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  • 09/05/2023 8:28 AM | Anonymous

    NRA, hunters and US Forest Service beat environmental groups in legal battle over lead ammo

    The environmentalists said that when animals are shot and their remains are left behind or when they are field-dressed, the toxic ammunition fragments can be ingested by other animals.

    A federal court ruled in favor of the National Rifle Association, hunters and the U.S. Forest Service over environmental groups who were pushing to ban lead ammunition in a national forest.

    The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday unanimously rejected an attempt from the Sierra Club, the Grand Canyon Wildlands Council and the Arizona-based Center for Biological Diversity to order the Forest Service to ban lead ammunition in the Kaibab National Forest, which is a popular hunting destination near the Grand Canyon.

    The Center for Biological Diversity first filed the lawsuit in 2012 alleging that the Forest Service violated federal conservation law by failing to regulate lead ammo in the Kaibab. The following year, the NRA, and two hunting groups – the Safari Club and the National Sports Shooting Foundation – joined as defendants in the lawsuit.

    The environmentalists said that when animals are shot and their remains are left behind or when they are field-dressed, the toxic ammunition fragments can be ingested by other animals.

    Because the center admits that the Forest Service is "not the source of any lead ammunition found in the Kaibab, the question is whether a person who has some power to prevent someone else from contributing to the handling, storage, treatment, transportation, or disposal of hazardous waste is liable," the court wrote in its opinion Friday before stating "that the answer is no."

    "This NRA victory is a significant setback for gun control and anti-hunting advocates who see ammo bans as a pivotal leap in their agenda," the rifle association wrote on X after the court's decision.

  • 08/24/2023 8:43 AM | Anonymous

    NY gun owners will face background check fees for ammo purchases next month

    August 24, 2023 6:19 AM Staff Report 

    Starting September 13, New York State will require gun owners to undergo a background check every time they purchase ammunition, a move that has left many perturbed.

    Not only will buyers have to navigate the new checks, but they’ll also shoulder the cost: $9 for the firearm background check and an additional $2.50 for ammunition.

    The collected fees will be channeled to the state police to facilitate the checks.

    Advocates have expressed concerns over the lack of clarity provided to dealers and the potential time lag for checks, given the added workload for the state police.

  • 08/22/2023 9:17 AM | Anonymous

    Changes Coming Soon for New York State Gun Owners  MONDAY, AUGUST 21, 2023
    Changes Coming Soon for New York State Gun Owners

    There are some significant changes due to take effect early next month in the Empire State.

    New York is switching from a jurisdiction in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducts firearms-related NICS background checks, to one in which the New York State Police will conduct all firearm and ammunition-related background checks using both NICS and a pending “statewide license and record database.” This shift is occurring due to legislation enacted last year, NY Exec. Law § 228, which authorizes the state police to act as the “point of contact” for background checks required under “18 U.S.C. sec. 922(t), all federal regulations and applicable guidelines adopted pursuant thereto, and the national instant criminal background check system for the purchase of firearms and ammunition.”

    That law directs the Superintendent of State Police to establish a “centralized bureau” for firearm and ammunition background checks.  NY Exec. Law § 228(7) specifies that, within 60 days of July 15, 2023, the superintendent must “notify each licensed dealer holding a permit to sell firearms” to submit requests for background checks to the state police, which appears to be an indirect way of setting a deadline of September 13 (the date the 60-day period expires) for the system to be operational.

    Section § 228(5) allows the state to charge fees for background checks using this state database, which fees cannot “exceed the total amount of direct and indirect costs incurred by the bureau in performing such background check.” One source indicates that these fees will add an additional $9 (firearms) and $2.50 (ammunition) to purchases and transfers.

    The shift to a state “point of contact” jurisdiction occurs in tandem with a second change, a related but separate development under a state law that mandates background checks for ammunition transfers by “sellers of ammunition.” This background check requirement dates back to the SAFE Act of 2013 and requires that a state database for ammunition background checks be used (federal law, 28 C.F.R. 25.6, limits the use of the NICS system for checks “only in connection with a proposed firearm transfer as required by the Brady Act. FFLs are strictly prohibited from initiating a NICS background check for any other purpose”).

