by Roger J. Katz
New York, NY -(AmmoLand.com)- Most Americans, by now, who keep abreast of the news, especially in matters concerning their inalienable right to keep and bear arms as codified in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, are aware of the New York City police officer who was mugged in a parking garage and robbed of her gun on her way to work.
The New York Times first reported the story on July 15, 2015. This is the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/16/nyregion/off-duty-new-york-police-officer-robbed-of-gun-after-attack.html. Many other news sources picked up the story but no one, to our knowledge, has considered the implications behind it, what it really means; what it really says about the irrationality, hypocrisy, and duplicity of New York’s firearms laws, which unfortunately, are replicated in one form or another in several other States.
For those of you who have not seen it, the gist of the NY Times story is this:
A female New York City police officer “. . . who is 41 and has been on the force for 10 years, was taking an elevator down to a parking garage at Bronx Boulevard and 226th Street around 5 a.m., preparing to drive to her command, which is in northern Manhattan. She was carrying her gun in her purse. . . . As soon as she stepped out of the elevator, a man thought to be in his late teens or early 20s ripped a gold chain from around her neck and grabbed at her purse. He demanded her wallet. ‘She fought him, and they were going back and forth in a tug-of-war type of situation. . . .’”“The officer reached into her purse to try to get the firearm, a 9-millimeter semiautomatic handgun . . . . But the man punched her in the face two or three times, causing her to lose control of the gun [but, actually] She never did have control of the gun [because it was in her purse, not on her person]. He stole it and fled on foot. . . .”
Apart from being physically injured by her assailant and losing her firearm to the assailant, the officer faces possible disciplinary action specifically because she did not have her handgun on her person.
The NY Times pointed to the NYPD’s policy manual that “spells out the rules for how officers should ‘safeguard weapons at all times.’ Do not carry firearms in briefcases, handbags, fanny packs, hip packs, tote bags, knapsacks, paper bags or similar devices.’”
The manual also says that a police officer is to “‘carry firearms, on the person, in an appropriate holster specifically designed to afford maximum protection against loss of weapon.’” The reason for this is clear: “Never losing your gun is among the most basic obligations of police work. Therefore, the best place for a handgun, if one is out in public, is “in an appropriate holster specifically designed to afford maximum protection against loss of the weapon.” But, if that is so, why, then, must most law-abiding American citizens and New York City residents, who are out in public and who wish to defend themselves with the best means available – a handgun – and to protect it from loss or theft, receive, at best, restricted handgun licenses that preclude them from carrying the weapon “in an appropriate holster specifically designed to afford maximum protection against loss of the weapon.”
The applicable New York City rule, 38 RCNY §5-01, says, “This [Premises] license permits the transporting of an unloaded handgun directly to and from an authorized small arms range/shooting club, secured unloaded in a locked container. Ammunition shall be carried separately.”
What this means is that the licensee cannot lawfully carry a handgun, concealed, in a holster. The impact of 38 RCNY §5-01 is that New York City does not permit the holder of a “Premises License” to utilize his or her handgun for self-defense when out in public; nor is that licensee afforded the ability to protect it from loss or theft because it isn’t secured “on the person.”
But, as we have just seen, if a New York City police officer carried his or her handgun in a locked container, whether on duty or off, that officer would have contravened Departmental policy. In fact that officer would probably face disciplinary action for doing the very thing that New York City rules require of most holders of handgun licenses!
Obviously, what is good for the goose is not also good for the gander.
Since the New York Police Department would agree – indeed, must agree – that the possibility of loss or theft of a gun transported in public in a container of any sort – no less a “locked container” – increases exponentially for anyone – police officer or civilian – why would the drafters of the New York City gun rules create a rule that does not comport with and, indeed, contradicts, the NYPD’s own policy manual?
Could it be that the drafters of New York City’s firearms’ ordinances are so opposed to the very notion of gun ownership by the average law-abiding American citizen that they are willing to encourage the very thing they ought to be more concerned about: loss of a gun to a criminal?
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