Court upholds right to due process hearing over seized guns
By Chris Eger
The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals this week said a New York woman who had her firearms picked up by the local sheriff five years ago should be granted a hearing to get them back.
The decision involves Christine Panzella who had her guns seized while she was the subject of a protective order filed by her ex-husband. Now with the order out of effect since 2013, the Nassau County Sheriff’s Department says she can’t get them back without a hearing. This week a three-judge panel upheld a lower court’s decision on appeal and unanimously said there is no apparent reason why she shouldn’t receive a hearing to get her firearms returned by the agency.
Five days after her ex-husband filed a protective order in New York Family Court against Panzella in June 2012, deputies arrived at her home to deliver it and in the process seized her pistol license along with two rifles and three shotguns, although the court did not specifically order their confiscation. The guns were locked up in the armory of the Nassau County Correctional Center, where they remain.
The temporary order expired and her ex eventually withdrew the filing in March 2013, leading county officials to return