A New York state appeals court ruling that rejected a New York Times request for the identities of gun licensees in New York City is being ballyhooed as a victory for gun owner privacy and a defeat for the newspaper, but is that really the case?
Isn’t this just a move by the appellate court to protect the identities of the elite New Yorkers who have managed to get gun permits?
The appeals court ruling specifically notes that this case applies to a request for “an electronic copy of a database, as redacted, of names and addresses of New York City residents who have been granted handgun licenses…”
It has long been asserted by gun rights advocates that in The Big Apple, you need at least one of three things to get a handgun permit: celebrity status, political influence and/or money. The Second Amendment Foundation is currently suing the city in an effort to change the money side of things because the fees associated with getting a permit in the city are rather steep for the average citizen.
The Times had been after this information for a while, since before a newspaper in the lower Hudson River Valley published the names and addresses of average citizens, including police officers and prison guards, who have gun licenses in two counties. This was apparently done in reaction to the Sandy Hook attack in December, and there appears to be no doubt at all that the anti-gun sentiments of the newspaper editor and publisher were at work.
Why the New York Times would want to expose city residents to the same kind of publicity is just another manifestation of the anti-gun media philosophy that seems to permeate the mainstream press. In this case, however, an appeals court sided with the handgun permit holders.
Three thousand miles to the west, tonight’s meeting of the Oak Harbor City Council continues to shape up as a confrontation between gun owners and anti-gun elitists. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the council chambers and it promises to be a standing-room-only event.
Anti-gunners on the city council may use the opportunity to pontificate about guns and the safety of children in parks, and all the horrid things that happen because some people are irresponsible with firearms. But when the dust settles, the city has no option to repeal of an ordinance banning firearms in parks because it runs afoul of the 30-year-old state preemption law.
Attempts to change the venue of the meeting to a “gun free school zone” failed, and the evening will reveal whether anti-gunners are able to pack the meeting and keep gun rights activists out. KING5 News confirmed that the controversy has gained national attention.
Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation in Bellevue, is waiting to see what the council does before launching a threatened legal action which the city is almost certain to lose. After all, Seattle tried the same thing and failed at trial, again at the appeal level and finally when the State Supreme Court refused to review the case.
If Seattle couldn’t beat SAF and its fellow plaintiffs in a challenge to the preemption law, Oak Harbor probably doesn’t have a prayer and tonight’s council session may be all show.
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