Articles published in October, 2010
New York City residents who want to own a gun may soon be denied permits if they are litterbugs, if they are bad drivers, or if they have fallen behind on a few bills.
Under proposed revisions to the police department’s handgun, rifle and shotgun permit procedures, the NYPD can reject gun license applicants for a number of reasons, including:
If they have been arrested or convicted of almost any “violation,” in any state; having a “poor driving history”; having been fired for “circumstances that demonstrate lack of good judgment”; having “failed to pay legally required debts”; being deemed to lack “good moral character”; or if any other information demonstrates “other good cause for the denial of the permit.”
Critics say many of the restrictions are vague, have nothing to do with one’s fitness to own a gun and are unconstitutional.
Supporters say the new restrictions will make gun purchasing more efficient and don’t give the NYPD any more power than it already has.
According to a Report of the Governmental Affairs Division, the changes came about as the result of two recent Supreme Court decisions.
“In District of Columbia v. Heller the Court found that a District of Columbia law banning the possession of handguns in the home was invalid due to the rights conferred by the Second Amendment; in McDonald v. City of Chicago, Ill., the Court applied that right equally to the States,” the report says.
As result, Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee, introduced a proposal to lower the city’s fees for gun permits to ones that more accurately reflect what the city spends to issue them.
“Now the fees are going to be much less and they’re going to have a relationship to the amount of administrative costs that are involved, and in that way it will withstand the Constitution and the court challenge that most people expect will be coming down the road,” Vallone told FoxNews.com.
The current $340 fee for all pistol licenses would be lowered to $70 for a premises license and $110 for a carry license. Rifle and shotgun permits would drop from $140 to $65. Costs for license renewals would also be significantly reduced.
With the lower fees, the New York Police Department also introduced revisions to the police department’s gun permit procedures, which, unlike Vallone’s bill, need only approval from the mayor’s office, not the City Council.
“Although I do have oversight capability and I can have a hearing on it, I don’t have any formal say in it,” Vallone said.
Councilmember Dan Halloran says those revisions are intended to give the police more power to deny licenses, which could counter a possible spike in gun ownership triggered by the lower fees.
But Halloran and Vallone say the proposed restrictions give the NYPD so much authority that they violate the Second Amendment.
“The disqualification categories are downright scary. They’re completely open to interpretation and they really don’t measure anybody’s fitness to own a gun,” Halloran told FoxNews.com.
He pointed to a restriction stating applicants can be denied if they’ve “been arrested, indicted or convicted for a crime or violation, except minor traffic violations.”
“So now the city can deny a permit for a building code violation, a sanitation ticket for failing to sweep the sidewalk … an array of non-criminal acts,” Halloran said.
Another troublesome restriction, Halloran said, is one that allows permit denial if “the applicant has failed to pay legally required debts such as child support, taxes, fines or penalties imposed by governmental authorities.”
“So people who are in foreclosure, or have credit card judgments, maybe filed bankruptcy, can now be legally denied,” he said.
Applicants can also be denied, under the new restrictions, if they’ve “been terminated from employment under circumstances that demonstrate lack of good judgment or lack of good moral character.”
“It seems to me it’s more of an application to be pope than to be a gun owner,” Vallone said. “I don’t know anyone who would pass this thing. Anyone who has ever tried marijuana or has a bad driving history, lost a job regarding a lack of judgment – those are ridiculous criteria for gun ownership.”
But Jason Post, a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office, said nothing in the proposal gives police a power they don’t already have.
“The revisions will make the application process more efficient and give more clarity to applicants for gun licenses,” Post told FoxNews.com in an e-mail.
Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, agreed, saying the changes appear to be a “fleshing out” of existing gun restrictions, and not an expansion of them.
“I think it’s a good faith attempt by New York City authorities to make sure that their restrictions comply with the Constitution standards that the Supreme Court’s adopted over the last two years,” he told FoxNews.com.
While some restrictions, like paying legally required debts, may seem irrelevant to critics, Helmke says they are not.
“Child support, taxes, fines and governmental penalties I think are legitimate things. Basically, if someone’s not complying with what the government requires of somebody, that’s usually a sign that you can’t trust them to follow the rules with something like a gun,” he said.
As for whether the rule could apply to failure to pay a cable TV bill, as Halloran implied, Helmke said, “I think he’s stretching it there.”
Halloran said the biggest problem is that the rules are open to that kind of interpretation, and he pointed to the clause that reads that applicants can be denied for failure “to provide information requested by the License Division or required by this chapter” or “other information demonstrates an unwillingness to abide by the law, a lack of candor towards lawful authorities, a lack of concern for the safety of oneself and/or other persons and/or for public safety, and/or other good cause for the denial of the license,” as the most obvious example.
