Cuomo Targets Gun Owners and the Gun Industry Instead of Criminals

Cuomo NRA
Cuomo is making another baseless attack on the Second Amendment. IMG NRA-ILA

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Hall of Fame college basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian once remarked, “The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky they’re going to give Cleveland State another year of probation.” Tarkanian’s contention was that college basketball’s governing body was unable or unwilling to police certain powerful institutions, but would attempt to assert their legitimacy by punishing comparatively irrelevant actors. It’s easy to see a parallel between the New York government’s treatment of actual violent criminals versus law-abiding gun owners and the gun industry.

Violent crime has exploded in New York’s urban areas. In January, the New York Post reported that in New York City “the number of shootings soared 97% from 777 in 2019 to 1,531 in 2020 and murders jumped by 44% from 319 to 462.” On the other side of the state, according to the Democrat & Chronicle, in Rochester “There were 50 homicides in 2020, up 56% from 32 in 2019 and 28 in 2018.”

Some politicians and those in the legacy press have attempted to link the unprecedented gun sales in 2020 with the increase in violent crime. This lazy assertion conveniently avoids the fact that violent crime decreased 52 percent from 1991 to 2019 while Americans acquired 215 million additional firearms – doubling the stock of privately-held guns. Moreover, a recent study published in Injury Epidemiology authored by no less than anti-gun zealot Garen Wintemute concluded “At the state level, the magnitude of the increase in [firearm] purchasing was not associated with the magnitude of the increase in firearm violence.”

On July 6, embattled Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued executive order No. 211, a “Declaration of a State-Wide Disaster Emergency Due to Gun Violence.” In a press release that accompanied the order, Cuomo made clear that he intended to use a COVID-era interpretation of his executive authority to deploy “a Public-Health Approach to Gun Violence.” A summary of the plan was short on details, but a redoubled effort to vigorously prosecute and incarcerate those who commit violence with firearms was conspicuously absent.

Facing a potential Democratic primary challenge in the wake of a bevy of sexual harassment scandals, Cuomo appears to have calculated that reining in New York violence with the necessary tough-on-violent crime approach is politically unpalatable. Rather than tackle the Empire State’s violent crime problem head-on, the governor decided to throw red meat to the New York Democratic base in the form of further gun control.

The same day he signed the executive order, Cuomo signed S.7196. The legislation purports to provide an avenue for the government or private individuals to sue gun dealers and manufacturers for otherwise lawful conduct that creates a “public nuisance.” Moreover, the law creates a vague burden on gun industry members to “establish and utilize reasonable controls and procedures to prevent its [firearms, firearm parts, and accessories] from being possessed, used, marketed or sold unlawfully in New York state.” Presumably, this requirement is in addition to the mountain of state and federal laws and regulations members of the gun industry are already tasked with following.

This might all seem very familiar to longtime gun-rights supporters. In the mid-1990s parts of the federal government, big-city mayors, and enterprising plaintiff’s attorneys coalesced around a plan to attack the firearm industry using frivolous lawsuits that would have held gun companies liable for the criminal actions of third parties. This represented a complete departure from the long-established principles of tort law.

In addition to bilking the firearm industry for millions, these actors intended to force firearm manufacturers to adopt gun controls that anti-gun advocates had repeatedly failed to achieve through democratic means or force the industry out of existence entirely. In 1998, the executive director of the anti-gun U.S. Conference of Mayors was quoted by the New York Times as stating, “[t]he lawyers are seeing green on this issue… they think they can bring the gun industry to its knees.” One of those attorneys “seeing green,” John Coale, was quoted in a 2000 Washington Post article remarking, “[t]he legal fees alone are enough to bankrupt the industry.”

Notable in this wide-ranging effort were the actions of Clinton-era Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo. In 1998, Cuomo positioned HUD to join several local governments in bringing frivolous lawsuits against the gun industry. Even some in the decidedly anti-gun Clinton Administration rejected Cuomo’s radical reinterpretation of tort law. In documents later revealed by the Clinton Presidential Library, a senior White House advisor noted that the HUD scheme “smells like Cuomo” and noted that the Justice Department would not want to be involved. The official also asked, “How can you blame gun manufacturers for illegal weapons brought into public housing by tenants and non-tenants… Where is the conspiracy?”

As a direct response to the behavior of Cuomo and others, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) was enacted in 2005 – with broad bipartisan support. The PLCAA prohibits lawsuits against the gun industry for the criminal misuse of their products by a third party. Suits against the industry for knowingly unlawful sales, negligent entrustment, and those predicated on traditional products liability grounds are still permitted.

With S.7196, Cuomo is once again trying to hold the gun industry liable for the criminal actions of third parties. While his previous attempt relied merely on a fantastical interpretation of tort law, this new effort relies on the same ridiculous interpretation of law and encourages conduct in direct violation of the PLCAA.

