Tag Archives: concealed carry

Illinois to allow concealed carry

concealed carry in IllinoisThe land of Lincoln will finally join all other U.S. states in allowing its citizens to carry concealed handguns after the Illinois legislature overrode a Governor’s veto by a wide margin.

The State Senate voted 41-17 to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s ill-conceived and unconstitutional veto of an earlier bill allowing citizens to carry handguns outside of their homes. The House  voted 77-31 to override Gov. Quinn.

While Quinn favors such provisions as not allowing concealed handguns in any restaurant that serves any alcohol, such as Applebee’s or TGI Friday’s, the override gave the legislature the ability to hammer out provisions that allow carry into any establishment that earns 50% or less of its revenue from alcohol.

The law allows anyone with a Firearm Owner’s ID to purchase a concealed handgun permit for $150 provided they pass a background check and attend 16 hours of firearms training.



IL Rep Mike Bost erupts over change in Concealed Carry bill

Illinois State Rep. Mike Bost goes ballistic on the Illinois House Floor, outraged that Democrats tried to sneak in an Amendment to the Concealed Carry Bill

“…your side of the aisle keeps trying to make ploys instead of dealing with the real issue. Keep playing games!”

A Democrat Replies:

“We don’t want someone like that carrying a concealed weapon.”

From Conservative Videos:

In the end, House members voted 76-31 against a proposal, pushed by Chicago-area Democrats, that would have allowed county sheriffs and other government officials to weigh in on whether a person should be allowed to have a concealed-carry permit. The “may issue” proposal, House Bill 831, was modeled after a highly restrictive New York gun law.

Armed robber shot by intended victim in Arizona

Another attempted mugging ended with the criminals being shot and the intended victim coming away unharmed thanks to concealed carry laws.

The suspects were informed were informed by Yuma Justice of the Peace Greg Stewart that there were each being held on in allegations of attempted murder, armed robbery and aggravated assault. The victim has so far been held harmless in for defending himself.

Prosecutor William Katz told the court that “The victim was in town visiting a family member and was standing outside a residence when he was approached by two males. They demanded his wallet, when he didn’t comply, they demanded his wallet again. It was at that point that they brandished a weapon and [the victim] took out his own .45-caliber weapon. Refusing to be a victim, he fired and struck one of the assailants in the neck.”

According to reports, the intended victim had a legally concealed firearm and is likely to be uncharged in the case.

The victim was neither shot nor otherwise injured in the attempted robbery. He is also in full possession of his wallet and its contents.

The suspect who was shot is being treated for a life-threatening gunshot wound.

Missouri Law Enforcement Shared Gun Owners’ Private Information With Feds

The NRA has long held the belief that universal background checks and the retaining of even more information could lead to a national registry of gun owners. Now, the Missouri Highway Patrol may have proven the firearm advocacy group’s fears to be well-founded.

On Thursday, the Missouri State Highway Patrol admitted that it has provided a list of Missouri concealed gun permit holders to a federal investigator – an acknowledgement demonstrating the dangers of even more invasive gun laws.

The list was provided on computer disks to a federal investigator looking into Social Security fraud. The investigator was unable to read the disks and ended up destroying them.

Gun right's advocates protest

Courtesy of Marc Langsam

Although the federal government never used the information, the fact that gun owner data was given to authorities not specifically investigating a gun crime shows that the NRA’s fears are not unfounded. Any time the federal government asks, they can get a list of who owns guns – a move gun rights advocates see as a mere shuffle-step from confiscation.

Highway Patrolman Ron Replogle testified to a State Senate committee that the investigator requested a list of Missouri’s concealed firearm permit holders to determine if there were any on the list claiming to be mentally ill. The link would allow the federal government to establish that the permit holder was illegally in possession of such a permit or not actually disabled.

