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  • 09/30/2022 12:36 PM | Anonymous

    Syracuse federal judge remains skeptical of NY gun law as he considers whether to quash it.

    Updated: Sep. 29, 2022, 6:18 p.m.|  Published: Sep. 29, 2022, 2:03 p.m.  Syracuse Federal Building, home of the city's federal district courts.

    By Douglass Dowty | ddowty@syracuse.com

    Syracuse, NY — A federal judge in Syracuse on Thursday expressed doubt about the constitutionality of several parts of New York’s recent gun law as he heard arguments over whether to block its enforcement.

    Why can’t religious congregations decide whether or not to allow guns into their houses of worship? Why are guns presumptively banned from private property without explicit permission from owners? How can the government order people to provide their social media accounts to apply for a gun license?

    Those were among the concerns that U.S. District Judge Glenn Suddaby honed in on during hourlong arguments Thursday in Syracuse over whether he should temporarily ban the state from enforcing the new gun law, which took effect Sept. 1.

    The judge is expected to rule anytime after telling the parties in the noon hour that he would issue a written decision.

    During court, the judge voiced similar concerns to those he shared in his written opinion last month. Then he wrote that parts of the law were unconstitutional but said he couldn’t do anything about it yet. Those legal issues remained unresolved Thursday, with the state arguing that there still was no standing to challenge the law.

    But the hearing also drilled down on questions of substance posed by the law.

    For example, is a state law banning guns on private property without an owner’s permission a violation of the Second Amendment right to bear arms?

    Stephen Stamboulieh, a Mississippi lawyer who represents several gun owners challenging the law, argued that such a ban unfairly targets gun owners.

    For example, a home or business that welcomes guests with legal guns might need to post a large sign stating that preference, making them targets to those who may disagree with their position, Stamboulieh argued.

    He urged the judge to restore the previous New York standard, in which guns were allowed unless property owners banned them. “I don’t have a problem with a private property owner excluding someone because of a gun,” Stamboulieh said.

    On the other hand, the fact some people are uncomfortable with guns isn’t a reason to infringe on constitutional rights, he said.

    “Maybe some people have a problem with (others carrying guns), but this is constitutional carry,” Stamboulieh said.

    James Thompson, a special counsel to the state Attorney General’s Office for Second Amendment litigation, responded that the state wasn’t banning anything. Private property owners were free to decide whether to allow guns or not. The default was simply “no” instead of “yes.”

    For example, shouldn’t a homeowner know if a repairman coming into their house is carrying a gun? Thompson asked.

    “Property owners get to decide, and they get to know whether guns are being carried on their property,” Thompson said, adding later: “The government does not take a position one way or the other.”

    The opposing arguments highlighted a difference of opinion that carried throughout the court proceeding. Should the judge be considering whether the law carried the danger of being applied unconstitutionally? Or should the judge consider only if there is a valid, constitutional application of the law?

    “The standard should not be ‘Can we imagine an unconstitutional application?’ ” Thompson argued. “It’s ‘Can we imagine a constitutional one?’ ”

    Every law, if misused, could be carried out unconstitutionally, Thompson added.

    The state’s sweeping gun law forces otherwise law-abiding citizens to violate the law to exercise their Second Amendment rights, Stamboulieh responded. The threat of law-abiding citizens being arrested for a felony, punishable by prison time, for exercising their constitutional right to carry a gun was a “dire” situation, he said.

    “Three days might be the difference between getting arrested or not,” Stamboulieh said of why the judge needed to act fast to strike down the law.

    Both sides debated at length whether or not an Oswego County pastor should be able to carry his gun in church. Pastor Joseph Mann of the Fellowship Baptist Church, in Parish, is carrying his gun in defiance of the law banning guns in places of worship. He’s one of the plaintiffs in the current lawsuit, but was not required to be in court Thursday.

    Stamboulieh said that Mann, and others in his congregation, had received special church-specific training in carrying guns to protect the church from attack.

    But Thompson argued that banning weapons from places of worship might help prevent attacks by mass shooters. Suddaby questioned that argument, pointing to Stamboulieh’s argument that some attacks on religious services had been ended by armed congregants.

    Both sides also battled over the requirement that gun applicants turn over their social media accounts for the past three years for consideration.

    Thompson, the state lawyer, said nothing in the law required people to turn over passwords or set their settings so an investigating officer could read their social-media posts.

    But Stamboulieh noted that the law stated the purpose of turning over social media accounts was so investigators could confirm whether or not the applicant exhibited the character and conduct needed to responsibly carry a gun. How could that be determined if the investigator couldn’t read someone’s social media posts?

    Suddaby asked the state lawyer whether he could think of any other situation in which the government asked someone for their social media accounts on a sworn application.

    Thompson said he couldn’t think of another form, but pointed to a long history of laws that prohibit gun ownership by people deemed a threat to themselves or others. Historically, mass shooters have posted of their plans publicly on social media, he added.