    This ammunition background check requirement comes with a statutory precondition and grace period before it may take effect. Specifically, the state police superintendent must first “certify” that “the statewide license and record database established pursuant to [NY Penal Law § 400.02] and the statewide license and record database established for ammunition sales are operational,” followed by a 30-day period after which the ammunition background check requirement is in effect. In a classic example of the New York’s legislature’s signature style of “pass gun control laws first, figure out if they work later,” it became apparent once the SAFE Act was passed that the ammunition background check mandate was unachievable at the time. The-then police superintendent advised that his agency lacked the technology to implement the requirement and had “no idea when ammunition background checks… will begin across the state.”

    A further complication is that the entire ammunition background check database project was placed in abeyance due to a 2015 memorandum of understanding (MOU). The agreement, entered into by the Cuomo Administration and then-Republican Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, promised that no state money would be spent on implementing the ammunition background check database until a cost plan had been approved by the parties. The MOU further stipulated that any certification of the database as operational would not be made until the parties had approved a plan on its implementation. Last year, however, Governor Kathy Hochul indicated she was aware of the “old MOU that was signed related to ammunition sales after laws were passed the decade ago, it was an administration document between the prior administration and the Senate Republicans,” but decided to ignore it – “we are literally tearing it up and New York will now require and conduct background checks for all ammunition purchases.”

    There is no indication on either the state police or the governor’s websites that the certification of the statewide license and record database as operational has occurred. However, the NY State Police website currently advises that the “background check requirements imposed on all retail sellers of ammunition are scheduled to take effect on September 13, 2023.”

  • 08/22/2023 8:26 AM | Anonymous

    On Wednesday, September 13, 2023, federally-licensed dealers in firearms in New York will be closed for business because they will be on strike. The Second Amendment “to keep” - of “to keep and bear arms” - will go dark. Without dealers, there will be nothing for you “to keep.” No firearms. No ammunition. We’re doing it to raise public awareness of unjust laws passed summer 2022, which dealers are fighting in federal court. On July 25, 2023, the New York State Police “Joint Terrorism Taskforce” started enforcing of those laws against dealers without notification to anyone. On September 13, 2023, the NYSP will attempt to launch its new firearms and ammunition background checks and it will start the build of the first-ever in U.S. history single database of gun owners.

    Will you stand in solidarity?

    At noon on September 13, we’re asking you to stand in solidarity with dealers fighting for your Second Amendment rights, your privacy, your Heller-McDonald-NYSRPA v. Bruen. Will you please go to your local rod & gun club, your local range, your local sportsmen’s association property, and fire a round. Make this the “Shot Heard ‘Round the State II.” We did this ten years ago after the “SAFE Act.” We need to do it again.

  • 08/22/2023 8:24 AM | Anonymous

    Aug 20 

    Written By Paloma Capanna

    It’s Sunday morning.  I thought that waking up would make reaching out to y’all one step easier.  Even singing “Try that in a Small Town” as I walked in the ADK this morning was no salve. So let’s just get this over with.

    I was yesterday texted a copy of this “official” letter from Hochul and Nigrelli, engaged in conversations, absorbed it, and thought I might hear from more than this one dealer who opened the mail to this letter.  It’s a British thing, but I don’t believe in delivering serious news in the dark or on a Sunday morning, before we’ve had a chance to go to church and ground ourselves to our family.  At least one of you dealers is sending a granddaughter off to college today, but I want you to have this afternoon to read through this letter from NYS Governor Kathleen Hochul and Acting Superintendent Stephen Nigrelli, received yesterday by an FFL trying to do business in New York. 

    It appears this letter is intended by Hochul and Nigrelli to constitute official dealer notification.

    There are a number of highly critical legal points to be made about this Hochul-Nigrelli letter – and those are going straight to the NYS Attorney’s Office 9:01 a.m. tomorrow.  I’ll share that as the next day or two gets on.

    I’m pushing out the Hochul-Nigrelli letter to my website for your FREE download, review, and discussion because I’m wanting to hear your thoughts as our conversation switches from gossip to go-mode.  It’ll also save you the surprise as you open tomorrow’s mail.  When you get yours, would you kindly scan both the letter and the envelope showing the postmark date and e-mail them to me as PDFs to paloma[@]2AMPatriot[dot]com?  I thank all of you helping me to develop a dataset.

    Wednesday, September 13, 2023.  We’re calling for all dealers and pawnbrokers to go on strike, at least for that one day.  And we’re calling for everyone to fire a single shot in solidarity at high noon, as part of the “Shot Heard ‘Round the State, II.” 