Several in the Missouri State Senate have expressed outrage. Sen. Dan Brown (R – Rolla) exclaimed that the debacle was “a big breach of public trust.” Sen. Kurt Schaefer (R – Columbia)  believes that the sharing of the entire database “crosses the line between law enforcement activity to profiling through intelligence gathering.”

This most recent admission of feeding private citizens’ information to the federal government comes after Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (Dem) found himself defending the disclosure of Missourian’s Driver’s License information being given to the Department of Revenue. “This state of Missouri is not collecting a bunch of unuseful data to send to some sort of magical database someplace to mess with people. It’s not happening.”

Now the Missouri State Highway Patrol may be unraveling the beleaguered Democratic Governor’s statements and adding foundation to the fears of gun owners and rights advocates nationwide.

In Deep with Michelle Ray – 8/2

When: Thursday, August 2nd, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.

Tonight:Civil liberties advocate and Calguns Foundation volunteer, Gray Peterson, joins me to talk Second Amendment education, and maybe a little chicken.

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on Blog Talk Radio

In Deep with Michelle Ray – 7/12

When: Thursday, July 12th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: In Deep with Michelle Ray on Blog Talk Radio

What: Join Social Media Director of ConservativeDailyNews.com, Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) as she discusses the issues that impact America.

Tonight: 33 votes to repeal Obamacare, the NAACP Shootout between Biden and Romney, and guest Brandon Combs (@combs_brandon on Twitter) of CAL-FFL(http://www.calffl.org/), Calguns Foundation (http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/) and CRPA ( https://twitter.com/CRPAnews) joins me to discuss campus concealed carry.

Man With Concealed Carry Permit Stops Attacker

Guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens can be used to save lives. On Thursday, April 26, 2012, we got more proof.

An attacker bought the knife inside a local market in Salt Lake City, UT, then stabbed one man in the side of the head and another person in the stomach. The attack took place in the market parking lot. A bystander with a concealed carry permit witnessed the attack and stepped in to keep it from escalating. The bystander was suspicious of what might be going on, and when he saw the stabbing, he just drew his pistol and challenged the individual, which caused the attacker to lie down on the ground. By the time police officers arrived on the scene, the attacker was subdued and is now in custody.

The knife wielding man seriously injured two people. Then, before the attacker could find another victim, a citizen with a gun stopped the madness. “A guy pulled gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him,” said market employee Dorothy Espinoza. The attacker dropped his weapon and the people from the market grabbed him.

Police had high praise for gun carrying man who ended the hysteria. “This was a really volatile situation that could have gotten even worse,” Salt Lake City Police Lt. Brian Purvis said. “(The bystander) was definitely in the right place at the right time.”

But that’s just my opinion.

Cross-posted at RWNO, my personal web site.

Crime, Guns, and the Second Poorest Congressional District in the Nation

When Michelle Ray posted a story about the Top 100 most dangerous places to live in the USA, I saw that the 1st Congressional District of Pennsylvania was well-represented. The GOP candidate for that District, John Featherman, was previously featured here for a campaign ad starring a naked woman.

Crime Scene

Alan Cleaver (CC)

Campaign stunts and shocking videos aside, Featherman is facing an uphill battle not only to get into office, but also to bring attention to a much-neglected area in Eastern Pennsylvania. The 1st District encompasses Chester, the city that took second place on that list of dangerous places. The Philadelphia region in general is no picnic, and has a long history of political shenanigans and graft. In spite of stricter gun laws in the area, obviously based on that list, crime levels are high. But, as conservatives, we already know that gun laws do nothing to prevent gun crimes.

Philadelphia policemen are so used to the concept of criminals carrying around weapons, that they simply don’t know how to deal with law-abiding citizens carrying sidearms in the open. What is particularly disturbing, beyond police not knowing gun laws, is that at least some of them think it’s a bad idea for non-criminals to walk the streets armed.

