New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- Among the many anti-Second Amendment bills being considered in New York is S.2374/A.2690. Behind that combination of two letters and eight numbers is a very insidious way of infringing your right to keep and bear arms. Essentially, it can impose a waiting period of up to 30 days. These bills, if they pass the state legislature, will likely be signed by Andrew Cuomo.
If you want a prime example of a gun control law that has been overtaken by technology, the waiting period is it.
These days, it shouldn’t be hard to run a background check and have the answer in minutes. The National Instant Check System should be instant, but it isn’t – and that should be fixed. So, what is the big deal?
Look, let’s get this out of the way. NICS is not even close to an ideal situation, but it is better than some of the alternatives anti-Second Amendment extremists have pushed. Remember, in 1968, Lyndon Johnson wanted the United States to enact a licensing and registration scheme and blasted the “gun lobby” (read: NRA) for the non-inclusion of said licensing and registration in the Gun Control Act of 1968.
So, what is the purpose of a waiting period when cops can run a license check on you and find out if you have a record and outstanding warrants in a matter of minutes at most during a traffic stop? It’s not really about making sure a firearm doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, far from it.
If they were serious about that, they’d be all for flagging Immigration and Customs Enforcement if a check determines that an illegal immigrant is trying to buy a gun. They’d be enforcing existing laws that have massive penalties for prohibited persons in possession or for straw purchasers. They’d be making sure that felony convictions were included in the NICS database. They’d be holding law enforcement agencies accountable for their failures prior to the shootings.
The fact that they don’t do that means that they are not serious about preventing shootings like those in Parkland, Sutherland Springs, and Aurora, Illinois. The waiting period isn’t there for public safety; it’s to make it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights. It’s about turning the whole process into a form of punishment.
If one believes what Sarah Brady long ago said in a speech, it’s about achieving a “needs-based licensing” scheme. Or, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Jerrold Nadler admitted, it’s about replicating what was done in Australia. In 1996, Australia passed not just a sweeping ban on semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, but they also made self-defense an invalid reason to own a firearm.
Waiting periods, especially lengthy ones like that in New York, are just one way to get law-abiding citizens to either give up the notion of exercising their Second Amendment rights.
At the very least, those who do exercise them are to be inconvenienced. So, what do we do about that?
Second Amendment supporters must keep in mind is who the real audience is. It isn’t a committed pro-Second Amendment supporter since they are already on our side. It’s not a committed anti-Second Amendment extremist from Moms Demand Action, either. No, the real target is that person who isn’t sure, and who wants more information on the issue, and who wants something done to prevent mass shootings.
The waiting period scam is one that Second Amendment supporters can expose very easily. If Second Amendment supporters can show how proposals from anti-Second Amendment extremists – like waiting periods – are not going to solve the problem and in some ways will endanger some people (like Carole Bowne, killed by an abusive ex-boyfriend while waiting for New Jersey to issue her pistol permit), they have a chance to win converts. That chance will depend not only on knowing the facts but also in being mindful of how they come across to fellow citizens.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.