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  • 07/25/2018 2:16 PM | Anonymous

    By Todd Strelow

    After reading Tom Reynolds’ article in the last issue of Firing Lines on the upcoming vote on a NY Constitutional Convention, I figured I’d throw my two cents in. Like Tom, I’m undecided on the value to gun owners for such a convention. This is not because I don’t see a need for change, but because I fear a change for the worse. I agree with Tom that the “Divide NY Group” plan to separate Upstate and NY City isn’t going to happen. But what could happen is ending gerrymandering of political districts. 

    My suggestion (and I’m sure others have thought of this as well) is that we change the way Senate and Assembly districts are structured. For the Senate, make it a Senator for each County. For Assembly districts, make the rule for establishing these that the boundaries of the district must run along established Town or County lines. No piecemeal districts that include only little portions of Towns or Counties. Why should someone have to drive to another county to visit the office of their Senator? The Assembly can remain based on population (as long as district lines run along Town/ County lines) like the U.S. House of Representatives, but the NY Senate (modeling it after the U.S. Senate) would be one Senator per County. It works on a larger scale in the Federal government, why not here in NY? 

    How does this help us? For one thing, I think it would give Upstate a greater voice in the Senate. Remember, Cuomo only won the majority vote in about a quarter of the Counties (I think it was 16 out of 62) in the last election. It also takes any confusion out of what district people live in, and I think it would lead to greater accountability for our elected representatives to the people. Complex problems often have simple solutions, and I think this would be a good start. 

    In the meantime it’s extremely important that we continue to register our fellow gun owners to vote. Trust me when I say there’s a lot of them who aren’t registered (I registered/re-registered 22 gun owners to vote last year in the months leading up to the election). There shouldn’t be a gun/archery store in NY that doesn’t have a stack of voter registration forms on the counter. There shouldn’t be a gun show, gun auction, sportsman show, gun/archery store customer appreciation day, or any other gathering that would tend to draw large groups of gun owners, without someone there registering new voters. If you’re at an event selling raffle tickets for your gun club, you should have a stack of voter registration forms on the table. They are available from your county board of elections, ask for a whole package of them. Constitutional Convention or not, we are stuck with the SAFE act as long as Cuomo is our Governor. If we want it to be repealed, we need to vote Cuomo out of the Governor’s office (and keep him out of the White House!!). It’s up to US to make that happen!  

  • 07/25/2018 2:11 PM | Anonymous

    By Jim Tuttle, Genesee County S.C.O.P.E. Chapter

    As we have seen, the SAFE Act was established by select individuals in the dark of night. It was stated that this law was created by exigent circumstances and was quickly passed by both houses of the New York State legislature. Since that time we have learned that two of the three main architects of the law, Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver, have since been convicted of felony corruption charges. The third, Governor Andrew Como, is currently under investigation. After reading the law, we have learned that not one section deals with public safety. All the restrictions are cosmetic in nature, not, performance in nature; rendering the law useless. 

    Now the Governor has finally produced his pistol permit recertification document. Why is it no surprise that more emphasis is placed upon the number and type of weapons a permit holder has, rather than whether or not the individual is qualified to have a pistol permit. The Governor has clearly established his desire to establish a confiscation list, rather than a safety net. Now, although no provisions have been clearly established for the enforcement of this law, if you don’t comply properly, you become a criminal. A person can be arrested, can have your property confiscated, can be fined and or sent to jail. 

    What really gets me the most is this; we now have, at least, a Governor, Attorney General and State Senator who are all practicing attorneys. As sworn court officers, they have taken an oath to uphold the laws of New York State and uphold the Constitution of New York State and the Constitution of the United States of America. As elected officials they have taken a similar oath. In addition to supporting the SAFE Act which violates our rights under the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments, they now openly conspire to violate Federal Law by encouraging sanctuary cities, especially New York City, which ultimately will be a financial burden upon the people. Without properly investigating potential immigrant’s backgrounds, they also endanger the welfare of our families. 

    Do as I Command, Not as I Do. 

    Not only are these individuals violating their oaths of office, they are violating the laws that they swore to defend. Every honest citizen should be screaming at the top of their lungs for these individuals, and any others who fall into this category, be prosecuted and impeached. Notify your local, state and federal representatives. As individuals and as members of organizations, we must act now.  

  • 07/25/2018 2:04 PM | Anonymous

    By Richard Rossi, Treasurer Delaware County SCOPE

    Let's all be realistic, New York State IS NOT a selfprotection friendly state. We all know that Law-abiding gun owners, especially CCW holders, are by far the most responsible, law-abiding citizens not only in New York State, but in the entire country. 