    In his previous decision, Suddaby had opined that forcing someone to reveal their social-media accounts to exercise their Second Amendment right could be in violation of that person’s First Amendment right to free speech, or even their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination (if something potentially criminal was posted on their social media pages).

    Beyond the myriad of arguments targeting different portions of the law, Suddaby also has to decide what his role will be in determining the way forward.

    If the judge finds parts of the law unconstitutional, should he strike only those portions or the entire law? If he does strike down all or part of the law, should his ruling go into effect right away or remain stayed until the state has time to appeal?

    Suddaby suggested that, if he does rule against the law, he might allow the state time to appeal before his order goes into effect. That would, in essence, leave the fate of the law to an appellate court.

    Ultimately, regardless of what Suddaby decides, the state’s gun law appears headed for another review by the U.S. Supreme Court. The country’s high court set in motion the latest court battles by ruling New York’s gun licensing law unconstitutional, leading the state to respond by crafting the strictest gun laws in the country.

  • 09/16/2022 10:12 AM | Anonymous

    No more Brady Checks in Wayne County!

    September 16, 2022  by News10NBC

    whec.com/top-news/no-more-brady-checks-in-wayne-county

    WAYNE COUNTY, N.Y. (WHEC) — There’s been a change in the pistol permit process in Wayne County, outside of the new state laws that took effect on Sept. 1 of this year.

    Up until now, a background check would have to be completed, every five years, in order for a simple amendment to be applied to a pistol permit.  Such amendments included name or address changes, and disposal of weapons.  In Wayne County, one could not make a handgun purchase unless he/she had a current five-year background check on file. 

    Those background checks, also known as Brady Checks, required a comprehensive check of several systems to see if a permit holder had been involved in any activity that would initiate suspension or revocation proceedings of that permit.   That process could take up to several weeks, dependent upon the number of new applications submitted to the Sheriff’s Office.  Various political races also affected the amount of Brady Checks that were submitted.  The Brady process, combined with the regular course of business, conducting backgrounds for new pistol permit applicants lengthened the time it would take for a new applicant to acquire a permit.  

    Brady Checks, enacted in 1993, mandated background checks on firearm purchases.  With informational safeguards within the criminal justice system, to include the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, Sheriff Milby sought to streamline the redundancies of the system in Wayne County.  After discussions with Wayne County Court Judges and the Wayne County Clerk, a decision was made to cease the process, effective immediately.  

    “Those amendments that were pending will no longer have to wait.  County Clerk, Mike Jankowski will be sending those amendments out right away.  All Brady checks on file have been grandfathered into this.  To purchase a weapon on an existing permit, a NICS check will satisfy the process, and once the NICS check clears the purchase, you may file your amendment with the County Clerk,” said the Sheriff.

    Sheriff Milby wishes to remind everyone that New York State still requires all Carry Concealed Permit Holders to recertify their permits every 3 years, which can be done online, and is not a background check process.

  • 08/04/2022 10:07 AM | Anonymous

    Despite new law, guns welcome in some shops  by Thomas C. Zambito, Rockland/Westchester Journal News USA,  Today Network

    When he was a boy, Tzvi Waldman’s grandmother told him the story of the day the Nazis came to the house in the cornfields outside Budapest where she and her family had taken refuge with a family of non-Jews.

    She recalled dust landing on her face while she hid under the floorboards as armed Nazis searched the house for Jews.

    Guns represented an indelible image of horror etched into Waldman’s grandmother’s memory from the time she was a young girl.

    And so Waldman understood when she grew uncomfortable years later when he spoke about guns as a means of self-defense, an interest which led him in recent weeks to a public stand against gun laws approved by the Democratic-led state Legislature.

    Waldman, the head of the New York State Jewish Gun Club, has been handing out posters to businesses in the lower Hudson Valley, which alert customers that it’s OK to bring a concealed weapon into the store.

    They read: “Concealed Carry is Welcome Here. Thank you for keeping our children safe. May Hashem continue to watch over us.”

    The way Waldman sees it, armed self-defense is how all cultures – not just Jews − who flee oppression can take a stand to prevent the sort of tyranny they encountered in their homeland. And it’s an essential right amid a wave of mass shootings at

    “We don’t want it to go back to where it was. ... As long as we have the right to bear arms no one can force us back into chambers − anyone into chambers.”  Tzvi Waldman

    synagogues, schools, a shopping mall and a Buffalo supermarket that have highlighted the vulnerabilities of private citizens.

    “It’s embracing the American culture,” Waldman said. “We’re here. We’re safe. Let’s keep America safe. We don’t want it to go back to where it was. ... As long as we have the right to bear arms no one can force us back into chambers − anyone into chambers. It just can’t happen.”

    The posters take aim at what Waldman regards as an overly restrictive set of gun laws signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul. The measures were approved in response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning a century-old law limiting citizen access to concealed weapons.