Moreover, at the time of Cuomo’s last foray into frivolous anti-gun litigation, there was still an ongoing legal battle over the interpretation of the Second Amendment. This ended in 2008 when the U.S. Supreme Court made clear that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. Logic dictates that this right must include the ability to trade in and acquire arms. Labelling the exercise of a constitutional right a “nuisance” to be abated is absurd on its face.

Cuomo’s recent maneuver is just the latest episode in a career marked by a contempt for the law. According to the New York Times, in his first term as governor, Cuomo thwarted a public corruption probe when it got too close to his political apparatus. In 2013, Cuomo rammed through the notorious NY SAFE Act (apparently ineffective at preventing gun violence “Disaster Emergency”) by bypassing all manner of normal legislative procedure. In 2019, a Cuomo-backed law that curtailed political speech has ruled a violation of the First Amendment. There are more recent questions about whether the dictatorial governor’s administration illegally hid data concerning nursing home death tolls at the outset of the COVID pandemic.

In the current political climate, Cuomo knows he can’t upset the “defund the police”-wing of the Democratic base by treating violent criminals in the manner necessary to control violent crime. Therefore, gun owners and the gun industry will once again bear the brunt of his authoritarian ire.

Even under Cuomo’s worst-case scenario, S.7196 likely won’t be thrown out until after the 2022 Democratic primary. In the meantime, law-abiding firearm businesses will be forced to defend themselves from frivolous claims at great expense, gun owners will be forced to pay the higher prices attendant this new threat of liability, New York taxpayers will be forced to foot the bill for defending this illegal statute in federal court, and the state’s urban residents will continue to suffer an increase in violent crime. It’s enough to cause a reasonable person to wonder how much blood, treasure, and freedom New Yorkers will tolerate Cuomo expropriating for his reelection campaign.


About NRA-ILA:

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess, and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

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RJL
RJL
14 days ago

Nazi…

USMC0351Grunt
USMC0351Grunt
15 days ago

To ALL: ALWAYS do your research and RECON and COLLABORATION with family, friends and collegues BEFORE you act on ANYTHING! READ, BE VERY AWARE: https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/2020_10_06_homeland-threat-assessment.pdf also https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/publications/18_0116_MGMT_DHS-Lexicon.pdf and THIS ONE came out in 2009, the start-up year of Oathkeepers! https://fas.org/irp/eprint/lexicon.pdf

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
15 days ago

Where is Jim Bell when you need him? Why with this new “block chain” technology maybe his essay on Politics will come to past. And then it will be BYE CHOMO! Do a google search. Jim Bell and politics…An idea of which the time may have come.

Mystic Wolf
Mystic Wolf
15 days ago

Yeah according to that andy chomo it is the guns that are committing all the crimes in that states yeah in his micro brain he has to get rid of all the bad evil guns because they are getting out at night and shooting the city up. Well it is the satan worshipping DEMONcrats that keep saying that there are gangs of guns running around, the DEMONcrats truly believe that the guns have become animated and have taken on a life force of their own. Back in 1993 hitlery clintoonish gave an anti gun interview with larry king, king, gun… Read more »

swmft
swmft
15 days ago
Reply to  Mystic Wolf

hitlery was just stating her defense if they charged her in death of law partner,and those pesky whitewater papers ran away too

PAF145
PAF145
15 days ago

Cumho murdered a lot of elderly people without a gun–when will he be jailed ?

CourageousLion
CourageousLion
15 days ago
Reply to  PAF145

JAILED? How about a firing squad?

Arny
Arny
11 days ago
Reply to  PAF145

His actions speeded up the process, just as Wolfe & Freaky Levine did in Pa. Some lives could have been spared from catching the flu.

The other Jim
The other Jim
16 days ago

Do you think US Attorney General Merrick Garland will shut down and sue Cuomo and New York on S. 7196? It is Merrick Garland’s job. S. 7196 clearly violates the federal law.

JimmyS
JimmyS
16 days ago

All this “gun control” is a distraction. Vista Outdoors, whose holdings account for 3/4 of the primer manufacturers (and thus the ammo) in America, and Vista Outdoors is openly on board with Agenda 2030. Look it up on their website. That is where the REAL threat to our rights to weapons of war and self defense exists. There are already laws in place to stop Cuomo.

How about you Ammoland writers start bringing up the REAL threats to our 2nd Amendment?

Russn8r
Russn8r
16 days ago
Reply to  JimmyS

Looks like a hoax. Where are the links? There’s zip about Agenda 2030 on their site and I see no evidence online of 75% market share. I did find unsourced claims that Soros owns Vista etc. No evidence in SEC filings. Same irresponsible stories claim Vista owns Olin & Winchester. They don’t.