    That being said, we need to be 100% alert - ALL of the time. Everything we do or say is being judged and put under a microscope as not only CCW holders, but as gun owners. The anti-Gun agenda folks are just waiting and hoping we cross the line. 

    I would like to discuss my opinion on a couple of issues: Concealed Carry Vs. Open Carry, those 'cute' bumper stickers and signs that we see on our vehicles and homes, and Training. 

    The Open Carry Vs. Concealed Carry is NOT an option for New York State CCW holders. I do not want to get into the RIGHT of choice. We are 'unfortunate' or 'fortunate' to be restricted to CONCEALED CARRY ONLY. I say fortunate because, I truly believe, being in NYS, Open Carry would hurt us more. Right off - when you are seen carrying, you would be constantly judged - every act you take will be magnified 110%. And unfortunately, you will be seen as a 'bad guy' in the eyes of many. 

    If I had a choice, I would never carry ‘open’. My choice is a safety concern - my safety. The use of a weapon, any weapon can and does result in arrest and at times a criminal trial. It could also mean your death. Why subject yourself to added attention? 

    Why subject yourself to attack, just because you are carrying a pistol. A potential criminal will see you as a 'threat', and you could be killed or injured just for having a weapon. He will see you as ‘problem' of him/her achieving his or her objective. In this day and age of terrorism and mass shooting, you will be the first target. Why address to the world that you have a weapon and put yourself in added danger? I would like to have the advantage IF an altercation arose – Concealed can give you the added advantage and a few seconds additional time to save your life or your loved ones or an innocent bystander in the event of a deadly situation. 

    Moving on to those 'cute' bumper stickers and tin signs. You all know what I am talking about. "PRAYER IS THE BEST WAY TO MEET THE LORD - TRESPASSING IS FASTER" and WARNING - THERE IS NOTHING HERE WORTH DYING FOR" both with a picture of a revolver. "AMMO IS EXPENSIVE - DON'T EXPECT A WARNING SHOT!" and the list goes on and on. 

    This may seem like a wonderful idea on the surface showing that you are for your Second Amendment Rights. 

    In my opinion, this tinny sign could result in the difference of you being 'acquitted or convicted' of having to act in self-defense resulting in you shooting someone - if your case goes to trial or even in the preliminary review stage. It can even mean the difference of being subject to a robbery. Why broadcast to the world that you are a gun owner?? You would not place a sign on your front door that your home is a GUN FREE ZONE - would you? 

    Unfortunately, in NYS you will 'NEED' to prove you acted in self-defense in fear for your life or life of your love-ones. We, unfortunately, live in a state that does not respect our Right to SelfProtection. You had no other options than to shoot. Why give some anti-gun prosecutor additional 'ammo' (pun intended) to put before a 'grand jury'. They WILL look deeply into your background, family and friends, co-workers for ANYTHING that they can use to say you are a 'trigger happy' gun owner. These cute quotes could come back and bite you. It 'might' raise doubt to your intent??? These social media 'comments' in this day and age can and might make the difference between you staying out of jail or going to prison. Gun owners and especially CCW Holders need to be and demonstrate RESPONSIBILITY in all their actions. 

    My last comments concern TRAINING - especially for anyone who IS a CCW Holder. I am not only speaking about firearms training but proper safety training and basic firearms shooting skills etc.  

    In a life and death encounter - these shooting skills are unique and require specific conditioning and training. You need to learn how to control the 'stress factors' of a confrontation. Your 'actions - reactions' need to be second nature. You might only have a second to respond - delay. To think about sight alignment, trigger pull, is my safety off etc. and you could be fatality injured or dead. 

    These are ALL critical especially to a Concealed Carry individual. But just as important is having knowledge of the law. 

    Everyone needs to take a course in "Practical Application of the Law - NY State Article 35" - Use of Force CERTIFICATION COURSE.  

    Make sure that it’s a certified course by a qualified instructor. This certificate can be your 'Get Out Of Jail' card. It demonstrates that you are a responsible CCW holder and you made the effort to be a knowledgeable Law-abiding citizen to the best of your ability to fully understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to the use of deadly force.  

    Maybe one day, CCW Holders and ALL gun owners, will be innocent until proven guilty. This will ONLY happen if we all constantly keep our representatives in Albany and Washington aware that we are watching, we vote. And we will not be second-class citizens any longer. United we can make a difference.... 

