Tag Archives: New York

The Dream Is Dead In New York: More Black Babies Are Aborted Than Born Alive

1390225342ALBANY, NY, Jan. 20, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, just announced that “right-to-life” advocates have “no place in the state of New York.” The Radiance Foundation and its civil rights allies defy Governor Cuomo’s intolerance and have launched the “DREAM IS DEAD” ad campaign (www.toomanyaborted.com/ny) in New York on Martin Luther King Day. The bold ad campaign declares: “The Dream Is Dead For 56 Million: TooManyAborted.com” reminding the public of Dr. Martin Luther King’s fight to ensure justice for all. Bus transit ads will be seen throughout the state’s capital, Albany, as well as Troy and Schenectady.

“In 1963 when Martin Luther King Jr. shared his Dream with the nation, he never envisioned an America where ‘reproductive justice’ would end more than 56 million innocent human lives. His dream never pictured a nation where black boys and black girls would never be able to join hands with white boys and white girls, as sisters and brothers, because ‘freedom of choice’ determined some humans are simply not equal,” says Ryan Bomberger, co-founder of The Radiance Foundation who is also an adoptee and adoptive father.
New York has the second highest abortion rate in America and the second highest total number of abortions, exceeding 100,000 annually. There is obviously no lack of access. Yet, liberal legislators in the state want to decriminalize all abortions allowing the violent procedure through the entire 9 months of pregnancy. Planned Parenthood and a coalition of other pro-abortion groups have joined Governor Cuomo’s quest to enact the “Reproductive Health Act”, part of his “Women’s Equality Act”. This dangerous pro-Gosnell bill will only endanger even more women and their unborn children.
“Planned Parenthood continually touts that they gave Martin Luther King their first Margaret Sanger Award in 1966. What they fail to tell the public is that abortion wasn’t legal in ’66,” explains Bomberger. “Dr. King wrongly believed birth control would reduce poverty. He also wrongly believed Planned Parenthood was interested in elevating poorer blacks. Their abortion numbers tell a completely different story.”
According to the NY State Department of Health, for every 1,000 black babies born alive, 1,223 are aborted. No other racial/ethnic demographic aborts more of their children than are born alive. Yet groups like the NAACP have endorsed this radical bill that will clearly disproportionately impact the black community.
The TooManyAborted.com New York campaign will continue to educate the public about this civil rights issue throughout Black History Month.

Town bars veterans group from flying Gadsen flag

The Gadsen flag, its yellow background highlighting the uniquely American phrase, “Don’t Tread on Me,” is under a direct attack by the city council in one New York community.

Effectively displayed by many in the Tea Party movement, who use its message as a rallying cry, New Rochelle council members recently voted to ban a local veterans organization from displaying the flag.
Reports indicate the city manager initially wanted to let the group fly the flag after one council member expressed his displeasure with the display. Ultimately, in a 5 to 2 vote, the council decided to force its removal anyway.

Responding to allegations he wants to use the flag to support his own involvement with the Tea Party, the group’s president stated no one in the organization is a Tea Party member, though he described himself as a “proud Republican.”

Not satisfied with merely stripping a group’s freedom to display a flag at an armory, council members reportedly hurled insults comparing the flag to graffiti and even the Nazi flag.
The fallacy of thought expressed by this city’s leaders is not lost on Thomas More Law Center president Richard Thompson.
His firm has been retained to present the veterans group’s case and he expertly skewered the illogical decision.

“Using the city council’s reasoning, they would remove the Stars and Stripes from flagpoles because both Democrat and Republican parties, as well as most political candidates, use the Stars and Stripes in their campaign messaging,” he said.

This outrageous decision is indicative of a much larger problem that has long stymied those on the right.
Any paraphernalia connected to a conservative individual or group is so roundly and rapidly demonized by the knee-jerk liberal crowd, the mere invocation of an otherwise worthy phrase is seen as somehow hateful and unacceptable.

Conservatives, by nature and necessity, are notoriously independent, which means the left has a stark advantage in initiating such attacks.
So-called progressives describe themselves as tolerant, though they have expertly bastardized the word to mean something altogether different.

In reality, conservatives tolerate – if not endorse – opposing ideas and behavior far more than leftists. Vindictive rulings such as the one made in this case prove how intolerant the lunatic left can be.

Click here to get B. Christopher Agee’s latest book for less than $5! Like his Facebook page for engaging, relevant conservative content daily.