At least Featherman has a clue about what the problem is on the streets in his District. “As a former columnist for the NRA, I encourage all women concerned about their personal safety to explore, educate and train themselves in firearm safety,” he stated. Now, to be fair, he was addressing the issue with me in mind. I have no doubt that if I pressed him about what law-abiding men should do, his answer would be roughly the same.

“Chester is one of the most financially distressed municipalities in the nation. It contributes to the 1st Congressional District being the 2nd poorest in the nation,” Featherman explained. “If I were the Congressman there for 14 years — 8 terms — and I made no improvement, I would hang my head in shame. Bob Brady has failed the district and is responsible for much of the continued crime and poverty.” Brady has enjoyed the support of Democrat dominated constituency that obviously hasn’t learned the definition of insanity – they apparently keep expecting a different outcome each time they re-elect him. Featherman is a long-shot at best in this District, so it’s likely that Chester will remain on lists of the most crime-ridden cities in the nation. But who knows? Maybe the people will figure out that things won’t change as long as they keep voting the same people back into office.

The only thing George Zimmerman didn’t do is play lacrosse.

Vultures fly in to feast on the carcass of Trayvon Martin

Neighborhood Watch celebrity George Zimmerman graduated from a high school not too far from where I live in Virginia. I certainly hope he made it to the 10–year reunion of the Osbourn Park Class of 2001, because it doesn’t look like he’s going to be attending many in the future.

Not that Zimmerman is necessarily guilty of anything, but after one has been processed by the MSM’s reputation shredder, the thought of appearing in public and defending yourself for the umpteenth time is not appealing.

Particularly when the President joins the race–baiters and says, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” Well, Mr. President, if your mother had married a Mexican instead of a Kenyan you would have looked like George. So what?

If only Zimmerman — a Spanish speaker registered as a Democrat — had been marching in a La Raza protest or a Mexicans Without Borders demonstration. Then national Democrats, including the President, would be happy to claim him as their own. But when George made the mistake of getting a concealed carry permit and dabbled on the fringes of law enforcement, Zimmerman became a “white Hispanic” member of the conspiracy designed to keep the black man down.

Why couldn’t Zimmerman have been like those progressive employees at the Apple store in Bethesda, MD. When they heard a woman screaming in the yoga store next door, they had the decency to mind their own dang business. You didn’t see them barging in on what might have been a private matter. They didn’t even tie up valuable public resources by calling 9–1–1.

Wait, maybe that’s a bad example. Jayna Murray died after being stabbed 330 times.

In Zimmerman’s case, there actually was crime in the area he volunteered to patrol. Police records show there were eight burglaries, nine thefts and one shooting in the prior year. Cynthia Wibker, secretary of the homeowner’s association, observed, “He once caught a thief and an arrest was made. (Zimmerman) helped solve a lot of crimes.”

A rule of thumb to remember in these “white Hispanic” vs. black controversies is the first lawyer to get in front of a TV camera is lying. Benjamin Crump and Natalie Jackson, the Martin legal brain trust, prove my point.

Begin with the photo of an angelic Trayvon wearing a red shirt. It’s a great picture, but he was 14 when it was taken. Trayvon was 17 when he was shot, almost 6’ 3” tall and weighed about 150 lbs. He also boasted tattoos, a gold mouth grill and went by the Twitter ID of “@NO_LIMIT_NIGGA.”

Martin was in the neighborhood visiting his father because he was serving his third suspension from high school. This time for possession of a marijuana pipe and an empty baggie with traces of drugs. In October, Martin had been found with 12 pieces of women’s jewelry and a “burglary tool,” but was suspended for a graffiti offense.

Once this information came to light, Martin’s mother complained, “They killed my son and now their trying to kill his reputation.” Which means it’s okay to demonize Zimmerman, but Trayvon should remain beyond reproach.

In lie number two, Crump declares, “We have to maintain over and over and over again that Zimmerman is the aggressor.”