    Among the restrictions in the new law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, is a ban on guns in “sensitive locations,” including schools and colleges, houses of worship, stadiums, theaters, parks, playgrounds, bars, subways and private property without the owner’s permission. Gov. Kathy Hochul said the provision would prevent hidden guns from turning up in public places.

    Waldman’s signs address a caveat in the new law, which allows handguns or rifles on private property if the business owner posts a sign saying they’re welcome.

    Pro-gun groups decry new gun control measures

    Pro-gun advocates viewed the new laws as government overreach.

    In a federal lawsuit, Carl Paladino, a Buffalo businessman running for a congressional seat in an upstate district, called the section of the law banning concealed weapons on private property “one of the most expansive infringements on the constitutional right to bear arms for self-defense ever adopted by a state legislature.” Gunsmith Erik Melanson posted one of Waldman’s signs on the door of his business, Precision Gunsmiths, which shares space with Molino Arms in Valley Cottage, Rockland County.

    “I think firearms are a great way to defend yourself and the people around you, which has been shown time and time again,” said Melanson, sporting a baseball cap adorned with a rifle and the phrase “Come and Take It.” He said the new laws have the potential to turn law-abiding gun owners into criminals overnight.

    “The fact of the matter is none of these laws are going to stop criminals from being criminals,” Melanson said. “In fact, I’ve never met a criminal who cared about laws.”

    ‘Better than an ADT sticker’

    Lucas McLaughlin, who owns a diner in Cobleskill, Schoharie County, was in Ace Hardware a few weeks back when he spotted a sticker that welcomes customers with concealed carry permits.

    He put it on the door to the diner and was stunned by the response. People have been sending him messages saying they were going to travel a long distance to show their support.

    “In all honesty it had nothing to do with or against the governor,” McLaughlin said. “The timing just happened to be perfect.”

    He worried that families would hesitate to bring their children in because they’d fear everyone inside had a handgun.

    But that hasn’t happened. The diner west of Albany has been in his family for three generations and is some 45 minutes from Conklin, the hometown of the man accused of killing 10 people in a racially-motivated attack at a Buffalo supermarket in May. “I slapped it on there and people were saying ‘Hey I’m really glad you put that there because of all the craziness,” McLaughlin said. The diner has been broken into three times in the middle of the night.

    “I feel like if customers are allowed to carry their own protection, if God forbid someone were to walk in here and try doing something, we wouldn’t just have a bunch of hands up in the air,” he said. “I feel like (the sign) is better than an ADT sticker.”

    Store owner who shot thief not a fan

    Not all private business owners are on board with the ability to opt-out of the new law’s restrictions.

    “I’m pro gun, don’t get me wrong,” said Barry Fixler, the owner of Barry’s Estate Jewelry in Bardonia, Rockland County. “But if every person carried a gun and somebody lost their temper, they’re gonna shoot each other.” In 2005, Fixler shot one of two men who came into his Route 304 store on Valentine’s Day pretending to be buying an engagement ring. “Don’t Move,” one of the men said. “I’ll ... kill you!” Fixler, who served as a Marine during Vietnam, slapped away the gun that was in his face and grabbed for a .38-caliber handgun he kept behind the counter. The 18-yearold he shot was paralyzed when the bullet struck his spinal cord. In order to carry a concealed weapon anywhere in New York, residents must go through a rigorous application process that includes training, fingerprinting and collecting character references.

    Waldman’s group arranges training for those who want to protect themselves in their home or business, as well as those who want to work as security guard in synagogues.

    “The minute (attackers) know somebody’s gonna shoot back at them and hurt them, they’re not going to do it,” Waldman said. “The only reason that they’re running rampant is because no one stands up to them. The minute they know they will be met with equal force they won’t do it and it’s simple as that. Most of these criminals that shoot up these schools they are cowards, they are weak-minded individuals. The minute they see a gun they drop it and run out.”

    Thomas C. Zambito covers energy, economic growth and transportation for The USA Today’s Network’s New York State team. He can be reached at Tzambito@Lohud.com or on Twitter at @Tom- Zambito.

  • 07/22/2022 10:26 AM | Anonymous

    Lee Zeldin attacker quickly released from jail — just as pol predicted  Snejana Farberov 7/22/2022

    The man accused of trying to stab Republican candidate for New York governor Lee Zeldin with a bladed weapon during a campaign stop on Thursday was released from jail within hours of his arrest on a felony charge — just as Zeldin had predicted.

    David Jakubonis, 43, from Fairport, New York, was arraigned overnight in Perinton Town Court on a count of second-degree attempted assault stemming from the attack on Rep. Zeldin but was quickly released on his own recognizance.

    In a tweet after the violent incident in Monroe County, Zeldin, who is running as a tough-on-crime candidate against incumbent Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul, said he expected his alleged assailant to be back on the streets in no time.