Gov. Baby-Killer?

Over the weekend, Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-New York) announced that he plans to relax his state’s abortion law, and allow women to obtain late-term abortions if their health is at stake.  It provides more latitude against the current statute, which says the only legal justification for a late-term abortion – as defined by the Supreme Court  – is when the pregnancy threatens the mother’s health.  Not surprisingly, pro-life activists are nervous.

Aaron Blake of the Washington Post wrote on February 20 that:

…while abortion rights very much remain a 50-50 issue in American society, late-term abortion is particularly charged.

recent USA Today/Gallup poll showed that 80 percent of Americans oppose late-term abortion — generally defined (and defined in the poll) as occurring in the final three months of a pregnancy. That compares to 64 percent who think it should be illegal in the second trimester and just 31 percent who say it should be illegal in the first three months.

So why would Cuomo do such an unpopular thing? Well, in actuality, he’s not. When you add the health of the mother to the equation, opposition to late-term abortion drops dramatically.

2003 ABC News poll showed that while 62 percent thought late-term abortions should generally be illegal, 61 percent said they should be legal if there is a “serious threat to the woman’s health.”

A “serious threat” is a highly subjective phrase. There’s a multitude of things people can consider “serious,” while others might find less severe.  Furthermore, it gives abortionists room to argue that more restrictions protecting life should be whittle down.   Additionally, this 2003 poll was taken during the year when the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act was passed. However, I think even the most ardent pro-lifer would agree that in an extraordinary circumstance, such as a pregnancy threatening the life of the mother, a late-term abortion is regrettably necessary.

Nevertheless, this Cuomo’s bill is about lowering the bar to allow such grisly procedures to be conducted under the banner of American progressivism.  The New York Times, which first reported on this depraved development on February 16, stated:

Mr. Cuomo’s proposal, which has not yet been made public, would also clarify that licensed health care practitioners, and not only physicians, can perform abortions. It would remove abortion from the state’s penal law and regulate it through the state’s public health law.

Abortion rights advocates have welcomed Mr. Cuomo’s plan, which he outlined in general terms as part of a broader package of women’s rights initiatives in his State of the State address in January. But the Roman Catholic Church and anti-abortion groups are dismayed; opponents have labeled the legislation the Abortion Expansion Act.

The editorial board of the National Review opined that:

 where it [Cuomo’s abortion bill] regulates, it regulates the wrong parties in the wrong way. But it also deregulates with equal disregard: It would among other things allow persons other than physicians to perform abortions. That is an innovation borrowed from Jerry Brown’s California, where midwives and nurses are permitted to perform abortions. The State of New York will not permit a burly man to lift a box without a state permit to operate a moving company, but gynecological surgery apparently is to be considered a matter for immediate regulatory relief.

New York does not want for access to abortion. Two in five pregnancies end in abortion in New York City; the rate for black women is 60 percent. The statewide figures are lower, but they are high enough. There are about 250 abortion clinics in the state, and 93 percent of the state’s women live in a county that is home to an abortion facility, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Nationally, abortion kills the equivalent of the combined populations of Atlanta and Cleveland every year. All that with no help from Governor Cuomo.

Governor Cuomo’s bill is not about easing access to abortion — those bloody skids already are well-greased. The issue is political domination. The abortion party does not brook resistance, and it steadfastly seeks to ensure that everybody has a hand in its grisly business: taxpayers, employers, priests. All must be implicated. If a religious hospital declines to provide abortions, then it must be forced to do so. If a counseling center treats adoption as preferable to abortion, it will either change its mind or have its mind changed for it by the gentle persuasion of the State of New York.

As George Will said in the wake of Sandra Fluke – and Slutgate– this is what liberalism looks like after one hundred years of maturation.

This is what the progressive state does. It tries to break all the institutions of civil society, all the institutions that mediate between the individual and the state. They have to break them to the saddle of the state.

It’s a frightening thought since Gov. Cuomo has presidential ambitions in 2016.  Should conservatives rename him Gov. Baby-Killer with this radical shift in policy that permits infanticide?  Given the horrors that will ensue, it would be apt for them to do so.


Divided We Stand: Echoing Calls To Secede From The Union

Yes, you read that correctly. Your eyes are not deceiving you. Divided We Stand.

In less than a week since this nation re-elected Barack Obama, there are calls from numerous States to secede from The United States of America. We are no longer a United Nation. We are very much a Divided Nation. Many are standing together, calling for a peaceful divide.