  • 07/25/2018 1:59 PM | Anonymous

    By Budd Schroeder

    The SAFE act is once more generating news. There is a bill in both the Senate and the Assembly to make a change, not in wording, but in geography. The bill proposes that the law is limited to New York City and those in Upstate New York are not affected by it. It is similar to the way the Sullivan Bill works on handgun possession. Two different sets of rules on gun ownership. 

    From the recent news about the criminal misuse of handguns in Buffalo and the increase in homicides since the law was passed, it would indicate that it isn't working to cut deaths by criminals using guns. The answer is actually pretty simple. Criminals don't obey laws and the good people don't need to have their rights infringed. They definitely are not a problem. 

    The law does nothing to keep criminals from getting guns anymore than the drug ban keeps addicts from getting heroin. However, in politics perception is reality. So, if enough people are conned into believing the law will reduce violence, the politicians without scruples will vote for it. The whole motivation is votes and reelection. In New York City the attitude regarding guns is much different than it is in upstate. 

    The upstate gun owners are used to having guns for hunting and target shooting as well as believing they have the right to self-defense and wish to be able to have a viable means to do it. New York City has a contingent of politicians who try, and often succeed in convincing the voters that the government will take care of them. 

    The legislative power is in the Assembly and there are enough Democrat votes Southeast of the Tappan Zee Bridge to pass any bill and to even override a veto. The power is there and naturally, that is the house with the most abuse. What the Democrats want, the Democrats get. They wanted more gun control and they got it. 

    Now that there has been a long enough period to see it doesn't work, there is a huge effort to get the law repealed. That won't happen, so since politics is the art of compromise, this bill is offered. The people in New York City get a law they want and the people in upstate get rid of one they don't want. 

    The SAFE law makes it impossible for the Amish to buy a gun because of the universal background check. It requires a photo ID to get the NICS background check and the Amish religion forbids photo taking. Therefore they are denied the ability to legally purchase a gun. The Amish are known to be a very law abiding, peaceable and non-violent society. We wonder why the politicians don't want them to have guns. 

    Another problem with the law is based on only a report, a person can lose four Constitutional and civil rights. The big problem is that they can lose these rights without due process. A false report from a hospital or from a doctor, nurse or social worker saying that they believe the person is a danger to themselves or others. can cause the loss of Second Amendment rights. They don't need the intervention by a psychiatrist or parapsychologist and there is no hearing to challenge the report. That is a very significant problem. 

    S.C.O.P.E. (Shooters Committee On Political Education) initiated a law case on this issue. It is called Montgomery v. Cuomo and has been languishing with delays caused by the state. This is an indication that they are not optimistic about winning and hope that the plaintiffs will give up. The plaintiffs are waiting for the SCOTUS to be filled soon in case the lawsuit has to go that far. 

    It is simple to determine from an outside viewpoint. The fact that due process is in the Bill of Rights and also in an amendment to the Constitution should be reason enough to repeal at least that part of the bill. Nobody should be denied any rights without due process, but the State of New York believes that they should be able to override the Constitution. It would seem that the legislators who voted for the bill have the same opinion. 

  • 07/25/2018 1:55 PM | Anonymous

     By Don Hey

    On February 9th I contacted Superintendent Beach of The New York State Police with questions concerning the NY Pistol Permit Recertification process. One question I specifically addressed was the required inclusion of the Driver’s License ID number. Referred to below as “NY Client ID”. Although the recertification process was an integral part of The NY Safe Act, Article 400 of the NYS Penal Law was never modified to require this additional information. 

    This was the reply I received via U.S. Mail: “The design and validation requirements of the newly created pistol permit recertification database necessitated the use of a known personal identifier. During the early development stages of the recertification database, limitations were readily recognized for each of the various personal identifiers considered. The decision to utilize the New York State client ID was ultimately selected as the best solution to successfully develop and implement solutions to the complex technology challenges of the project. "

    "Moreover, and to address your concerns, recertification via the New York State Pistol Permit Recertification website cannot be completed without a NY Client ID, and certification via the paper form without the NY Client ID is currently being given consideration along with conforming instructions. "

    "The New York State Office of Information Technology Service (OITS) is also working on various technological solutions to the certification process to allow certification without a NY State client ID. However OITS database engineers readily admit that changing the database requirements at this point would be a significant undertaking.” 

    So, one might ask why the objection to this “required” information? Although this information is readily available to The NY State Police it is not a requirement noted in Article 400 and many feel that authority needs to be given not taken. Also there are concerns they might take the liberty of uploading this information into mobile license plate readers thus standing in violation of The People v Garcia decided December 18th 2012 prohibiting such activity. 