“Could this be any more vague and open ended?” he asked. “Ask yourself, would any other constitutional right be subject to such vagaries? Imagine these requirements put to be eligible to vote, to have a lawyer, to be secure in your person or possessions, your right to a jury.”
Former federal prosecutor and constitutional law expert Douglas Burns said that while the Heller and McDonald cases allow guns to be regulated closely, New York’s proposal has some legal issues.
“If left unchanged, I think there could be some problems in court with it,” Burns told FoxNews.com in an e-mail.
With a few adjustments, though, the proposal could be made to stand up in court, he said.
“I think like any proposed amendments, it has to be fine-tuned — you can’t leave in “violations other than traffic” because under NYS law a violation is not a criminal offense, so I think that’s a problem. Also, as I said, the debt payment and job-firing language has to be fine-tuned; it is too broad…. I think the legislator does raise some valid concerns.”
The council is due to vote on the price changes, which are expected to pass, and to advise the police department on the restriction changes Wednesday.
Should the department decide to go forward with the proposed changes, Vallone says he is “seriously considering having an oversight hearing on this topic”
Police Launch Stealth Gun Control Group: The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence
“The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence was launched today at the annual conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Orlando, Florida,” prnewswire.com informs us. “Representatives of the founding organizations were on hand to speak to the devastating impact of firearms, which kill and injure 100,000 Americans each year.” Yada yada yada gun crimes suck. Not one word in the release on what this new group will actually do. “Reducing gun violence is absolutely essential. Far too many of our citizens live in fear and far too many of our officers have lost their lives,” said Chief Rob Davis, president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association. “This unprecedented partnership is about bringing a fresh, pragmatic perspective to the debate about how to enhance community and officer safety.” Like that. So . . . what’s the real deal?
Like I was sayin’, the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence ain’t saying. The only clue comes in their Statement of Principles. [Click here to download.] And that’s just as vague as the press release. Point three gives us an inkling:
Elected officials must commit to closing gaps in the current regulatory system, including those that enable felons, minors, persons with mental illness, and other prohibited persons to access firearms, and those that allow the trafficking of illegal guns.
What about the gaps between words? (Justification’s like that.) I wasn’t aware of any gaps in the current regulatory system that enable felons, minors, persons with mental illness, and other prohibited persons to gain access to firearms, or the trafficking of illegal guns. As far as I know, it’s already illegal to provide any of these groups with firearms. Perhaps we should focus on enforcement of existing laws.
That said, the statement’s meaning depends on how you define “access.” If you limit the meaning to “purchase or possession,” it’s all bad. But a wider interpretation of this seemingly innocuous “principle” could also green light attempts to legislate against the so-called “gun show loophole” and the equally phantasmagorical “terrorist loophole.” What’s the bet that that’s exactly what this new meta-group’s gunning for?
Needless to say, there’s no website for The National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, or a contact number at the bottom of the press release.
The biggest indication that I’m not wearing a tinfoil hat: the new org’s Statement of Principles is hosted on the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) website, along with their contact person (left message). The IACP was solidly behind H.R. 2159, the now stillborn Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act. The bottom line: the IACP never met a gun reg “loophole” they didn’t want to close, regardless of its effect on Americans’ gun rights.
While we attempt to chase this down, I would once again caution those who seeks to defend and extend the Second Amendment: the law enforcement community is not your friend.
Why In The Name Of All That Is Good And Holy Do People Still Think Car Doors Provide Cover And Can Stop All Bullets?
The only part of a car that you could kinda maybe count on to stop a bullet is the engine block. And yet IDPA and the rest of the run n’ gun crowd are constantly holding competitions where you have to shoot from behind a car door. Yes, I know the difference between cover (ballistic protection) and concealment (hiding). But I reckon the combat sim crowd should run drills and comps where the shooters have to fire from behind more realistic fake cover (if you know what I mean). I’d also like to point out that most times these shooters expose their entire upper body while firing, rather than “peeking out” from cover. Or concealment. Anyway, talk to me about cover. Do you scan for it when you walk around? What do you look for?
At least these guys are doing real good for the Second Amendment and gun owners here in the USA. Unlike the nra Watch for the NRA to eventually to try to jump on board and take credit on this suit as well.
Acting on behalf of a Georgia resident and honorably discharged Vietnam War veteran, the Second Amendment Foundation yesterday filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Eric Holder and the Federal Bureau of Investigation over enforcement of a federal statute that can deny gun rights to someone with a simple misdemeanor conviction on his record.