George may have been an annoying busy–body, but he was not the aggressor. Zimmerman left his SUV to follow Martin on foot, but lost sight of him. George had turned around and was walking back to his vehicle when Trayvon sucker–punched him, breaking his nose and knocking him down. Martin jumped on top of Zimmerman and began smashing his head into the sidewalk.

During the assault there was a struggle over the gun holstered at Zimmerman’s waist and Martin was shot and killed.

This brings us to lies three and four. Jackson says, “You hear a shot, a clear shot then you hear a 17-year-old boy begging for his life then you hear a second shot.” There was only one round fired and Martin wasn’t yelling for help either. He was too busy slamming Zimmerman’s head on the sidewalk, which produced a cut requiring stitches.

The person yelling for help was George.

Although the Martin legal team has proven they are quite capable of prevaricating on their own, they get help from the media. Early stories claimed the dispatcher told Zimmerman not to follow Martin. What he actually said was, “Okay, we don’t need you to do that.” This is not a command and barely qualifies as a suggestion, but that’s not how the story was covered.

Zimmerman, like the Duke lacrosse players, now has the media baying for his blood and as a result a majority of the public believes he should be arrested. But none of that changes the fact that if Trayvon Martin hadn’t punched George Zimmerman in the nose, he’d be alive today.

Martin/Zimmerman: Fuel For The Democrat Attack Machine

Recently, the Huffington Post Enquirer ran a post regarding the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, entitled Trayvon Martin Case: ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law At Center Of Shooting. The unwritten implication of this article is that enhanced self-defense laws, such as Florida’s, grant protection to murderers.

The left have already begun spinning this killing into an attack on Republicans. Note, for instance, MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski making a sloppy attempt to connect this shooting to Rush Limbaugh. Jay at The Right Sphere reports Media Matters has already begun spinning this tragedy for political points in a number of posts.

Let’s debunk the assertion that Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law somehow protected Zimmerman. To do so, we need to examine the 2006 changes to Florida’s Justifiable Use Of Force law, specifically, the portion contended here- Zimmerman’s immunity from criminal prosecution:

776.032 (1) A person who uses force as permitted (…) is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force (…) As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

Stated in plain English, Florida requires police officers to establish probable cause before arresting someone for using force in self-defense. This is a far cry different from HuffPo’s claim:

The Florida law lets police on the scene decide whether they believe the self-defense claim. In many cases, the officers make an arrest and leave it to the courts to work out whether the deadly force is justified. In this case, however, police have said they are confident they did the right thing by not charging 28-year-old George Zimmerman.

The failure, then, isn’t with the “Stand Your Ground” law- a point which even Al Sharpton concedes- but with the failure of Sanford police to thoroughly investigate the shooting. The recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call alone debunks his self-defense claim. From Doug Mataconis’ excellent article:

The police on the scene appear to have reached the conclusion that Zimmerman shot Martin in self-defense, but the 911 calls from that night raise some doubt about just how much danger Zimmerman was actually in, and the extent to which he may have pursued Martin despite being told by a 911 operator not to do so.

Rep. Dennis Baxley, the author of the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, wrote this op-ed for FOX News, summing up the issue thus:

Mr. Zimmerman’s unnecessary pursuit and confrontation of Trayvon Martin elevated the prospect of a violent episode and does not seem to be an act of self-defense as defined by the castle doctrine. There is no protection in the “Stand Your Ground” law for anyone who pursues and confronts people.

The “pursue and confront” phrase is especially applicable here: While Florida has a very well-written and well-articulated law on self-defense, it is one of the few states which has no statute authorizing private persons to use force to pursue and arrest fleeing criminals. Even if Florida did authorize this use of force, however, Zimmerman still wouldn’t be justified, because Martin had committed no crime.

The anti-gun crowd, however, never let facts or the law stand in the way of their political agenda.

This law, championed by Republicans and vilified by Democrats, was contentious when it was passed in Florida in 2006; now there’s a murdered boy, and a wrongful claim of self-defense. This is an election year, and the Democrat attack machine feeds on accusations that Republicans are “bitter clingers” and racists.