    In May of 2015 I had the opportunity to enter into a meeting with the newly appointed Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan. During the course of this meeting pistol permit recertification was addressed. It was decided at that time that the counties would handle the recertification and the New York State Police had been given no authority to revoke a permit based on the recertification process. This was disclosed with senate counsel present in the room. So what happened? Again Governor Cuomo and The Political Appointee’s within The New York State Police have overstepped their boundaries and taken authority without getting proper authority! 

    In closing I have sent a reply to Superintendent Beach asking specifically if the omission of the NY Client ID on the paper form would trigger a failure to re-certify thus resulting in revocation of ones Pistol Permit. Also note that the deadline to re-certify is January, 31st 2018. I will wait to see how this and other matters are resolved.  

  • 07/25/2018 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    By Tom Reynolds 

    It’s not unusual and, in fact, it’s quite normal to hear a Republican member of the New York State Senate say that there is no chance that the SAFE Act will be repealed this year. We, in SCOPE, find such comments abhorrent. After giving away repeal of the SAFE Act, we will not be able to “tradeup” to repeal the SAFE Act. So, why do they say it? 

    Could it be that the New York Assembly, which is dominated by New York City, is overwhelmingly anti-gun Democratic and Andrew Cuomo is the father of the SAFE Act? The Assembly must pass all potential laws and Cuomo must sign them and the Assembly and Cuomo are not friends of the Second Amendment. Facts are facts and those are facts. This is the first and usually only reason Senators will give to back up their statement. They want us to believe that this roadblock cannot be overcome. 

    Could it be the Senators want to lower expectations about their performance? This is a yes. If we accept their statements without argument, they have successfully avoided any responsibility for another year of failure in our crusade against the SAFE Act. This type of statement is what is called a “Self-fulfilling prophecy”; if you say you can’t do it, you won’t! 

    Could it be they are lousy negotiators? Given what we have seen the past few years, that would be a definite yes. They violate the first rule of negotiation; don’t give up anything before negotiations begin! And it is difficult to name any major victories for Upstate in the last few years. 

    Could it be that the Republican leadership has no real interest in repealing the SAFE Act and Republicans only use it as a token campaign issue to get reelected? Here we have a resounding yes and it is the core reason for their statements. 

    All the major legislative bodies in New York and at the federal level are dominated by their majority party leaders; either called Majority Leaders or Speakers. Because of the rules of these legislatures, Majority Leaders haves tremendous power and little gets done (or undone) without their approval. It is not a stretch to say that a legislator’s most important vote is for the Majority Leader, since that person sets the direction of that legislative body. He is one of the “three men in a room” who dominate NY State politics. John Flanagan, the Republican Majority Leader of the Senate voted for the SAFE Act. 

    While 70% of the NYS Assembly and 100% of Governor Cuomo are overwhelmingly anti-gun politicians, they are, at their heart, self-serving politicians for whom political trade-offs are the norm. The key is to make them give us something we want (repealing the SAFE Act) in return for us giving them something they need. This is done all the time by linking two unrelated bills; you vote for mine and I will vote for yours. 

    Last year, gun rights advocates had the perfect issue to trade for repealing the SAFE Act; rent control laws in New York City needed to be renewed. The Assembly and Cuomo desperately needed that to happen or they would have angered their core NY City constituency. In addition, Upstate NY had no direct stake in whether or not this happened. It did happen and in return the Republicans got…nothing. 

    This year, we have a similar situation with NY City needing renewal of the 421-A program, now called Affordable New York but more accurately called “Tax Breaks for NY City”. SCOPE started a campaign to link these two issues. Many Upstate Senators will not be happy about this since they hoped to pass this law without much notice. Why? Because many Upstate Senators got sizable campaign contributions from NY City developers who will be the prime recipients of those tax breaks. These Senators can still make their campaign donors happy by voting for the Affordable New York program, but get us something in return; repealing the SAFE Act. All it takes is for Majority Leader John Flanagan to stand firm, something he neglected to do last year. 

    What will cause Flanagan to stand firm? It will take the Senators in his party standing up for something he has no interest in doing; remember, he voted for the SAFE Act. What will motivate the Senators to do something they have no interest in doing? It will take an energized and engaged constituency, with SCOPE members at the forefront. It will take pressure on these Senators from the Republican establishment in their constituencies. 

    Last year it was Rent Control, this year it is 421-A and next year there will be other issues. While NY City has many economic engines, at its base it is dependent upon government largess. The largest employment sector in NY City is the government: federal, state and local. The NY City economy is dependent on programs like rent control and 421-A; without them there would be economic havoc. This is their weakness and Upstate’s strength, but our political leadership must begin to use it.  