    “His words as he tried to stab me a few hours ago were ‘you’re done’, but several attendees, including @EspositoforNY, quickly jumped into action & tackled the guy,” the gubernatorial hopeful tweeted early Friday. “Law enforcement was on the scene within minutes. The attacker will likely be instantly released under NY’s laws.”

    David Jakubonis, 43, who was caught on video allegedly attacking Lee Zeldin with a bladed weapon during a campaign event Thursday, was released from jail. WHEC. Jakubonis was quickly subdued.New York GOP Zeldin, a sitting US congressman, had predicted Jakubonis’ swift release from jail on his own recognizance. Twitter/ Lee Zeldin David Jakubonis, 43, from Fairport, New York, was arraigned overnight in Perinton Town Court on a count of second-degree attempted assault stemming from the attack on Rep. Zeldin.WHEC.

    Critics on Twitter reacted with a mix of incredulity and dismay at the news of the suspect’s swift release.

    “This guy tried to stab a man running for Governor and is back on the streets?!?” Desi Cuellar, a GOP congressional candidate from Queens, tweeted. “New York has truly become a sick place run by criminals!”

    Ben Domenech, editor-at-large at The Spectator magazine, wrote: “Attempt to stab a GOP Congressman on stage, get released on your own recognizance. New York, everybody.”

    David G. Jakubonis is seen in an image from his Instagram page. Jakubonis was tackled by attendees after attacking Zeldin on stage.WHEC.

    Erin Perrine, former President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman, also weighed in: “Really sad to see how much my home state supports criminals more than victims.”

    Zeldin, a sitting US congressman from Long Island, was delivering a stump speech about bail reform in Perinton, New York, when he was confronted by Jakubonis.

    Jakubonis is seen above being led away in handcuffs. The weapon shaped like a cat’s face is seen in the foreground.The Firing Pin, LLC/Facebook Desi Cuellar, a GOP congressional candidate from Queens, slammed the suspect’s release under New York’s bail reform laws. Twitter/ Desi Cuellar

    The 43-year-old man, who is reportedly an Iraq War veteran and was said to be drunk at the time, was seen on video jumping on stage and lunging at the candidate with an unknown weapon shaped like a cat’s face featuring two blades.

    “I saw that he [was] approaching the congressman, so I jumped up on the stage,” witness Joe Chenelly told The Post.

    After a brief tussle between the suspect and Zeldin, Chenelly, a combat veteran, tackled the aggressor to the ground.

    Zeldin, a Republican, is looking to unseat incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul in November.William Farrington

    Chenelly told Rochester First that when he later spoke with Jakubonis and found out the suspect had served in Iraq, he promised to get him help.  

    “When he said he served in Iraq, I got down hands on my knees and said, ‘You know, we’re going to get through whatever you’ve done here tonight. You’re going to get better and focus on that. You can contact me after this thing is done,'” Chenelly, who is running for the state Assembly, told the outlet.

    Jakubonis was detained by a number of witnesses including GOP candidate for lieutenant governor Alison Esposito.

    Zeldin was unharmed and resumed his speech after Jakubonis was led away by police officers.

    Later on Thursday, Zeldin told The Post via text he was “OK” and described the incident as “crazy.”

    What do you think? Post a comment.

    Hochul, who will be facing off against Zeldin in November, condemned the attack on her opponent.

    “My team has informed me about the incident at Lee Zeldin’s campaign event tonight. Relieved to hear that Congressman Zeldin was not injured and that the suspect is in custody,” she said in the tweet. “I condemn this violent behavior in the strongest terms possible — it has no place in New York.”

    nypost.com /2022/07/22/lee-zeldins-alleged-attacker-quickly-released-from-jail/

  • 07/22/2022 9:17 AM | Anonymous

    NY Bar leader criticizes revised red flag law  from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle

    ALBANY – Weeks after lawmakers embraced expansions to a law that allows firearms to be seized from persons deemed to be dangerous, the revamped 'red flag' statute is flawed with 'significant deficiencies ' including potential threats to due process rights, according to the New York State Bar Association’s leader.

    Sherry Levin Wallach, president of the lawyers’ group, expressed concern that judges are required to make rulings regarding an individual’s mental state in the absence of a requirement for a psychiatric evaluation. She also pointed out the New York Red Flag law forces individuals to represent themselves when they lack funds to hire a lawyer or don’t understand the importance of being represented by an attorney.

    'We are all horrified by the tragic and repeated mass shootings across our state and nation, and support policy changes that might prevent the next tragedy from occurring,' Wallach said in an essay published by the USA Today Network. 'But expanding a broken statute like New York’s Red Flag Law without making much-needed improvements is not the answer.'

    Wallach’s commentary caught the attention of the National Rifle Association, which in a blog post Monday called her critique 'refreshing'

    The N.R.A. says it shares the view that dangerous people should not have access to firearms, but believes the New York statute has fundamental due process protections while creating risks to violations of the rights of innocent people.

    Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association and an N.R.A. board member, said he agreed with Wallach’s essay on the state framework for initiating emergency protection orders authorizing law enforcement to seize weapons from an individual.

    'It’s what we’ve been saying since Day One,' said King, whose group last month won a U.S. Supreme Court ruling which found New York’s restrictions for concealed carry permits infringed on the constitutional rights of applicants for pistol permits.

    New York has had a red flag law since 2019. But the issue got renewed attention following the May 14 racist massacre of 10 African Americans at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo. Those killings were allegedly carried out by an 18-year-old Broome County man whose erratic behavior in high school one year earlier drew State Police attention, though he still managed to acquire a Bushmaster XM-15 rifle in the weeks before the massacre at a shop in Endicott.

    The new amendments added to the Red Flag law last month require police and prosecutors to file extreme risk petitions when they have credible information that individuals are about to harm themselves or others. If police secure such a judicial order, they can seize guns or prevent the individuals named in the orders from acquiring firearms.

    In the nine weeks since the Buffalo massacre, State Police said their investigators have filed 143 Red Flag petitions, representing a significant increase in the pace of those interventions.

    Timothy Dymond, president of the union representing State Police detectives, said the governor’s office and the attorney general’s office 'have left us hanging' by not providing legal representation to those investigators when they go to court with the extreme risk removal petitions.

    'When they get temporary removal from the judge, they have a hearing scheduled within three days, and our people are going to these hearings without representation,' Dymond sasid. 'We’re oftentimes taking on a skilled defense attorney that represents the respondents. So it’s just a losing formula. The state of New York has attorneys representing its interests in traffic tickets. So the fact they have an investigator without an attorney representing the state’s interests for these cases is just baffling.'

    Thomas Mungeer, president of the New York State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, said the Red Flag requirements have become 'an unfunded mandate' for already strained State Police. 'We need the resources in order to complete the mission,' Mungeer said.

    The package of new gun laws included an expansion of those who may file extreme risk protection order petitions to include health care practitioners who have examined an individual within the last six months.

    Hochul’s office, asked about the Bar Association head’s critique of New York’s approach to Red Flag interventions, pointed to remarks Hochul made three weeks ago.

    Hochul noted then the state had raised the purchase age for semi-automatic rifles while increasing reliance on the Red Flag laws. 'And I thank the State Police for being so aggressive in their approach in making sure that we protect citizens,' Hochul added.

    An ardent supporter of gun owner rights, Assemblyman Robert Smullen, R-Fulton County, said the Red Flag law, in his view, remains flawed, while much of the package of new gun laws has the effect of hindering the ability of law-abiding people to exercise their right to have firearms to protect themselves.

    'They decided to pass an onerous law that applies to all legal, law-abiding citizens and prevents them from being able to defend themselves,' he said. 'On so many levels, it’s unconstitutional.'

    Smullen said one solution to a gun debate that is often geographical in nature is to have the S.A.F.E. Act -- the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement legislation of 2013 -- apply only in New York City.

    He noted it took police 25 minutes to respond to a home invasion crime at his rural house last December. 'That’s why people in my area own guns,' he said. 'It’s a different scenario than living in Manhattan.'

  • 07/19/2022 11:58 AM | Anonymous

    Why We Can't Have Nice Things: 'Good Samaritan' Who Saved Indiana Mall Goers Is Denounced as No Hero  By Alex Parker | Jul 18, 2022 AP Photo/Michael Conroy

    What makes someone a hero? How about a Good Samaritan? Evidently, such questions are contentious.

    And a Sunday incident has some insisting a brave bystander shouldn’t be celebrated.

    At the Greenwood Park Mall in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Area, a man opened fire. As reported by Deseret News, 20-year-old Johnathan Sapirman got off 24 rifle rounds.

    Tragically, three were murdered: Victor Gomez, 30; and couple Rosa Rivera de Pineda, 37, and Pedro Pineda, 56. Two more were injured: a 20-year-old female shot in the leg; and a 12-year minorly wounded by a deflected bullet.

    After entering the mall, Sapirman headed straight to the bathroom and was there for over an hour before exiting the bathroom and opening fire.

    “The most puzzling piece…was the amount of time that he was in the bathroom,” [Chief James Ison] said. “We believe he was getting ready.”

    But the man’s plans were thwarted because more than bad guys carry guns. Elisjsha Dicken, 22, stopped the mass shooter’s spree.

    Footage…showed that Dicken shot 10 rounds from his handgun, while motioning for citizens at the mall to exit behind him.

    Chief James has praised Elisjsha’s intervention:

    “Many more people would have died last night if a responsible, armed citizen hadn’t been present…”

    On Sunday evening, the chief compared Elisjsha to a biblical character. He did so again Monday:

    “The shooter was confronted by our Good Samaritan. … The Good Samaritan was armed with a pistol and engaged the shooter as he stood outside the restroom area firing into the food court. [Elisjsha] fired several rounds, striking the suspect. The suspect attempted to retreat back into the restroom [but] fell to the ground after being shot.”