Take this for what it is: the Democrat attack machine working to make all Republicans look like George Zimmerman’s accomplices and enablers.

Remembering Dr. King's Struggle Against Gun Control

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Like every year, there will be discussion of his life and achievements. I wish to tell a different story: the story of his struggle against racist gun control laws.

Dr. King, who was a registered Republican, kept guns at home for self-defense. He applied for a permit to carry a handgun, but was denied by authorities in Alabama. Like most states at the time, Alabama had a “may-issue” carry permit system, which allowed authorities to deny a permit for any articulable reason. These gun control laws, in the South, constituted the first Jim Crow laws. As Justice Clarence Thomas noted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Heller decision, the original intent of the 14th Amendment, passed during Reconstruction, was to guarantee First and Second Amendment rights- and the natural right of self-defense– to newly-freed black people. I noted the irony of Herman Cain, a black man who lived during Segregation, making a “states’ rights” argument about gun control antithetical to this cause.

There is another gun control issue which must be raised, in relation to Dr. King. In order to understand it, one must understand the extraordinary lengths black people had to go to in order to acquire firearms in that time period. Few dealers were willing to sell firearms to blacks; among those few were pawnbrokers, who also commonly sold firearms in that time period. Since much of their clientele was black (pawning was generally the only source of credit for blacks back then), pawnbrokers were more amenable to selling guns to them.

For black families who didn’t have access to an agreeable pawn shop dealer, the options for buying guns were very limited: Finding a sympathetic white person to act as a strawman to buy guns for them; pooling money with other families to travel to a gun store in a Northern state; or by mail order.

All of these activities were prohibited by the Gun Control Act of 1968. This act instituted an exceptionally restrictive licensing scheme for gun dealers- a scheme which required a special license to act both as a gun dealer and pawnbroker; it banned the interstate transfer of firearms except between licensed dealers; and it banned mail-order, out-of-state, and straw man purchases.

An historical point must be noted here: The assassination of Dr. King fueled the passage of the ’68 GCA. Let me state that again: Dr. King’s assassination was used as political ammunition to pass a gun control law intended to frustrate black people from buying guns for self-defense.

The history of gun control laws is a history of racism and bigotry. I note that in my home state of New York, the Sullivan Law– named for the megalomaniac mob-boss Timothy “Big Tim” Sullivan, the most corrupt of Tammany Hall Democrats- crafted a law in 1911 to prevent Italians, Jews, and Eastern European immigrants from getting a handgun license. The two years following the passage of the Sullivan Act were as bizarre as the law he crafted: He suffered from tertiary syphilis, was committed to an insane asylum, escaped, and died from being severed in half by a train.

Gun control advocates- mainly Democrats- generally ignore both the bigoted origins of gun control laws, and the bizarre personalities of politicians who endorse them. Let’s remember this today, when we celebrate Dr. King: A registered Republican, a gun owner, a champion of human rights, and a good and decent man who was denied the right to defend himself from a murderer.

NY Assemblyman Brian Kolb On CCW


Earlier this week I posted a story about the possibility of concealed carry reciprocity coming to New York.

What follows is my conversation with New York Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua). We discussed CCW reciprocity and gun owners’ rights. I have attempted to faithfully reproduce it from a problematically-connected phone conversation into a readable text.

Me: The New York Post quoted you in favor of leniency for Meredith Graves, who was arrested in New York City for handgun possession but has a carry permit in Tennessee. The same article said Sheldon Silver is forming a committee to explore changes to the pistol permit law to give leniency to permit holders from other states who bring handguns here. Question: Can you clarify what’s being discussed: Is it a reduction in sentence for out of state permit holders found with a handgun, or would it be a law allowing out-of-state permit holders to legally carry handguns in New York?

