Police in New York are having fits about suddenly being penalized by a hastily-written gun law, and they have company in Washington State, where a new policy banning firearms carried by off-duty law enforcement officers has been enacted at CenturyLink Field.
They won’t get much sympathy from the firearms community, other than “Welcome to the party!”
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s extremist gun control measure, passed in the dark of night Monday and quickly signed the following day had an unintended flaw. It did not exempt police officers. According to the local ABC affiliate, cops in the Empire State are furious that they were not exempted.
Why should they be? Why should civilian law enforcement be treated any different than the citizens they serve?
The report said the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association is working to change Cuomo’s measure to provide for an exemption. State Senator Eric Adams, who served with the New York Police Department, apparently is point man on the proposed change.
“You can’t give more ammo to the criminals,” he said about the new law that limits magazine capacity to seven rounds.
Perhaps some good citizen in the Empire State will remind Sen. Adams that this is precisely what he and his colleagues just did to every private citizen in the state. Why should private citizens be more poorly armed than criminals?
Out in Seattle, it used to be nobody’s business if someone went armed in the old Kingdome. With the new stadium and baseball park, however, those crafty anti-gunners in Seattle and King County governments have done what they think is an end-run around state preemption by contracting with a private firm to run the facilities.
Here’s what they think is a loophole (notice how anti-gunners are always willing to exploit a loophole to their benefit?) in the law:
(2) Cities, towns, counties, and other municipalities may enact laws and ordinances:
(a) Restricting the discharge of firearms in any portion of their respective jurisdictions where there is a reasonable likelihood that humans, domestic animals, or property will be jeopardized. Such laws and ordinances shall not abridge the right of the individual guaranteed by Article I, section 24 of the state Constitution to bear arms in defense of self or others; and
(b) Restricting the possession of firearms in any stadium or convention center, operated by a city, town, county, or other municipality, except that such restrictions shall not apply to:
(i) Any pistol in the possession of a person licensed under RCW 9.41.070 or exempt from the licensing requirement by RCW 9.41.060...
But now a ban on firearms carried by legally-licensed private citizens has been extended to off-duty police. It is wrong, and wrong-headed, but it may provide an opportunity for Washington sheriffs, their deputies and police officers’ guilds to work in good faith with the firearms community to undo this bit of stupidity, for everyone.
People who go through all the hoops to obtain a concealed pistol license – and there are about 393,000 of them in Washington – are far less likely to commit a serious crime than an average citizen because they realize they have more to lose, and they have also demonstrated a level of responsibility that gets them through the required background check.
Armed citizens are traditionally the strongest supporters of law enforcement, while anti-gun politicians traditionally use cops and sheriff’s deputies as political props, until they need to throw somebody to the lions when someone screams about “police brutality” or “profiling.”
Perhaps the time has come for armed private citizens and their friends in local police agencies to have a good discussion about discriminatory firearms regulations, and work together to do something about it.