    Does that sound like a hero to you? It doesn’t to a Bloomington traffic anchor. Murrow Award-winning journalist Justin Kollar was flabbergasted by the chief’s framing. He expressed his dismay in a tweet:

    “The term ‘Good Samaritan’ came from a Bible passage of a man from Samaria who stopped on the side of the road to help a man… I cannot believe we live in a world where the term can equally apply to someone *killing* someone… my God.”

    And he was none too impressed with Elisjsha packing heat.

    “It’s against the @simonmalls code of conduct for anyone to carry a weapon inside the mall. However, Greenwood Police are thankful the…man was.”

    Some online were in agreement. One user offered, “What you have is two gunmen — one of whom obeyed the law for a little longer than the mass shooter.”

    More remarks:

    ·       [A]sk yourself if you really want your mall experience to be like the wild…west.”

    ·       Why did he bring a gun shopping, in a specified gun-free zone? Hmm, not so good by definition. What if he was there to shoot people?”

    ·       I am horrified to see that term used in this context.”

    So goes America’s divide over guns. For many advocates, if a firearm is used to do evil, it’s apparently the fault of the weapon. But if a gun is used to stop the act, that implement earns no points. Nor does the person who rightfully employed it.

    Presently, a perpetrator may be more embraced than their victim (Language Warning):

    As for the issue of a Good Samaritan, the biblical act was extolled because it saved a life.

    Did Elisjsha do the same, many times over? You be the judge:

    ·       The shooter was armed with a Sig Sauer 400M .556-caliber rifle.

    ·       He had a Smith & Wesson M&P 15 .556 on reserve in the restroom.

    ·       A Glock 33 .357 pistol was on his person.

    ·       He was armed with over 100 rounds.

    ·       He’d been frequently practicing at a range for the past two years.

    ·       He had resigned from his warehouse job in May.

    ·       Police were told by family they believe he’d received a notice of eviction.

    That sounds like a man who came to kill the world.

    Thanks to Elisjsha Dicken — no matter what he’s called — that mission was swiftly and permanently scrapped.

    -ALEX

  • 07/18/2022 9:34 AM | Anonymous

    Hochul’s New Gun Law Has Impact On Houses of Worship

    On July 1, 2022, the state of New York enacted a new gun control law. The July 2022 Gun Control Law was passed in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assn. v. Bruen, which held that New York’s “concealed carry” law violated the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, the law was passed on the same day it was introduced, allowing no meaningful opportunity for public input.

    The July 2022 Gun Control Law contains provisions that relate to churches and other houses of worship. Specifically, the law lists several “sensitive locations” where New Yorkers will not be allowed to carry concealed weapons; thosesensitive locations include “any place of worship or religious observation,” schools, “nursery schools, preschools, and summer camps.” Under the July 2022 Gun Control Law, only certain classes of individuals (including, for example, law enforcement officers, active-duty military personnel, and persons acting as licensed and employed security guards) will be allowed to carry firearms at sensitive locations; anyone else carrying a firearm at a sensitive location shall be guilty of a felony. In essence, the state has made it unlawful for houses of worship to have armed congregants serve as members of their security teams unless those congregants are active or retired law enforcement officers. Churches would be permitted to hire professional security, but that could prove cost prohibitive for many houses of worship.

    New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms opposes the July 2022 Gun Control Law. Churches should be allowed to decide for themselves whether or not congregants should be allowed to carry in church. Instead, state government has taken that decision out of their hands.

  • 07/06/2022 9:02 PM | Anonymous

    Statement Concerning New York’s new Firearms Licensing Laws

    July 6, 2022 — Once again the New York State Legislature has seen fit to pass sweeping new criminal justice laws that affect the rights of millions of New York citizens, and which impose burdensome new duties on local government officials, without any consultation with the people who will be responsible for carrying out the provisions of those new laws.  This has become a habit with the Legislature and has resulted in other criminal justice disasters such as New York’s so-called Bail Reform Law.

    Some action by the Legislature was necessary to fill the firearms licensing vacuum created when the Supreme Court struck down New York’s unconstitutional restrictions on our citizens’ right to keep and bear arms.  But it did not need to be thoughtless, reactionary action, just to make a political statement.

    The new firearms law language first saw the light of day on a Friday morning and was signed into law Friday afternoon.  A parliamentary ruse was used to circumvent the requirement in our State Constitution that Legislators — and the public — must have three days to study and discuss proposed legislation before it can be taken up for a vote.  The Legislature’s leadership claimed, and the Governor agreed, that it was a “necessity” to pass the Bill immediately, without waiting the Constitutionally required three days, even though the law would not take effect for two full months.  Consequently, law enforcement agencies and the courts, which bear most of the responsibility for implementing the new licensing laws, were deprived of any opportunity to point out to Legislators the burdensome, costly, and unworkable nature of many of the new laws’ provisions.  And, of course, our citizens, whose rights are once again being circumscribed, probably again in unconstitutional ways, had no opportunity to communicate their concerns to their legislative representatives.

