Legal system fails another gun owner

A Mississippi man who spent time in a mental hospital and had his firearms taken away for “acting erratically” is now facing federal gun charges after a court order returned the weapons.

In March 2017, Steven Drew Montana was working as a welder for Ingalls Shipbuilding when he told an NCIS officer he thought someone was stealing from the property.

The officer thought Montana was experiencing “mental issues” and had him sent to a hospital where an AK-47 and Glock pistol were found in his car.

Police seized the weapons and Montana was sentenced to 10 days in a state hospital because guns are prohibited at Ingalls.

In December 2017, Montana went to police headquarters to ask for his guns back, saying doctors had cleared him, and according to court documents Pascagoula Police Capt. Shannon Broom allowed the firearms to be returned.

Montana came back to police headquarters in February 2018, to file a complaint alleging Ingalls security was following him and said that he knew details surrounding a murder that supposedly took place at the shipyard.

After the February complaint, Capt. Broom contacted Ingalls security and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Montana was arrested on Feb. 23 on federal gun charges despite a court order authorizing the return of the weapons.

Melvin G. Cooper, Montana’s defense lawyer, blamed “outrageous government” for committing a crime, not Montana, and has asked for all charges to be dropped.