The famous declaration for unity that you are familiar with has been attributed to Aesop’s fables, as well as John Dickinson’s Revolutionary War song, “The Liberty Song”, which was was published first in the Boston Gazette in 1768.

However, it was Patrick Henry that made the historic exclamation in what was to be his last public speech:

“Let us trust God, and our better judgment to set us right hereafter. United we stand, divided we fall. Let us not split into factions which must destroy that union upon which our existence hangs.”

Patrick Henry’s declaration came at a very pivotal point in America’s history. It was March 1799, and Mr. Henry was “denouncing The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions”, which argued that the two states “had the right and the duty to declare unconstitutional any acts of Congress not authorized by The Constitution”.

This speech took such a toll on Patrick Henry that after the speech his “near lifeless body” was carried offstage and into the nearest tavern. He died just two months later.

We have now reached another pivotal point in this nation’s history.

In the November 6 election, the divide between the candidates was a little more than 3 million votes. Barack Obama received 61,910,594 votes, and Mitt Romney received 58,654,765 votes. When you look at the total number of votes cast, it is almost a clear cut down the middle. We are most definitely a divided nation. We can no longer stand together, when we are so obviously divided over so many issues. We have reached a breaking point that threatens to be anything but peaceful if things are not handled in a way in which every voice is heard and considered.

Citizens in Louisiana are now petitioning the White House to “Peacefully grant the State of Louisiana to withdraw from the United States of America”. The petition was created the day after the election, and has nearly 8,000 signatures in just 5 days.

It appears that this petition from Louisiana was the first of many to have been submitted to the “We The People” site on the official White House website. The site claims to be “Your Voice In OUR Government”. The question remains whether or not the Government will hear the many voices being raised. It is highly doubtful, as they have turned their noses up in arrogance towards We The People numerous times before.

It’s not just the state of Louisiana, the list of State Petitions calling to peacefully “withdraw from the United States of America” is growing by the day.

Country singer Charlie Daniel’s is suggesting that “the South” secede from The Union; however, there are Northern States that are not so happy with the government, and are also calling to leave the Union. At the time of this article’s posting, the states with open petitions are the following:





New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota


While Louisiana appears to be the first state to start a post-election petition to actually withdraw from The United States, in 2010, Missouri’s Legislative House gave “preliminary approval to state sovereignty measure”, which asserted the 10th Amendment to the US Constitution. It was not a call to secede from the Union, but rather a stand for States’ Rights.

In Texas, Peter Morrison, “a high ranking” Republican County Treasurer, made the declaration for The Lone Star State to secede, stating:

“Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government?”

The winds of change are coming. The echoing calls to seperate are growing louder and stronger.

Barack Obama claimed in both victory speeches that we are not “a collection of Red States and Blue States, but we are The United States”. These words are empty and mean nothing coming from a man who has done so much to divide this nation. The people are not happy. We are no longer united. We The People are standing, asking to peacefully divide from the albatross that is Barack Obama. If the request is not considered, it very well may come as a demand, which will not be so peaceful.


Image via mikechurch.com

Hey.. the primaries are still going on – Charlie Rangel edition

June primary Charlie RangelColorado, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah voters head to the polls today to cast their votes in the 2012 primary and run-off elections.

Many of the races will be little more than going through the motions. Orin Hatch (R-UT) will likely fend off a primary challenge by a wide margin – others are not so clear-cut.

Investigated for ethics violations and censured by his colleagues, Rep. Charlie Rangel(D-NY)  is looking at the possibility of losing his seat after 42 years in Congress. Rep. Rangel is facing a tough challenge from state Sen. Adriano Espaillat. Rangel will be tested in this primary due to a combination of his unethical behavior and a redrawn congressional district that now contains more Hispanics that will likely vote for Espaillat. Other primary challengers to Rangel include Clinton White House aide Clyde Williams, Harlem community organizer Craig Schley; and Joyce Johnson.

In Colorado, Conservative Republican Doug Lamborn (CO-5) is facing a challenge by wealthy businessman Robert Blaha. Unlike other Republican primary challenges where the incumbent was deemed too moderate, Lamborn’s far-right voting record would seem to suggest that the district that contains Colorado Springs may actually want a less Conservative representative in Congress.