    We want to be clear: The Sheriffs of New York do strongly support reasonable licensing laws that aim to assure that firearms do not get into the wrong hands.  We do not support punitive licensing requirements that aim only to restrain and punish law-abiding citizens who wish to exercise their Second Amendment rights.  If we had been consulted before passage of these laws, we could have helped the Legislators discern the difference between those two things, and the result would have been better, more workable licensing provisions that respect the rights of our law-abiding citizens and punish the lawbreakers.

  • 06/30/2022 11:40 AM | Anonymous

    'Briefly' . . .  The Recent SCOTUS Decision Explained  Ammoland Inc. Posted on June 29, 2022 by Dean Weingarten

    Supreme Court Upholds Gun Rights Outside of the Home, Let’s Break It Down

    The opinion by Justice Thomas is relatively simple. The Constitution must be interpreted as what it meant to the people who ratified it in 1791.

    It is so ordered!

    The dissent starts on page 84. The dissent by Breyer Starts with a false use of the English language:
    This opinion should go far in restoring Second Amendment rights.  However, Progressive judges are persistent and inventive in finding ways to justify the positions they wish to take.

    The Supreme Court opinion on the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen was released on June 22, 2022. It is a 6 to 3 opinion, which upholds the Second Amendment as applying outside the home and rebukes Circuit Courts for creating an unnecessarily complicated two step process in applying Second Amendment protection to statutes. The opinion is 135 pages long.

    Justice Clarence Thomas wrote the majority opinion, which was joined by Justice Alito, Justices Kavanaugh and Roberts, and Justice Barrett in concurring opinions. Justice Alito and Barrett concur in full. Justices Kavanaugh and Roberts simply concur.

    Looking at history can aid in the understanding, but what was meant at the time of ratification is key. In addition, the Second Amendment became applicable to state governments with the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, so what was meant by the Fourteenth Amendment at the time of ratification is also important.

    Justice Thomas cites Caetano v. Massachusetts as one way the Court has adopted the Second Amendment to modern realities.

    Thomas clarifies all parties agree the Second Amendment applies outside the home. The respondents, who try to defend the New York “may issue” law, attempt to render the Second Amendment meaningless, by giving state authorities the power to decide who the Second Amendment applies, on a case-by-case basis.

    Quotes from the opinion show Thomas correctly points out Second Amendment rights apply to ordinary, law-abiding adults. From Page 3 :

    It is undisputed that petitioners Koch and Nash—two ordinary, law-abiding, adult citizens—are part of “the people” whom the Second Amendment protects.

    and

    Nothing in the Second Amendment’s text draws a home/public distinction with respect to the right to keep and bear arms, and the definition of “bear” naturally encompasses public carry.

    On page 4, Thomas explains the requirement for states to show their law is Constitutional.

    The burden then falls on respondents to show that New York’s proper-cause requirement is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.

    This is important because it sets the standard for states which are attempting to regulate the right to keep and bear arms. They have the burden of showing a widespread historical precedent for their proposed law.  The precedent has to be greater than what existed for the Sullivan law.

    On page 11 Thomas mentions, specifically, six states which fail the test. According to the decision, six states require some special need beyond that of ordinary citizens for self defense. Those states are:

    California, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Maryland. The District of Columbia is mentioned, with the caveat the law there has been enjoined by the lower court for several years.  The laws in those states, by being mentioned, appear to this correspondent, to have been effectively struck down.

    On page 14, Justice Thomas goes on to strike down the ridiculously complicated “two-step” framework which has become common to interpret the Second Amendment in several Circuit courts.

    In the years since, the Courts of Appeals have coalesced around a “two-step” framework for analyzing Second Amendment challenges that combines history with means-end scrutiny.

    Today, we decline to adopt that two part approach. In keeping with Heller, we hold that when the Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct, the Constitution presumptively protects that conduct.

    On page 59, Justice  Thomas recounts of the purposes of the Fourteenth Amendment, to protect the freed slaves and to ensure their right to arms.

    On page 64, Thomas states late 19th-century regulation should bear little weight compared to earlier evidence.

    As we suggested in Heller, however, late-19th-century evidence cannot provide much insight into the meaning of the Second Amendment when it contradicts earlier evidence.

    On page 66, Justice Thomas dismisses the Kansas court understanding of the Second Amendment in 1901 as clearly erroneous:

    For example, the Kansas Supreme Court uphelda complete ban on public carry enacted by the city of Salinain 1901 based on the rationale that the Second Amendment protects only “the right to bear arms as a member of the state militia, or some other military organization provided for by law.” Salina v. Blaksley, 72 Kan. 230, 232, 83 P. 619, 620 (1905). That was clearly erroneous.