  • 07/19/2018 10:05 AM | Anonymous

    By Harold Moskowitz

    As was indicated in Part 1 of the last  issue, a referendum will be used on November 7, 2017 to potentially authorize revisions of the New York State Constitution. This article will explore some of the issues and motives which are in play in this high stakes political game. Although the process is supposed to be controlled by the people, that promise could well become a manipulated illusion. 

    In 2008, Presidential candidate Obama successfully used “Hope” and “Change” as his slogan. Each potential voter was left to imagine that the “Hope” was what he was hoping for and the “Change” would be the change he would like to see occur. To many, the idea that a state constitutional convention could bring about the types of changes they might be hoping for is an attractive lure. 

    Groups, individuals, the state government and local governments all see revision of the state constitution as a means to further their agendas. Political reformers hope for ethics reforms in a state where political corruption has gotten national exposure. Many would like to see term limits for elected officials. Elections, they say, are not a substitute for term limits considering the advantages held by incumbents for reelection. 

    Others would want “Initiative” and “Recall” added to our state constitution. In the former, sufficient numbers of petition signatures of registered voters could force the legislature to take action on an issue it has been avoiding. In the latter, a sufficient number of valid petition signatures would force an elected official to step down before the end of his term of office. 

    One particular group hopes to have delegates elected to the convention who would propose dividing the state into “upstate” and “downstate” autonomous districts. Each district would have the power to repeal “disadvantageous” laws previously passed by the legislature such as the SAFE Act. Self-described “fiscal conservatives” seek budget reforms, including spending limits and transparency in the budgeting process. 

    They seek an end to defined benefit pension plans for public sector employees which they consider to be an unsustainable fiscal burden. Associated with this goal of reducing pension costs is a potential motive for a convention by the state and local governments to revise the clause in Article 5, Section 7 which protects public employee pensions. 

    Basically, it states that public employee pensions are of a contractual nature and cannot be “diminished or impaired.” Presently, monthly retirement amounts cannot be reduced regardless of pension system investment results. Lack of this protective clause in a state’s constitution makes it increasingly tempting for governors, county executives, and mayors to under fund or not fund their employee retirement systems.

     Withheld pension fund contributions can then be diverted for budget balancing. They make exaggerated predictions of investment results to make up for the under funding of the retirement system. 

    Progressive liberal agenda goals such as “social engineering” and elimination of “income inequality” related issues would likely be proposed. In particular, they would look to expand Article 17 Section 2 of the state constitution which guarantees the “aid, care and support of the needy.” This could be expanded to create new programs to remedy perceived “economic inequality” based upon economic data from the 2010 census compiled by zip code. 

    New York could be declared a “sanctuary state” in which those here illegally could be guaranteed full protections, entitlements including college tuition, driver’s licenses and the right to vote. 

    Second Amendment supporters would hope for the “Castle Doctrine,” concealed carry, or a “stand your ground” proposal. However, delegates must be elected and some will be currently elected politicians. 

    Delegates are not penalized for misrepresenting their true views. One could reasonably count on prominent anti-Second Amendment billionaires gladly spending millions of dollars to fund the campaigns of hand-picked potential delegates who, if elected with or without misrepresentation, would propose even more stringent “common sense” gun control restrictions and measures to hasten the day when the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in New York State would be almost non-existent.

    Although any proposed amendments have to be approved by the voters in November, 2019, fewer people vote in off-year elections and of those who do vote even fewer take the time to indicate their choice on propositions. 

    Thus, a very small percentage of the state’s population could unleash huge impacts upon the state’s residents. Publicly, Governor Cuomo does not promote a convention but close aides have indicated his support. If he is in favor, that should give all Second Amendment supporters pause to stop before voting to give life to a constitutional convention.  

  • 07/19/2018 10:02 AM | Anonymous

    By Tom Reynolds

    We hear constantly that it is important to register and vote. In New York State, if you want to vote in a Primary, you must be registered in a specific party: Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Independence, etc. You can only vote in the Primary of the party in which you are registered. For instance, Conservatives CANNOT vote in Republican Primaries; only Republicans can vote in Republican Primaries and only Democrats can vote in Democratic Primaries. 

    The Independence Party is an established party, like the Republicans and Democrats. You may call yourself an “Independent” but you are NOT in the Independence Party unless you register as a member of the Independence Party. Only if registered in the Independence Party could you vote in an Independence Party Primary. (Candidates like to pick up the Independence Party endorsement as it gives them an additional line on a ballot.) 