    I’m ready, if you wish, to start adding your names, your shop names, your rod & gun clubs, your sporting organizations, your churches, your 4-H.  Anyone in support who wants to stand up and add their name to the STRIKE + SHOOT page of my website, just send me a message. 

    We’re not near as small as they think and we have voice.  You simply have to decide to take it out of mothballs, where we all put it, along side our broken hearts, when our efforts against the “SAFE Act” failed at a time when it was Cuomo and a GOP NYS Senate majority.  This is too important to look backwards, and any number of you – God bless you! – only got your FFL after the “SAFE Act” and some of you even since the 10-bill anti-gun bill package was shoved through by Hochul last summer.

    Please stand with the Plaintiffs in Gazzola v. Hochul, and please stand strong.  This is the opening shot we knew was coming, and now we have it in writing after three weeks of the NYSP-JTTF slinking their way into our shops. Keep shining that light on everything they’re trying to pull over on dealers and pawnbrokers who are fighting hard to protect everyone’s Second Amendment rights in this modern America.


  • 08/22/2023 8:22 AM | Anonymous

    The First Shot is Fired

    Did you hear it yesterday? 
     A dealer opened his mail and found the “official” letter to dealers from NYS Governor Kathleen Hochul and the Acting Superintendent of the NYS Police.  No date filled in.  A postmark that means it was USPS posted too late to meet statutory notification requirements.  Legal errors.  It’s a damned mess to untangle into a coherent letter to the opposing NYS Attorney General.  

    For now, on this day we should be at rest, I apologize, but must ask you to share this e-blast with its links to everyone you know, especially your local dealers and pawnbrokers in firearms. There were 1,791 of them when I filed Gazzola v. Hochul back on November 1, 2022. We’ve already lost some, and, with a heavy heart, I know we’re about to lose more. It’s up to us to pull together to do everything we can to be the counterveiling force in support of these brave FFL owners and employees who are fighting to stay open so that we all can exercise our fundamental, first-class Second Amendment rights, here in New York. It’s the modern civil rights movement, and this is what’s being asked of us.

  • 08/08/2023 8:23 AM | Anonymous

    Colorado gun law raising age to purchase gun to 21
    set to take effect Monday

    A Colorado gun reform law that will prohibit people under 21 years old from purchasing a gun will go into effect on Monday.

    SB23-169, one of several sweeping gun reform measures approved by the state legislature and signed by the governor in the spring, will prohibit people under the age of 21 from purchasing a gun, with exceptions for active members of the U.S. armed forces, peace officers and people certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training board.

    Local gun shops and shooting ranges say the new law might lower profit, but they are more worried about the people who will be unable to protect themselves.

    "People under the age of 21 are no longer going to have the right to defend themselves with firearms," DCF Guns store manager Kevin Day told Fox 21. "The best thing we can do is continue to educate the public."


    Some gun groups, including the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, have filed lawsuits against Democrat Gov. Jared Polis and the State of Colorado in an attempt to strike down the new law, The organization filed a Temporary Restraining Order to potentially prevent the law from going into effect, arguing that it is unconstitutional.

    RMGO said if people are allowed to vote when they are 18, they should be allowed to purchase a gun.

    "You can be drafted into the military. You can go and die for your country, but you can’t own a gun. That’s just wrong," RMGO Executive Director Taylor Rhodes told Fox 21.

    State sponsors of the legislation said it is meant to protect young people, not to criminalize responsible gun owners.


    SB23-169 is one of several sweeping gun reform measures approved by the state legislature and signed by the governor in the spring. 

    "This isn't trying to infringe on anybody’s rights … What it comes down to is saving lives, we know that youth suicide has increased," Majority House Leader Monica Duran, Majority House Leader told the outlet. "We know domestic violence has increased."

    Duran, a Democrat, said limiting access to guns is a way to improve public safety.

    "The easier it is to access something, the more likelihood that it can be used in a way that could be detrimental to not just our youth but our community," she said.