    On page 68, Justice Thomas explains the limitations on the carry of arms are few and not broadly applied.

    Those restrictions, for example, limited the intent for which one could carry arms, the manner by which one carried arms, or the exceptional circumstances under which one could not carry arms, such as before justices of the peace and other government officials. Apart from a few late-19th-century outlier jurisdictions, American governments simply have not broadly prohibited the public carry of commonly used firearms for personal defense.

    Continuing on page 69, Justice Thomas explains the Second Amendment is due all the same respect as the First Amendment and the Sixth Amendment.

    The Second Amendment is not a Second Class Constitutional Right. It deserves the same respect as the First Amendment, or the Sixth Amendment. The constitutional right to bear arms in public for self-defense is not “a second-class right, subject to an entirely different body of rules than the other Bill of Rights guarantees.” McDonald, 561 U. S., at 780 (plurality opinion). We know of no other constitutional right that an individual may exercise only after demonstrating to government officers some special need. That is not how the First Amendment works when it comes to unpopular speech or the free exercise of religion. It is not how the Sixth Amendment works when it comes to a defendant’s right to confront the witnesses against him. And it is not how the Second Amendment works when it comes to public carry for self-defense.

    Finally, Justice Thomas strikes down the New York law as unconstitutional.

    New York’s proper-cause requirement violates the Fourteenth Amendment in that it prevents law-abiding citizens with ordinary self-defense needs from exercising their right to keep and bear arms. We, therefore, reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

    Justice Alito writes a concurring opinion, starting on page 75.

    I reiterate: All that we decide in this case is that the Second Amendment protects the right of law-abiding people to carry a gun outside the home for self-defense and that the Sullivan Law, which makes that virtually impossible for most New Yorkers, is unconstitutional.

    On page 77, he explains the thrust of the dissent. His explanation is similar to what this writer has written, many times

    Like that dissent in Heller, the real thrust of today’s dis-sent is that guns are bad and that States and local jurisdictions should be free to restrict them essentially as they see fit. That argument was rejected in Heller, and while the dissent protests that it is not re-arguing Heller, it proceeds to do just that. See post, at 25–28.

    Heller correctly recognized that the Second Amendment codifies the right of ordinary law-abiding Americans to protect themselves from lethal violence by possessing and, if necessary, using a gun. In 1791, when the Second Amendment was adopted, there were no police departments, and many families lived alone on isolated farms or on the frontiers. If these people were attacked, they were on their own. It is hard to imagine the furor that would have erupted if the Federal Government and the States had tried to take away the guns that these people needed for protection.

    Today, unfortunately, many Americans have good reason to fear that they will be victimized if they are unable to protect themselves. And today, no less than in 1791, the Second Amendment guarantees their right to do so.

    On page 79, Kavanaugh joins with Roberts in concurring. They do not say they concur “in full”. They list the many ways the Second Amendment may still be regulated. It is disappointing, but their concurrence does not carry as much weight as does Thomas’ opinion.

    On page 83, Barret concurs in full, and warns against using Reconstruction Era history in interpreting the Second Amendment. She notes the Court’s decision does not prohibit States from imposing licensing requirements for carrying a handgun for self-defense. In particular, the Court’s decision does not affect the existing licensing regimes—known as “shall-issue” regimes—that are employed in 43 States.

    “In 2020, 45,222 Americans were killed by firearms.”

    The basis for nearly all “gun control” legislation is the transference of motive and volition from people to an inanimate object. The correct English usage is: Americans were killed with firearms, not by firearms.

    Justice Breyer goes on to claim the Constitution does not place certain things outside of government power to do. He complains about the majority opinion thus, on Page 85:

    It refuses to consider the government interests that justify a challenged gun regulation, regardless of how compelling those interests maybe. The Constitution contains no such limitation, and neither do our precedents.

    Justice Breyer is mistaken. One of the clear purposes of the Constitution is to place certain things outside of government power. A core philosophical building block of Progressive thought is limits on governmental power are bad. This is not the philosophy the Constitution was based upon.

    Breyer simply contends the majorities interpretation of historical law is wrong. He supplies the minorities’ interpretation.

    It is difficult to see how even the Ninth Circuit can uphold the Hawaii licensing scheme in Young v. Hawaii, or the bans on magazines over 10 rounds or bans on so-called “assault weapons” in California, when those items have already been ruled to be covered by the Second Amendment.

    This opinion does not end the fight for restoring Second Amendment rights. It moves us along the path toward full restoration.

  • 06/23/2022 6:26 PM | Anonymous

    Full text of the Supreme Court's decision on the NYSRPA vs Bruen case (Pdf)

    https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/20-843_7j80.pdf

    SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES Syllabus NEW YORK STATE RIFLE & PISTOL ASSOCIATION, INC., ET AL. v. BRUEN, SUPERINTENDENT OF NEW YORK STATE POLICE, ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT

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