New York – -(AmmoLand.com)- The scam lure of “public safety” explains the New York Sullivan Act’s longevity.
Anti-Second Amendment jurisdictions refer to it often. Yet, to what extent Governor Kathy Hochul and the Legislature can honestly be said to believe that stringent curbs on civilian possession of firearms promotes public safety—given the horrific upward spiral of violent crime in New York, predominantly in New York City—is open to conjecture. But the fact, that many New Yorkers believe that keeping handguns out of the hands of average, law-abiding, and responsible civilian citizens contains violent crime is enough for both the Governor and for the State Legislature in Albany to continue to promote continuing severe constraints on civilian citizens’ armed self-defense.
If “Public safety”—whether clever, deceptive Government ruse or honest, albeit erroneous, Government belief—serves as the raison d’être for the handgun licensing regime, the application of “proper cause” is the mechanism that serves to constrain the average, rational, responsible, law-abiding civilian citizen from lawfully possessing a handgun in the public sphere. Armed self-defense thus remains a privilege in New York, notwithstanding the language of the Second Amendment that professes to express armed self-defense as a fundamental, unalienable right of the people.
New Yorkers can change handgun carry laws in New York. And it is a simple process to do so as long as the public has the will to do so: simply vote Governor Hochul and those Legislators who hold the same views as she does toward handgun licensing in New York, out-of-office. New Yorkers have an opportunity to do so this November 2022.
If New Yorkers demur, then they will continue to suffer. Violent crime will continue to rise, and innocent people will continue to die.
A leap of faith is required here. It shouldn’t be difficult, given the irrationality of restrictive gun measures that target the law-abiding citizen, not the criminal. But strong beliefs, even irrational ones, die hard.
Governor Kathy Hochul Doesn’t Give A Damn What the U.S. Supreme Court Says About NY’s Handgun Carry Law; She Presumes To Know Better Than The Court.
It is one thing for a Government to rely on an erroneous belief as justification for infringing a fundamental, unalienable, immutable, eternal natural law right of the American people. It is quite another thing to brashly defy the U.S. Constitution and the U.S. Supreme Court, substituting one’s judgment, normative beliefs, and personal political and social philosophy for the precepts and stricture of the U.S. Constitution.
The U.S. Constitution, as promulgated by men much wiser than Governor Hochul and Anti-Second Amendment Legislators in Albany, has proved its value through time.
In the space of almost 250 years, this country has outstripped any other modern Nation, becoming by far the wealthiest, most powerful, most prosperous nation on Earth. The U.S. Constitution, grounded on the precepts of Individualism, has enabled this. It is no accident.
The prescription for the Nation’s success is simple: Government exists to serve the interests of the American people, and they, not Government, are sovereign over Government and over their own destiny.
Indeed, the tacit theme of all three seminal Second Amendment cases—Heller, McDonald, and Bruen—is that Government must pay homage to the natural law rights of man.
But Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature will have none of that. The forces they represent and pay homage to have other plans for Americans. There is no limit to their disdain for the Constitution, rudeness toward the U.S. Supreme Court, and contempt for the American people.
Through tortuous, guileful legislative legerdemain, the New York Government has enacted an elaborate set of amendments to the State’s handgun licensing Statute, Section 400.00, and to the concealed handgun carry Section of the Statute, especially NY CLS Penal § 400.00(2)(f). These amendments are merely a pretense of compliance with Bruen and a poor one at that.
But they don’t fool anyone, especially the Court. On inspection, the State’s “Post-Bruen” Amendments to Section 400.00 are excessively harsh, brutal reality.
To understand how that is, it helps to understand what the New York handgun licensing Statute looked like before Bruen. We delve into that and compare and contrast the original Section 400.00 handgun licensing Statute with its amendments in the next article.
New York’s Handgun License Statute Before Bruen Is Bad; After Bruen, It Is Worse
In the most recent iteration, before Bruen, applicants for any New York handgun license—whether restricted or not—had to comply with Section 400.00(a), which denies possession of a handgun to anyone under a disability as defined in Federal Statute, 18 U.S.C § 922. New York has adopted that Statute for its own use.
Up till now, to obtain a concealed handgun carry license, applicants in the general population had to demonstrate “proper cause,” set forth in, but never defined in, Penal Code Section 400.00(a).
The State Legislature has left it up to the licensing authorities of the Counties to specify “proper cause,” and what that is has remained quite nebulous. The whole point of this is to make it difficult for the average person to acquire a carry license. So, few have tried, and most that have tried have failed to secure such licenses.
Under the New York Constitution’s Home Rule provision, though, New York City is permitted to adopt its own “proper cause” requirements for applicants of concealed handgun carry licenses, and it has done so. These are set forth in 38 RCNY 5-03. They are stringent, but, at least, not inherently nebulous.
Individuals who presently hold valid concealed handgun carry licenses in the City, which NYPD License Division has exclusive authority to issue, have, through time, adapted to the NYPD License Division’s “proper cause” requirements.
These requirements are aimed at providing a mechanism for the City’s entrepreneurial class to obtain licenses. It suggests an explicit attempt at accommodation of business practices—operating as both cause and effect.
The NYPD License Division establishes the requirements for business entrepreneurs to qualify for a concealed handgun carry license, and those entrepreneurs do their best to comply with those requirements.
Compliance with those requirements have thus enabled a small number of people, New York City’s entrepreneurial class that happens to handle substantial amounts of cash in the usual course of their business, to obtain a coveted handgun carry license. The NYPD License Division establishes the criteria under which applicants for handgun carry licenses can satisfy requirements, and those business applicants oblige the NYPD.
So, it has been for decades. That now goes out the door.
Under the requirements for a concealed handgun carry license in New York City and in the rest of the State, the City’s Rules will not be valid. Be that as it may, the NYPD License Division has yet to revise its Rules for the issuance of concealed handgun licenses. But the Division will have to. The City’s Home Rule Charter gives the NYPD License Division substantial leeway to establish its “proper cause” criteria, but the City’s criteria have to be consistent with the intent of the Statute. The present rules are not consistent with the amendments to Section 400.00 that take effect in September.
Those entrepreneurs who have business establishments in the City and have adapted their business procedures to cohere to the NYPD License Divisions procedure will find their pro forma renewal process no longer open to them.
They are in jeopardy of losing the acquisition of concealed handgun carry licenses that, heretofore, they could rely on as long as their business operations and practices remained consistent through time. Upon renewal of their present license, they must comply with the new requirements or forsake their concealed handgun carry license. We investigate those in the next article, Part Seven of this series.
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