Last edited 16 days ago by Russn8r
Russn8r
Russn8r
15 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

CRICKETS CHIRPING.
Chirp…chirp…chirp…

Arny
Arny
11 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Could be he doesn’t get your response sent to his email. I know I don’t. I have to come back to ammoland & possibly catch it in the highlighted responses. Or revisit the article. I still have yet to figure out why. I get a email about articles daily just not comments. lol

Russn8r
Russn8r
11 days ago
Reply to  Arny

Good point. It would be very helpful if folks could click on their account for a feed of their posts and replies to them.

OTOH, claiming VO owns Olin/Winchester & 75% market share, with zero evidence? “Look on their site and see this & that” which is NOT there? Etc? Irresponsible at best.

Last edited 11 days ago by Russn8r
Heed the Call-up
Heed the Call-up
10 days ago
Reply to  Arny

At the top of the Comment section there is a section called “Subscribe”. When you click the down arrow, you can then select “New Follow-up Comments” or “New Replies to My Comments”.

Russn8r
Russn8r
10 days ago

Thanks!

Russn8r
Russn8r
11 days ago
Reply to  JimmyS

Jimmy, when are you going to correct your lies about Vista Outdoors?
CRICKETS CHIRPING…
Chirp…chirp…chirp…

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

I don’t know where JimmyS got his information, but you will find there is very little interest in analysis of ammo manufacturing companies and lots of interest in conspiracy theories. People have said Vista Outdoor was not making ammo (they cleverly shut-down production to exploit the situation), that they were producing but not shipping (and they didn’t understand why I mentioned VO inventory on their balance sheet was not skyrocketing), one clever USMC vet said VO was making the ammo and shipping it, but it was all on trucks driving around and around, another person said most of it was… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
11 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Other than fear, hikes in gvt buys, and to an extent manufacturers giving priority to govt purchasers, none of that makes sense to anyone with a reasonable IQ plus a significant study & grasp of microeconomics. Which rules out low-IQ vindictive emotional womanish “moderator” Will & his sock puppets – not to be confused with Will Rogers.

Last edited 11 days ago by Russn8r
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Check out the linked thread – there are many more.

Russn8r
Russn8r
11 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

I replied to Finnky. Already downvoted by genius Will – not to be confused with Will Rogers: “Companies invest in production capacity based on expected demand.” That’s true IF expected demand includes some provision for continued occasional unexpected demand spikes due to politically-driven panic buying, e.g. the last 1.5 yrs & under Resident Hussein. A manufacturer with excess capacity can quickly ramp up, exploit demand spikes & make BIG dollars while the rest are holding their d**ks. Too tempting. Investing in some “excess” capacity is a profit maximizing strategy. Same for investors or companies that lay in “extra” stock during low-price times… Read more »

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Vista Outdoor made significant investments in equipment in 2016. At that time, demand was high and there was some probability that Hillary would win and demand would remain high. Trump won and gun owners (being the fickle consumers they are) decreased their purchases dramatically. The equipment purchased in 2016 sat idle in 2017, 2018, and 2019 because Arny, Dogma Factor, Terry, Ronnie, and all the rest of the ammo entitlement brigade were not buying large quantities. In 2020, after massive government failure (by the CDC, CIA, law enforcement and others) and foreboding, people became scared and started buying ammo at… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
11 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

I’m confident significant investments in manufacturing happened in the last year. Anyone who had the brains to sock away ammo in the earlier Trump years at low prices could’ve made YUGE profits in the last year. Anyone who kept extra capacity in a non-lockdown state like S Dakota instead of commie states like NY & Connecticut could’ve made YUGE profits in the last year. It’s rational to expect these panics to continue occurring and to exploit them. The cost of excess production (or stock purchase & storage) is balanced against profit to be made during the panics.

Last edited 11 days ago by Russn8r
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

As I wrote above, Vista Outdoor was sitting on idle capacity for three years before the massive government failure in 2020. It took time to get that equipment into producton when the demand for ammo skyrocketed during the first half of 2020. Vista Outdoor and Olin view gun owners as extremely fickle and are hesitant to have a repeat of 2016. As ammo prices come down, firearm owners will buy at their targeted price points and after awhile most will stop buying or reduce their purchases to a tiny fraction of their panic buying volumes. This pattern has repeated itself… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
11 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Mimimizing WACC is not a profit maximizing goal. It must be balanced against expected profits in panic times. It’s inoptimal to have zero excess capacity. At the least it would make sense to have a line going to build stock for panic times. Then no one need be fired.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Minimizing their WACC?

That’s not the goal. They understand their WACC and make decisions accordingly (to achieve returns in excess of their WACC).

I’m willing to continue this conversation – are you sure you want to?

Last edited 11 days ago by JSNMGC
Russn8r
Russn8r
11 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Companies and investors make overall profit maximizing decisions. Understanding their WACC is only part of that equation.