Lamborn concedes he has a fight on his hands. His unflinching conservatism comes with a price. In three terms in Congress, Lamborn has seen none of his bills become law. But he says his record shows that he doesn’t sacrifice his principles to get bills through the process. – Real Clear Politics


New Yorkers about to give up last hope of gun ownership

New York seeks to outlaw firearms with microstampingNew York State legislators are pushing through firearm microstamping legislation (A.1157B) which intentionally creates firearm manufacturing rules so difficult to implement that most firearms manufacturers just won’t bother selling into New York anymore and those few left making guns in New Y0rk are likely to leave.

New York already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but has failed to see any real reduction in violent crime. So instead of fixing the real issue (law maker’s and law enforcerment’s  inability to end inner-city crime) they go after a popular target: gun makers and gun owners.

Micro-stamping forces gun makers to manufacture and install firing pins with the ability to create tiny stamps on the cartridge casings of the rounds they fire. This is a burden on the manufacturer and on the first person to buy the weapon (which is often a dealer, not the actual first owner).

As defined in the proposed legislation:

Firearm microstamping is a revolutionary forensic technology that produces an identifiable alpha-numeric and geometric code onto the rear of the cartridge casing each time a semiautomatic pistol is fired.

Micro-stamping has several flaws:

– The original purchaser is usually a gun store owner or firearms wholesaler, not the first person to actually keep the gun for personal use

– A firearms manufacturer now has to produce different models for New York, California and the rest of the nation

– As the microstamp is only on the casing (the part of the cartridge that holds the bullet) anyone planning to commit a crime would simply go to a New York shooting range, pick up the fired brass, use those mirco-stamped and reload them. Then then the craft criminal could blame his crime on YOU.

– If you decide to replace your pistol’s firing pin with a titanium striker or other match grade device, you’ve just committed a crime – no more competition upgrades for New Yorkers.

The law is obviously not about tracking firearms or cartridges. The law is about making it impossible for firearms manufacturers and retailers to survive in New York.

Lately, firearms businesses have been moving to Texas and the Mid-West in droves. Tens of thousands of American manufacturing jobs are being shunned by New York Democrats like Assemblywoman Michelle Schimmel. What’s more important? Keeping guns out of the hands of law abiding citizens or keeping jobs in a state that sorely needs them?

New York residents have two choices: Decide that any rightful New Yorker should own a firearm or agree with the Democrats that only the criminals should have guns. This law will only prevent lawful ownership of firearms as the gun industry continues to move out of over-regulated states and gun dealers find other locals in which to make money.

If you live in New York and think that Ms. Schimmel is wrong, let your state legislator know before it’s too late..

Little Daniel Sings “God Bless The USA”

You’ve probably heard the story about the New York school principal who decided to scrap the singing of Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” because she “didn’t want to offend other cultures”.

Little Daniel Mitchell is in the class that was supposed to sing “God Bless the USA”, but wasn’t allowed to, so Fox and Friends gave him the opportunity this morning. This has got to be one of the most beautiful versions I’ve ever heard…. straight from the heart of a little patriot!



Cops Demoted For…Being Republican???

Six Long Island, NY policemen have filed suit against their commissioner. They claim to have been demoted, lost overtime and had shift changes following support their support of Republican candidates.  The officers stated that they first went to their union for help but were told this was the price of playing politics in New York.

Read the full article at the New York Post.


Image Courtesy Free Digital Photos

NY Governor Cuomo Proposes End To Ballistic ID Database

In his budget proposal speech yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed eliminating the state’s decade-old Combined Ballistic Identification System (CoBIS) as part of a budget which includes substantial spending cuts, pension reform, Medicaid mandate relief and a pay-for-performance program for public school teachers.

CoBIS, which electronically scans spent shell casings from new handguns sold in the state, has cost NY taxpayers an estimated $43 million. More than 350,000 shell casings have been catalogued by CoBIS, but not a single crime has been solved by the system since it began operations on January 1, 2001.

New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) called on Governor Cuomo last month to include the elimination of CoBIS in his proposed budget.

The move to eliminate CoBIS comes on the heels of a proposal by state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to explore changes to the state gun laws which may lead to concealed carry reciprocity; as well as several successful lawsuits related to state gun laws and two current lawsuits by Second Amendment Foundation attorney Alan Gura, who won the Heller and McDonald decisions before the U.S. Supreme Court. One suit challenges the cost of obtaining a pistol permit in New York City while the other, in Westchester County, seeks to eliminate the “may-issue” language of the state’s licensing law.

(Photo credit Pat Arnow via Wikipedia.org)

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.

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