BK: My personal preference is that we recognize registered permit holders throughout the country in this state, in other words, if they have a permit for a certain handgun that they’re carrying as long as they match that there’d be no penalty, that they’d be recognized just as if they have a license or permit in New York State. I don’t know what the Speaker (Silver) has in mind in terms of his thought process, because quite frankly, traditionally, the Assembly Democrat Conference has been what I call an ‘anti-gun-owner’ crowd in terms of legislation, so I find it interesting that he’d be open-minded to having a committee, but I’d hope they’d explore every avenue and not just having a different sentence if you’re carrying a registered firearm and have a permit in another state.

Me: Can you tell me your observations about the ‘mood’ of the state government with regard to relaxing gun laws? Do you see support among other elected representatives to make New York gun laws more permissive?

BK: Well, certainly there are some of us in both houses of the legislature that want obviously common-sense gun laws. The problem is, every year in the Assembly they propose a litany of what I commonly refer to as “the gun package”, which is a series of laws that really restrict and penalize law-abiding gun owners, rather than focusing in on what I would call “true illegal” criminal use of firearms, and every new bill that is proposed is going to really have an impact on the law-abiding gun owner versus the criminal, which I think is crazy (laughs) or ridiculous. And now, for the last two years and we’re having my third year, our conference sponsors a sporstmans’/sportswomens’ outdoor legislative awareness day, where we bring in speakers such as Wayne LaPierre and others right into the legislative office building, and we have programs and remarks by a variety of pro-gun advocates, and we’re trying to bring more- what I’ll call- legitimate political pressure to the New York State legislature to have more reasonable and common-sense law on the books, and not just looking to put something on that looks good but does nothing to solve a crime or prevent a crime.

Me: Several weeks ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 822, the ‘National Right-To-Carry Act”, which would make interstate reciprocity a federal mandate. Question: Do you support a federal reciprocity mandate, or do you believe reciprocity should be left to state governments to decide?

BK: My preference is that it’s done at the federal level, because every state has to abide by it, and then you don’t have to worry about the persnicketyness of an individual state legislature or governor, so if the Feds do it that’s wonderful because all 50 states are following the same law and you don’t have to check online what one state does versus another, but if the federal government is not going to do it, then I’ll continue to push in New York State to at least have a reciprocal permit law that we recognize other states that have (carry licenses).

Me: In some counties in New York, pistol permits are typically issued ‘restricted’, meaning they are only valid for activities such as hunting and target shooting and not valid for concealed carry for personal protection. Also, most upstate residents’ pistol permits are currently not valid in New York City. Question: If reciprocity became law due either to a change by the legislature or because of a federal mandate, would Upstate residents be able to count on a change in the law to make their own permits valid for defensive carry throughout the state?

BK: Oh absolutely, I would want that as well. Every county under the same rule, including the counties in New York City. As you know, Mayor Bloomberg is not real big on that idea. But I think, you know, I have a pistol permit in New York State to carry a concealed weapon, and I think it’s ridiculous that I have to go through another permit process in the state I live in, because of the rules that are set differently on a political agenda in the city of New York. Quite frankly, I think that’s inconsistent, and it’s not fair to all New Yorkers, and certainly I would advocate for the same law through the entire state regardless of where you live.

Me: Last May, a local CBS affiliate reported that New York State Police released the names and addresses of handgun licensees throughout the state. Two questions: 1) What steps have been taken by the legislature to protect the privacy of New York gun owners? and 2) Would people from out-of-state have cause to worry about their privacy if they travel here with a legal handgun assuming that reciprocity does pass?

BK: Well, to be honest with you, I was not familiar with that list being released by the state police, so that’s the first time I’ve heard of that, I must have missed that story. I don’t think we should be releasing the names. For invasion of privacy purposes, if you’re a registered firearm owner, and you have a permit, it’s a matter of public record in terms of where you have to get the permit, but I don’t think we should be showcasing who has a firearm and who doesn’t, I don’t think it’s anybody’s business, as long as you’re carrying a permit to carry or own. But I’m not aware of any legislation that has been introduced, so I’d have to do a little bit more research on this subject, because I wasn’t even aware of what was supposedly released publicly.

