A Rockland County man surrendered 3 handguns, 3 rifles, a shotgun and shooting accessories to the sheriff’s department pursuant to a temporary order of protection as he went through a divorce in early 2002. When he returned to claim his property in mid-2006 he learned that his property had been destroyed. Last week the appellate division of the court overturned the previous judgement that the property had been legally destroyed. In the decision the court ruled that the shotgun, rifles and shooting accessories were illegally destroyed because they were not considered “firearms” as defined in penal code 265.00. The plaintiff conceded that the handguns were legally destroyed. The decision also states that the Sheriff’s department is open to suit and not exempt by immunity because the department had a policy allowing illegal destruction of property.
The full text of the decision is available here.