    Since many districts are heavily weighted for one party or the other, the real contest is the Primary of the party with the majority in that district. If you want a voice in these one-sided districts, you need to be registered as a member of the majority party. This is especially important if you are dissatisfied with an elected official of that majority party and would like to see him / her ousted in a Primary. 

    In New York State, there is a difference between the effective date of the “voter registration” and the effective date of the “party registration”. A registration to vote in the general election takes place immediately but a “party registration” does not take place until AFTER the coming November’s 2017 election. Anyone who registers for a specific party between now and November2017 will not be able to vote in a PRIMARY this year (in 2017) but they will be able to vote in a Primary in 2018. If one registers for a specific party the day AFTER this November‘s election (November 8, 2017) they will NOT be able to vote in any 2018 primaries as they will not be eligible to vote in a primary until after the November 2018 elections. 

    Elected officials in New York like this under-publicized and complicated process as it creates a cooling-off period for potential Primary voters who are dissatisfied with the incumbent. A dissatisfied person who is NOT registered in a party may get upset with an incumbent, this year, and show up to vote in the primary but will not get to vote even if they registered in that party this year. 

    This lengthy period for party registration does prevent people from hopping between parties in order to influence more than one primary. 

    Many New Yorkers – especially in Upstate - are dissatisfied with the political ruling class and view their only option is moving to another state. But gun owners, by themselves, could be a powerful weapon of change if they would vote. There are about 4 million gun owners in New York State and Cuomo won the last election with 2.1 million votes while Astorino had 1.5 million votes. Somewhere between 2.5 and 3 million gun owners did not vote; more than enough to change the election and change the future of Upstate New York. 

    In 2018, the New York State Governorship as well as all NY Assembly and NY Senate seats will be on the ballot. If you want to vote in a primary, you need to get registered in a party, this year, before November 2017. 

    You can help change history by registering for a party, voting in the primaries and general elections and by contributing to SCOPE PAC. Votes and money are the two things that politicians need. SCOPE PAC is a separate organization from SCOPE and, as such, it can spend money in support of candidates or causes while SCOPE has limits on what it can do. Candidates are already starting to surface and if SCOPE PAC is to have an impact it comes through money. Please consider a donation to SCOPE PAC. (See our ad in Firing Lines for details.)  

  • 07/19/2018 9:51 AM | Anonymous

    By Richard Rossi, Delaware County

    In this issue of "The Firing Lines", I would like to discuss JURY DUTY. Is the Jury Duty notice letter you get in the mail is a curse or blessing? Is your first thought - how can I get out of this or is this my privilege to serve? Don't take Jury Duty lightly. 

    I would like to briefly speak about “JURY NULLIFICATION”. Never heard the term, don't be surprised. It is NOT something that Judges, District Attorneys, and Prosecutors readily speak about to juries or Grand Juries for that matter. 

    For citizens to defend against corrupt politicians and their corrupt laws, you must get on the jury. Therefore, you need to be especially careful NOT to 'tip your hand' on your knowledge of your rights concerning 'Nullification'. 

    When questioned, state you do not keep track of political issues and consider variously stating that you can apply the law as instructed by the court. Especially in gun related cases, be vague and don't readily state that you are a member of gun right groups or originations. Use Hillary's defense - I don't recall... I get so many requests for contributions, I just can't keep track of all of them. 

    While on a panel, you will at times, be forced to 'stand your ground' against other jurors - don't cave on your convictions. Jurors, for the most part, want to go home and get it over with. Holding your ground - might get additional jurors to vote along with you. Be polite and don't shout - speak calmly. Try to get the others to listen to your reasoning. However, if all fails, don't vote along with the rest. You have every right to vote 'NOT GUILTY' If your personal convictions say this is an unjust law. 

    Depending on the circumstances, at times - only one 'NOT GUILTY' can be the difference. Remember a 'HUNG JURY', IS better than a conviction! 

    However, at times, with grand juries, you might need to get more jurors on your side, as a majority might be all that is required for either a dismissal of the case or hold it over. However, if you preserve and hold to your convictions, you can make our democracy work for the common man. 

    Remember, instructions and oaths are designed to 'bully jurors' and protect political power - instructions and oaths are NOT LEGALLY BINDING. Your conscience is your best guide in the juror box and in deliberation room. 

    You must know your rights - Jury nullification is your right to refuse to enforce bad laws and bad prosecutions. Nullification is your personal veto against bad laws. Nullification is your right to veto corrupt laws from corrupt politicians. 

