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VA won't follow New York gun law

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The Department of Veterans Affairs' VA Healthcare Network Upstate New York in Bath, N.Y. (Photo by Dept. of Veterans Affairs) The Department of Veterans Affairs' VA Healthcare Network Upstate New York in Bath, N.Y. (Photo by Dept. of Veterans Affairs)
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -

The federal Department of Veterans Affairs said its mental health professionals won't comply with a new gun law in New York that requires them to report the names of patients they believe likely to hurt themselves or others.

The reporting provision is set to take effect Saturday.

Several veterans and their advocates say it would deter many from seeking counseling and medications to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder or other psychological issues. Veterans fear their rights would be taken away.

Under the law pushed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the information would be used to determine whether someone should give up a gun license or weapon.

VA spokesman Mark Ballesteros said that federal laws protecting veterans' treatment records take precedence.

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