.