    Alexander Hamilton, an American Founder, said in 1804, Jurors should acquit even against the judge's instruction..."if exercising their judgment with discretion and honesty they have a clear conviction that the charge of the court is wrong." 

    Jurors have authority - when you are a juror, you have the right to decide both law and fact. You can protect yourself and friends and family by refusing to enforce bad laws. In our system of checks and balances, you, the juror, are the final judge of law and justice. 

    Jurors can use discretion. If the law violates any human rights, you must vote NO against that law by voting 'NOT GUILTY". You cannot be punished for your verdict. You need not give a reason. 

    Jurors must question the law. In American courtrooms there are 12 judges plus the one in the robe. In fact, one court ruled, "If the jury feels that the law under which the defendant is accused is unjust... or for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion, the jury has the power to acquit, and the courts must abide by that decision - (U.S. V Moylan 427 F 2d 1002, 1006, 1969). 

    Juries and jurors have the power over our corrupt system of laws that are being forced down our throat by political agenda's. We can stand up for our Rights and Freedoms against our legislators and judges who dictate laws that are unjust. We can take back our justice system - We the juror have the power... JURY NULLIFICATION. 

    The next time you receive a juror duty notice, stand up and cheer. You are one of the most powerful individuals in our country. You can make a true difference. You can take back our Rights and Freedoms. KNOWLEDGE is POWER and JURY NULLIFICATION is your weapon. 

    As a Law-abiding gun owner or Concealed Carry Permit hold ESPECIALLY in New York State where our Second Amendment Rights are constantly being attacked and regulated to the point that the 2nd Amendment is just words with NO meaning - this is your hour to shine. You can make the NYS SAFE Act just words without any POWER - just like they are doing with our Second Amendment Rights and Freedoms. 

    Your FIRST objective is to get on that jury panel. Get on that Jury or Grand Jury and vote NOT GUILTY to any and all laws that infringe our Rights & Freedoms to self defense of our loved ones or ourselves. Self preservation is a natural instinct of human mankind no government has the right to take that right away from you. 

    Jury Nullification may be the FINAL peaceful barrier between Law-abiding gun owners and a tyrannical government dependent upon disarming honorable citizens. 

    As a side note, even IF you are not a juror, you can be active. Become a 'Court Watcher'. You have a right to attend most court trial functions. Just like the 'media' you can voice your opinions in your local papers in the letter to the editor sections. You can voice your agreement or disagreement with the results (verdict) and the actions of the court officials. We still have freedom of speech. The more individuals keeping a 'watchful eye' on our judicial process the better for all of us. 

    The same holds true for Town Meetings, School Board Meetings and 'Town Hall' events by our representatives. When the public does not show up, it sends a message to our various boards - they can do as they please without and consequences. NO one is watching or caring. Attend, be vocal... defend your convictions. You can make a difference. 

    I encourage each and every one, to read and understand all you can concerning 'JURY NULLIFICATION'. Go to WWW.FIJA.ORG to read much more on this very important topic. 

  • 07/19/2018 9:36 AM | Anonymous

    By Henry S. Kramer

    Many Americans are unaware of the details of how our legal system works. Which government – federal or state-controls which aspects of our lives? Which court will hear a case? What does it mean when a district court judge enjoins a presidential executive order? What is our court system like? 

    There is a hierarchy of laws. At the top of the pyramid is the Constitution, followed by statute (or legislated) laws, then regulations issued under those laws, then guidelines. Executive agencies have to follow executive orders. There are a plethora of federal and state administrative agencies, (the bureaucracy), some of which, like the Federal Reserve, operate fairly independently. 

    Every American citizen (except those dwelling in the District of Columbia) is subject to two sovereign levels of government, federal and state. In DC, there is no state government; the city government operates under federal authority. 

    The states are the lowest sovereign level of government. Under U.S. Supreme Court law, cities, counties, towns, and all local governments are mere sub-divisions of the state government. The state government can establish, abolish, modify, mandate, or do what it wishes with local governments, unless restricted by state constitutions. 

    In many areas of the law, both the federal government and the state may act on their citizens and on residents within their borders. This is called concurrent jurisdiction. There are some cases where the federal government, using the Constitution’s supremacy clause, has entirely preempted the state government of authority (for example the National Labor Relations Act regarding unionization). When there is concurrent jurisdiction, the state laws may go further than federal law but may not override federal law. One example of this is the recreational or medical marijuana law in a state like Colorado. The state can decriminalize marijuana use under state law, which protects people from state prosecution as long as they adhere to the terms of the state law. However, all marijuana use is still illegal under federal law. The state cannot override or overturn this federal law, so it cannot protect people in these states from federal prosecution. 