  • 07/24/2023 9:07 AM | Anonymous

    The sorta-secret world of New York's high school trap shooting clubs  bCam Edwards | 4:30 PM on July 22, 2023

    The sorta-secret world of New York's high school trap shooting clubsBernardo De Niz

    We’ve written before about the trap shooting’s explosive growth in popularity in states like Minnesota, where it’s the fastest growing high school sport, but I confess that I had no idea it was so popular in the anti-gun state of New York until I ran across a letter to the editor in the Rome Sentinel. Bohdan Rabarsky, the chairman of Oneida/Herkimer chapter of SCOPE, wrote to the paper with a very good question: why hasn’t the New York State Public High School Athletic Association recognized trap shooting as an official sport?

    Rabarsky explains that, lacking that designation, high schools that want to put together teams have to operate them as clubs, not official athletic programs. And despite the state’s attempt to shut the shooting sports out of official recognition, the number of clubs and participants are growing by leaps and bounds.

    This is a sport that’s not only the fastest-growing sport in New York State, but the safest sport, as there’s never been a recorded injury since its inception 10 years ago.

    Participants are required to take a gun safety course, be certified and wear safety glasses and eye protection.

    Shotguns are kept in locked cases or at gun clubs and only loaded when it’s time to fire at a clay target.

    Teams are made up of boys or girls, or can be co-ed, with boys and girls competing on the same team.

    Students with disabilities are encouraged to participate, as speed and strength are not required for membership to a shooting club.

    In June, the Bridgeport Rod & Gun Club held the New York State championship where more than 1,500 students participated.

    1,500 kids isn’t quite Minnesota territory, where about 8,000 student-athletes compete in the state trap shooting championship, but that’s still a lot more than I would have expected. Honestly, I never even thought about any high school-sponsored shooting sports programs in New York because I figured the state would have put the kibosh on that long ago. Let’s hope that no anti-gunner stumbled across Rabarsky’s report or we may soon see legislation to that effect in Albany.

    Rabarsky says that most of the clubs are in rural high schools, which may have trouble fielding football, baseball, or even basketball teams, and that trap shooting “fills a void” that would otherwise be left unmet. I’m willing to bet that there’d be interest from students in larger high schools as well, however. One of the great things about the shooting sports is that there’s generally room for everyone, at least at the high school level, so you don’t have to worry about riding the bench or never getting a chance to actually participate outside of practice. If you’re on the team then you’re competing, which simply isn’t the case with most high school athletic programs.

    That’s not the only benefit. As Radarsky points out, trap shooting is incredibly safe, and teaches kids how to be safe and responsible with firearms. Do we want kids learning about guns from video games and social media, or do we want them to get instruction on real gun safety in a safe and controlled environment? The abstinence-based approach mandated by gun control activists isn’t working out that great, so why not try something that’s both educational and fun instead?

    I think it’s the last part that’s a deal-breaker for the anti-gunners, who have targeted youth shooting sports from California to Massachusetts in recent years. The gun control groups make no bones about wanting fewer gun owners, and one way to do that is to discourage any and all reasons for owning one, from self-defense to the shooting sports. Many of those 1,500 kids who took part in the New York State Championship may go on to own guns as adults, for any number of reasons that are entirely unacceptable to the Shannon Watts’ of the world, who view the shooting sports a gateway drug to gun ownership.

    Any attempt to gain official recognition for New York’s high school trap teams is likely to hit a brick wall of bureaucracy, but if the effort inspired other high schools to at least adopt trap shooting clubs it might be worth the effort… at least if it didn’t result in the state’s anti-gun legislative majority banning the clubs from operating as well.

  • 07/11/2023 9:34 AM | Anonymous

    Advocates: Next SCOTUS gun rights decision will clarify N.Y. laws

    PUBLISHED 7:11 PM ET JUL. 10, 2023

    Advocates on both sides of the gun rights debate are preparing for the next battle in interpreting Second Amendment rights and its potential impact on state laws.

    Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments this fall to decide if a 1994 federal statute prohibiting anyone actively subject to a domestic violence restraining order from having firearms is constitutional. It comes after a Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel threw out the conviction of Texas man Zackey Rahimi, who was convicted of possessing firearms while under such a restraining order.

    Judges cited last year's Supreme Court ruling and decided though Rahimi discharged his weapon in public five times in two months while subject to the order, it did not invalidate his constitutional right to bear arms under the Second Amendment. The court argued no similar laws in U.S. history confiscated guns from people who were violent against their spouse or partner.