Lest you think that a decision to maintain zero excess capacity is rational, let’s not forget these are the same business geniuses who stayed in NY & Connecticut, who lobby for Universal Registration and many other betrayals that ultimately slit their own throats.

Last edited 11 days ago by Russn8r
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
11 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Here we go. Profit is the excess of returns over the WACC of the enterprise. Looking at profit as merely the excess of price over cost without respect to time is how many junk yard owners operate. It’s not how publicly traded, international manufacturing concerns operate, and for good reason. As I’ve said twice before already – Vista Outdoor sat on idle equipment for three painful years because they made investments in anticipation of continuing high demand. Neither Vista Outdoor nor Olin is going to do that again without careful consideration. They understand the fickle nature of firearm owners’ purchasing… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
10 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

“Profit is the excess of returns over the WACC of the enterprise.” No kidding. That does not explain everything. Folks try to maximize discounted expected present value of profits, factoring in risk aversion. “Expected” takes into account best guesses on future panics and profits to be made from them vs the cost of inventory and excess capacity. Those guesses can be right or wrong, but they’re still made for good reason. The manufacturers who you claim guessed wrong and got stung may actually have guessed right the first time and wrong the second time, and are now wishing they’d kept… Read more »

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
10 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

“Folks try to maximize discounted expected present value of profits, factoring in risk aversion.” The concept is: maximize the net present value of future cash flows (the net present value is calculated by discounting those future cash flows). Funding years of inventory build-up with internal cash flows is difficult. Even if they had the cash to do this, the owners of the company (the shareholders) would object (and understandably so).   Keeping excess capacity staffed for years will result in a massive inventory build-up.   Alternatives include: Not having excess equipment; Having excess equipment, but not putting it into production… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by JSNMGC
Russn8r
Russn8r
10 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Actually it’s max risk-adjusted expected discounted net present value of cash flows. I won’t get into risk aversion theory & how it affects preference curves. Simpler: If I were CEO I’d tell them how much obscene profit we lost not having excess capacity & inventory in the last 1.5 yrs vs how much we saved by cutting capacity in the early Trump years. Then I’d ask if they prefer to save a nickel now that’s likely to cost them a dollar in lost opportunity in the next panic. Then I would remind you that you don’t know what our investors… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by Russn8r
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
10 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Actually, the cash flow projections reflect the assessment of risk.

The BOD would ask that you answer their specific questions.

The people grilling you at each quarterly earnings call would not be polite by the third quarter of 2017.

Russn8r
Russn8r
10 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

You confuse conservatism in projections with types of risk aversion that should not distort cash flow projections. Risk aversion should be employed in discounting those projections. Besides other risks, there’s a risk of losing billions of opportunity dollars by having no supply for panics. Blah blah blah…You don’t know what the BOD would say. Manufacturers are now and have for some time been investing in what will turn out to be excess capacity, evidenced by availability & plummeting prices of guns & ammo. Apparently according to you they’re only right when they subtract or don’t add capacity or inventory. Moreover,… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by Russn8r
JSNMGC
JSNMGC
10 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Most BOD’s are not going to allow the CEO to run-up inventory quarter after quarter for years without intervention. A CEO would have been getting ripped apart at every earnings call and the investors would have been contacting the BOD asking why the CEO was being allowed to build so much inventory. The current reduction in prices and availability of ammo is a reflection of falling demand (at the higher price point) and Remington coming back up to speed. The capital investments made by VO were low in both the twelve month period ended 3/31/21 as well as the 12… Read more »

Last edited 10 days ago by JSNMGC
Russn8r
Russn8r
10 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

Why must you keep going for the strawmen? Who said years and years of enormous inventory build without end? Make a bet, decide how much to store for panics, build up that much inventory over the years, then lay some people off if necessary once you get there, but keep the infrastructure. You can undershoot, then you never have to lay anyone off. But given the recurring panics, no excess inventory is dumb. Inventory is an investment especially in this industry in which panics can be expected to continue. I have friends who could’ve made $10k profit off their personal… Read more »

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
10 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

It’s not a strawman. If you are going to staff for producing in excess of demand, when do you stop building inventory? How many days of inventory? It was one of the questions I indicated the BOD would ask the CEO. When you hit that target, what are you going to do with all the extra people? Hundreds of millions of rounds is a lot of inventory. You could be sitting on that for 10 years – there is a lot of cost of capital involved. If you are only going to build a small amount of excess inventory, it… Read more »

Russn8r
Russn8r
10 days ago
Reply to  JSNMGC

“If you are going to staff for producing in excess of demand, when do you stop building inventory? How many days of inventory? It was one of the questions I indicated the BOD would ask the CEO. When you hit that target, what are you going to do with all the extra people?”

Asked and answered sufficiently. This is tiresome.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
10 days ago
Reply to  Russn8r

Huh. Consider it ended.