Me: On the subject of privacy concerns, at yesterday’s State of the State address, Governor Cuomo proposed a new law to require a person convicted of any crime to submit a DNA sample to the state database.

First, does the term “all crimes”, as the Governor put it, mean what it sounds like- that a person convicted of an offense such a misdemeanor petit larceny would have to submit a sample?

BK: Yes, I believe that’s what he meant, although he didn’t say that specifically. I’ve been in favor of expanding the DNA database, because that has been proven to solve crimes, and also allow us to open up and close old cold cases, because quite frankly there’s alot of recidivism in crime, and having traceability to people most inclined to repeat it, so a petty larceny could grow to a grand larceny could grow to something more serious, so I absolutely support expanding the DNA database.

Me: Do you think there should be a limit on which offenses are included and which are not, so for example, obviously you wouldn’t want to include traffic tickets, but do you think there’s a certain class of offenses that should not be included in the requirement to submit a DNA sample?

BK: I think you hit a great example. Traffic violations, I don’t think warrant a DNA sample. Having said that, maybe drunk driving should be, just because of the nature of the crime or the infraction. If it’s a felony, you’ll have to go through the sobriety test anyway. I guess I would say I’d be open to looking at whatever the list is, but certainly traffic violations would seem to me not necessary to do it for that as one example.

Me: Understanding that we’re talking about, currently, a list of violent offenses for which an offender has to submit DNA, to potentially all offenses where the offender would have to submit DNA. Handgun owners in New York must already supply fingerprints, photographs, spent shell casings from handguns for ballistic identification, personal references, employment information, credit history, mental health history, address history, spouse’s information, neighbors’ information, and a check of their criminal records, DMV records, and tax records, do you believe some in the state government may want to require handgun owners to also submit DNA samples as a condition of getting a pistol permit?

BK: I don’t think so, I don’t think it’s necessary. Certainly, law-abiding gun owners- as you just pointed out- there’s a whole host of information on file with legitimate, legal gun owners, so no, I don’t think there’s any point in having DNA, because you have all the information on that particular gun and shell casing anyway, so what would be the point? (laughs) That would be, pardon the expression, “overkill”.

Me: That’s true, and that’s the thing about gun owners- I’m sure you know the sentiment- alot of us who are gun owners here in New York already feel like we’re considered somewhat criminal, you know what I mean?

BK: Absolutely.

It’s good to know that even in New York, where many gun owners have simply given up hope of the gun laws changing, that we have state representatives who are continuing to work on our behalf.

My thanks to Assemblyman Kolb and his staff.

(Thanks to James Allen from TypicalShooter for producing the graphic.)

Handgun Reciprocity… In New York???

Say it ain’t so!

In fact, it could come to pass- and the idea of CCW reciprocity has created some strange bedfellows in New York’s legislature.

Democrat Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is forming a committee to explore easing New York’s license law to accomodate visitors from other states with legal handguns (being a lifelong New Yorker, I honestly believed I would never write that sentence). Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua) strongly supports the measure as well.

The new discussion of interstate reciprocity comes after the arrest of two non-residents for handgun possession in recent weeks. Californian Mark Meckler and Tennesseean Meredith Graves- both of whom have valid concealed carry permits in their home states- brought handguns to New York City. In Graves’ case, she was arrested when she asked a police officer where she could secure her pistol, after seeing a “no firearms” sign at Ground Zero.

Before going further, I want to point something out: I find it hard to believe that people sufficiently in-tune with gun laws to have CCW permits, weren’t aware that New York is “off-limits” to out-of-state gun owners. This is especially true of Meckler, who is the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

That being said, though, these two cases illustrate the need to make substantial changes in New York’s gun laws.

In addition to the political challenges of changing New York’s century-old Sullivan Act, there are legal quirks involved in reciprocity as well.