    There are some areas of the law confided exclusively to the federal government such as coining money or waging war. The federal government also enforces immigration law. Although some cities claim to be “sanctuary cities”, local laws cannot override federal ones and the federal government has the authority to enforce federal law. While local officials may not be forced to cooperate, active obstruction of federal enforcement is not lawful and it may also result in the withholding of federal funds. 

    There are some areas in which there are three levels of government that claim authority. In civil rights there is the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, and in some counties a Human Rights Commission that enforce similar laws. 

    Crimes are based on legislative (statutory) law. Most crimes are under the general police power of state criminal laws. The federal government, too, can create federal statutory crimes but most “garden house” prosecutions are done under state law. 

    What is our court system like? At the lowest state court levels we have small claims, justice of the peace, and city and town courts. These have limited jurisdiction confined to just certain types of cases and dollar amounts in issue. 

    The lowest level of general court jurisdiction in New York State is surprisingly -and confusingly called the New York State Supreme Court. (Because it had general jurisdiction in colonial times it was considered to be “supreme”.) Since then, New York has added two higher tiers of courts: the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court handles appeals, many by right, from the New York Supreme Court; and the New York Court of Appeals which is the highest level court of New York State law and has control and discretion over most of the cases that litigants seek to take there. 

    The judgments rendered by these courts have different effects on other courts. Judgments of the State Supreme Court are not binding on other state Supreme Court judges. Decisions of the Appellate Division are binding precedent only in the judicial department in which they sit. Decisions of the New York Court of Appeals are binding state wide. The federal court system is parallel and there are some special courts such as bankruptcy court and tax court. 

    At the lowest general jurisdiction level are the United States District Courts. These are trial courts, that is, they hear and decide both the facts (sometimes with a jury) and the law. On appeal, in both federal and state systems, higher level courts review the law, not the facts. 

    The next higher level of the federal system is the U.S. Courts of Appeals. These are regional. Appeals at this level are generally heard by panels of three judges and rarely will all the judges in a circuit sit together on a case. Decisions of the U.S. Court of Appeals are binding in their own circuit and influential in the other circuits. These are the second highest level of courts in the U.S. 

    The United States Supreme Court is the highest court in the land. Very few cases can start at this level (e.g. suits between states); most Supreme Court cases are appeals. The Supreme Court has discretion whether or not to hear most cases and it hears relatively few cases; it takes four justices voting to hear a case for the matter to reach the court. Most often the cases they hear involve major principles of law and are there because the U.S. Courts of Appeals have ruled differently on the law creating a split between the circuits. Important federal issues also may be reviewed. There are nine justices. To create binding national precedent, a decision must have five votes. If a plurality opinion decides the case, it leaves the door open for the court to eventually rule differently on the issue. The court is normally very deferential to its prior decisions and although it can overrule prior decisions it rarely does overrule them. More often, the court may “distinguish” a case from its predecessors and so begin to change the law in that way. 

    Cases involving laws enforced at administrative agencies often substitute the trial phase of a litigation with a hearing at the agency in lieu of the U.S. District Court. Appeals generally go from there to the U.S. Courts of Appeals. However, appeals from some agency hearings can and do go to the U.S. District Courts. 

    Not every case can start in the federal system. To go there, there must be either a substantial federal question in issue or the parties must be from different states with at least a certain dollar amount at issue. Most cases are handled in the state court system. On questions of state law (which do not involve federal constitutional issues), the state courts have the last word. However, if a case reaches the state’s highest court and there is a federal constitutional issue, the litigant can ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case on appeal. This is what happened in Gore v. Bush, concerning the outcome of a presidential election in Florida, which raised federal questions. 

    Judges in the federal system are appointed by the President, confirmed by the Senate, and serve for life on good behavior. They can be removed only by impeachment. Judges in state systems may be appointed or elected - it varies by state - and may serve for life or a term of office. 

    An injunction is a court order forbidding the doing of some act. Federal district judges traditionally avoided making constitutional law decisions, leaving that to higher courts. Alas, no more. Federal district court judges now are prone to issuing orders and even declaring these are of national effect. Of course, these injunctions can be appealed, but this takes time. So, the parties may “forum shop” and try to find a federal district court judge they think will lean their way. As these orders don’t bind other judges, there can be conflicting orders and these have to be sorted out by higher courts. 

    That, in a nutshell, is how our system works. There are variations that are not discussed but those are the basics of the system.  

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

PO Box 165
East Aurora, NY 14052

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