    "If you were married to a man and he abused you, you had every right to beat your wife, as long as you didn't leave permanent marks," said SUNY Cortland political science professor Robert Spitzer. "That was the legal standard 200 years ago."

    Spitzer has written five books on gun control and is an expert on national gun policy; he's skeptical the Supreme Court will completely strike down the nearly 30-year-old federal statute.

    "I think the country could not tolerate such a decision," he added. "I think the court would have a hard time coming up with five votes on behalf of that decision."

    Throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, colonies and U.S. states had laws where a person found hunting in the wrong place at the wrong time could have their firearms taken away, Spitzer said.

    "So would that provide a valid historical analogue to modern domestic violence laws? To me, the answer would clearly be yes," he said.

    Spitzer added he'll be surprised if the court upholds the domestic violence law is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment with the modernized national view of abuse — pointing to several studies linking more violent domestic abuse outcomes to gun ownership.

    Abusers with access to firearms are five times more likely to kill their partners, according to a control study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

    About 4.5 million American women alive today, or 1 in 27, have had an intimate partner threaten them with a gun, according to an article in the National Library of Medicine.

    "Time and time again, evidence shows that when a domestic abuser has access to a gun, the likelihood that their intimate partner will end up being shot and killed is extremely high," said Rebecca Fischer, executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence. "However, the courts are, you know, wondering whether or not they can actually take that evidence into account."

    Advocates like Fischer who fight for stricter gun control laws in the state say the highest court's decision will be pivotal in future analysis of gun laws across the nation. Last year, the Supreme Court overhauled a long-standing New York law in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen and ruled Americans have the right to carry a firearm in public for self-defense. State lawmakers returned days later to strengthen New York's Red Flag Laws, which allow police to seize firearms of someone who is posing a danger to themselves or other people.

    Lawmakers last June also swiftly updated the state's concealed carry law limiting the public places where guns could be taken, and stricter requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit.

    "The decision will not only have implications for individuals who are threatened by intimate partners and have suffered from domestic abuse, but it also could have implications on how courts analyze gun laws and whether or not gun laws across the country are still considered constitutional under the Second Amendment," Fischer said.

    SCOTUS' next gun rights decision, not expected until late spring 2024, will likely reinvigorate challenges to the state's emboldended Red Flag Law. A federal lawsuit is pending against the updated concealed carry law.

    Advocates fighting to protect Second Amendment rights, like state Rifle & Pistol Association Executive Director Tom King, say the stricter law can lead to the confiscation of a person's firearms without legal due process.

    "Your firearms are taken away without ever having gone to a judge — there's no search warrants, no nothing," King said Monday. "They come in, and they take your firearms. It's no different than if somebody came in and they said, 'We heard you were speeding,' and they come in and take your car away. I mean, where does it end?"

    King is hopeful about the Supreme Court's review of the 1994 federal domestic violence statute, arguing the current rule is too broad. He says each person's case should be reviewed separately instead of the way the federal domestic violence law paints every person with the same brush.

    "I think that each case has to be looked at individually," he said. "And I think that's what the Supreme Court is doing right now."

    Advocates on both sides of the discussion agree on a single point: The Supreme Court's decision will help clarify last year's gun rights ruling, and define the new standards for judges across the nation when deciding on legal challenges to existing firearm restrictions.

    "This new decision will provide some clarity on how to analyze gun laws that, right now, courts are all over the map in terms of how to interpret Bruen," Fischer said. "...If they find a law, if they utilize a law that is comparable to the federal laws that qualifies is historical and fits within the new framework of analysis, then that will give courts going forward more guidance on what type of historical laws should be applied to uphold gun laws in the future."

    King is confident law-abiding gun owners in the state will be ready to comply with the court's final decision — regardless of the outcome.

    "They are the highest court in the land," he said. "Whatever decision the Supreme Court makes, I will live with and I'm sure the gun owners will live with, unlike Gov. Kathy Hochul, who couldn't live with the Bruen decision."

    Lawmakers passed a series of bills before the end of session groups like New Yorkers Against Gun Violence pushed hard for, including to expand the state's victims' compensation law, the Grieving Families Act and a measure to increase Medicaid reimbursement for violence prevention programs.

    Hochul has until the end of the year to decide to sign them into law. She has not shared her position on the legislation or if she intends to sign the measures, Fischer said.

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A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

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East Aurora, NY 14052

SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

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