This week an information meeting was held by several state leaders who are trying to defend New Yorkers second amendment rights. This meeting was held of all places at the Paladin Center in Carmel NY. The Paladin center formally a woman’s seminary college, now a training location for law enforcement in military tactics and active shooter response. (http://paladingroup.com/)
The meeting was arranged by state representative Stephan Katz who invited two other legislators Steven McLaughlin, and Kieran Lalor. The Putnam county executive Mary Ellen Odell, Putnam county clerk Dennis Sant, and a representative of SCOPE (Shooters Committee on Political Education) also attended.
The first speakers, all New York State assembly members offered some insight to how the law was actually passed. Not widely reported but the bill was presented on the first day of the newly elected body. The bill was brought before the assembly twenty minutes before the vote and not enough copies were made for everyone and their staff. Any objections were met with scorn and attempts to negotiate were met with “We progressives have already compromised we wanted total confiscation”. With 85 members of 150 from gun grabbing New York City passage was inevitable. Cuomo never mentioned in a state with budget problems where he came up with 37 million to enforce this law.
Next up was Mary Ellen Odell and Dennis Sant who received a standing ovation for their refusal to turn over hand gun records to the Journal News in their attempt to demonize and target legal gun owners in New York State. They both related their struggle to keep costs down in their fight to keep the right to privacy regarding hand gun ownership. The representative from SCOPE detailed his battle in the courts as one of the many lawsuits against the SAFE act.
The audience that came to the event was as diverse as the speakers. There were hunters old and young, collectors, sport shooters, gun dealers, local law enforcement, and even a Federal agent. The questions were as varied as the audience diverse. Questions like is a New York State pistol license still valid if you move to another county? (Answer: You must report your move to local government) Can retired Police keep their service weapon even if it is illegal for citizens to own? (Answer: Yes but only the gun issued at the time of retirement, cannot be replaced with newer model) Who will check if more than 7 rounds in a larger magazine. (Answer: from Law enforcement officer it is up to the discretion of officer responding unless a crime has been committed. You have better reloaded if you fire more than 7) If the limit is seven can you have one in the chamber? (Answer: yes, but number eight would be illegal until it enters the chamber) If you own and register a newly designated “assault rifle” what happens when you pass away? (Answer: the fire arm must be turned over to police within five days, and then must be sold to another already licensed dealer or out of state. You cannot leave antique, military or heirloom guns to your family if Albany declared it an” assault weapon”)
The most persistent question is can anything be done about this law. The answer is since the law was written with severability no single lawsuit can stop the law, the part declared unconstitutional is just taken out, the rest remains .A recurring theme was we must vote, we must vote every election to stop these type of laws from ever seeing the light of day. The problem is with an estimated six million gun owners in New York only four million people bothered to vote in the last gubernatorial election. Cuomo won by a million votes. The other problem is when Assemblyman Katz asked who the Republican Party would run against Cuomo in 2014 and their reply was “we will see if we can find someone with enough money to run”.
The meeting proved to be very informative. The one point not one person in the room mentioned was progressives are patient people. They can’t outlaw guns but their plan is to demonize them make them expensive and trouble to own and difficult to teach a new generation about the sport. Their hope is one day only they will have guns.
If our country survives the progressives those that didn’t get involved, didn’t vote will be saying to themselves “They went after the smokers I didn’t smoke so I didn’t care, they went after the gun owners I didn’t do anything I didn’t own one, they went after the religious and since I don’t go to church I never stood up, when they came for me there was no left to stand up to them.”
Text of S.A.F.E. Act: http://open.nysenate.gov/legislation/bill/S2230-2013