New York mandates the registration of handguns. If the legislature decides to extend reciprocity only to residents of states which also mandate registration of handguns, then residents of only a few states would be able to enjoy the right to carry in NY.

The registration requirement is already problematic for New York residents: Family members cannot loan handguns amongst themselves, because only the registered owner may possess the handgun. As a matter of custom, married couples are permitted to ‘cross-register’ handguns to both spouses’ licenses- however, this practice is not allowed in some counties, barring married couples from sharing handguns with each other.

Additionally, Upstate New Yorkers currently cannot carry handguns in New York City, unless their pistol permit is “validated” by the NYPD (a rare occurrence). In fact, many upstate New Yorkers can’t carry at all, except while engaged in certain activities (such as hunting and target shooting), due to restrictions placed on their license by the issuing authority.

If out-of-state residents are authorized unlimited carry throughout the state, including in New York City, and are exempted from New York’s registration requirement, but New York residents aren’t, this could further fuel the “Brain Drain”- the term describing the fact that nearly a million disgruntled Upstaters have already left the state to live elsewhere in the last 20 years.

There’s another angle to consider as well: New York’s license law is dying. Several lawsuits in the past few years have successfully limited portions of gun laws in New York; and Alan Gura, the lawyer who successfully argued Heller and McDonald before the U.S. Supreme Court, is suing both New York City and Westchester County over parts of the pistol permit law. Sheldon Silver’s committee may attract Democrats who desire to loosen NY’s handgun laws just enough to pass the barest SCOTUS muster, to avoid being embarassed by a major court decision overturning most of the Sullivan Act.

Democrats have something else to worry about, too: Moderate Dems and independents who, while not necessarily in favor of more permissive gun laws, may take issue with the felony arrest of people attempting to obey the law, and the excesses of New York’s licensing scheme. For example, privacy advocates were alarmed in May when New York State Police released the entire list of names and addresses of pistol permit holdersabout half a million people– for distribution on the internet.

More on this story as it develops.

SCOTUS Declines To Hear CCW Case

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Masciandaro v. United States today.

Amid all the speculation about why SCOTUS would refuse the case- suggestions that they don’t want to take on concealed carry rights, for instance- I believe there’s a more-probable, but less-obvious reason: I think SCOTUS doesn’t want to overcomplicate the Obamacare case.

Let me explain: Obamacare will basically be an argument about states’ rights- the states’ right to resist a federal intrusion into the health care industry. This being the case, I believe SCOTUS decided to avoid taking on concealed carry because the “states’ rights” arguments regarding the Second Amendment are exactly opposite those of Obamacare.

Stated another way:

If SCOTUS decided in Masciandaro that states are limited in their authority to regulate concealed carry, but then decide in Obamacare that states have authority to resist intrusive federal acts, then the message from the court would appear to be very consistent with the Tenth Amendment- a limitation on federal intrusion on the states, and a limit on state intrusion on the people;

If SCOTUS decided that states had sweeping authority to resist both the federal government’s actions and to regulate individual behavior, SCOTUS would be effectively transferring a tremendous amount of power to the states- something it really hasn’t done in recent memory;

If SCOTUS decided that states had no authority to resist the federal government, and little authority to regulate individual behavior, then SCOTUS would effectively be stripping the states of a great deal of authority, and make the nature of the government relationship one between the federal government and the public, with the states being mere subdivisions;

If SCOTUS decided in favor of Obamacare and in favor of states regulating concealed carry, the court would be depriving the public of a substantial amount of individual autonomy, deciding that governments- either state or federal- could define and regulate the exercise of individual rights.

Knowing that nobody can accurately predict how Obamacare will be decided- I doubt even the Justices themselves can say for sure- I think the Supreme Court is attempting to avoid “doubling-down” on a message inconsistent with its real intent- whatever that intent may be.

By itself, Obamacare is an incendiary issue. Add gun rights to it and it becomes politically explosive.

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