The lawsuit was filed in United States District Court for the District of Columbia. SAF and co-plaintiff Jefferson Wayne Schrader of Cleveland, GA are represented by attorney Alan Gura, who successfully argued both the Heller and McDonald cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
In July 1968, Schrader, then 21, was found guilty of misdemeanor assault and battery relating to a fight involving a man who had previously assaulted him in Annapolis, MD. The altercation was observed by a police officer, who arrested Schrader, then an enlisted man in the Navy, stationed in Annapolis. The man he fought with was in a street gang that had attacked him for entering their “territory,” according to the complaint.
Schrader was ordered to pay a $100 fine and $9 court cost. He subsequently served a tour of duty in Vietnam and was eventually honorably discharged. However, in 2008 and again in 2009, Mr. Schrader was denied the opportunity to receive a shotgun as a gift, or to purchase a handgun for personal protection. He was advised by the FBI to dispose of or surrender any firearms he might have or face criminal prosecution.
“Schrader’s dilemma,” explained SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “is that until recently, Maryland law did not set forth a maximum sentence for the crime of misdemeanor assault. Because of that, he is now being treated like a felon and his gun rights have been denied.
“No fair-minded person can tolerate gun control laws being applied this way,” he added. “Mr. Schrader’s case is a great example of why gun owners cannot trust government bureaucrats to enforce gun laws.”
We realize that may be a stupid question. However this video below will show exactly how the big the difference really is. And how much damage each can do. (To a milk carton full of water)
Ted Nugent on Pedophiles: Shoot Them on Sight, Repeat offenders, shoot them dead rather then send them back
We have to FULLY agree with Teddy on this one!
Watching Ted Nugent’s sit down with a bespectacled interviewer doing his best not to look bemused, I expected the same old same old on gun control from the Motor City Madman. You know: liberal numb-nuts, don’t tread on me, gun rights from God, yada yada yada. But Ted takes it to the limit, one more time. At 1:56 . . .
“Instead of arresting people for molesting children twenty-four times, I would rather the Dad walked in the room, found a person molesting that child, and blew his brains out.”
While I’m not against removing pedophiles form the gene pool, what of a Dad who doesn’t find the pedophile in the act of molestation but decides to follow Ted’s advice anyway?
“I don’t like repeat offenders,” Ted declares after a litany of crimes against defenseless citizens. “I like dead offenders.” I bet he doesn’t like them, either. Just sayin’.
A Politician’s Stance On The Second Amendment Determines If You Are A Subject Or A Citizen a free man or a slave
Texas legislator Dr. Suzanne Gratia-Hupp said, “How a politician stands on the Second Amendment tells you how he or she views you as an individual… as a trustworthy and productive citizen, or as part of an unruly crowd that needs to be lorded over, controlled, supervised, and taken care of.”
Every election cycle we see candidates with marginal commitment to gun owners doing a masquerade intended to deceive voters. A standard buzz-phrase these candidates use is “hunter access,” words designed to bait unsuspecting gun owners into thinking the candidate is truly committed to the right to bear arms.
Don’t take the bait for that particular trap, and don’t fall for the on-paper-only, hunting-sounding “groups” that emerge only shortly before each election to offer political cover for candidates who do not fully support the right to bear arms.
Rather, trust the entities that have been in the trenches for decades fighting for your rights – the Montana Shooting Sports Association and the National Rifle Association. Both MSSA and the NRA evaluate candidates for you. Find the MSSA evaluations at mtssa.org or at VoteSmart.org.
Don’t get sucked in by the photo op candidates who borrow a shotgun for a campaign photo. In Montana we call that “All hat and no cows.” Check candidates out carefully or trust MSSA and the NRA to have done a good job evaluating candidates for you.
As Dr. Gratia-Hupp implies, a candidate’s true attitude about your gun rights is a litmus for much else about that candidate.
Any would-be robbers looking to walk into the bank here had best think twice.
There’s a new sign in town.
About a month ago, Chappell Hill Bank president Edward Smith looked at a sign on the front door prohibiting concealed weapons from his business and decided to make a policy change.
Licensed to carry a handgun? Come on in, and bring your weapon.
The sign, now prominently displayed on the bank’s front door, says, “Lawful concealed carry permitted on these premises. Management recognizes the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution as an inalienable right of all citizens. We therefore support and encourage the carrying of licensed concealed weapons.”
Smith said he made the policy change to send a warning to potential robbers, and also to express support to Americans’ right to bear arms.
“We had the sign on the window, the red circle with the pistol inside and a line through it. And I started thinking, ‘We’ve got this no gun sign up and the guy (robber) can come in and do what he wants.
“But if you’ve got a policy allowing handguns, he won’t know how many people are going to be in here carrying a concealed weapon. There may be some little old lady who’s mad at the government, and she’d love to use it,” he said.
The bank has been robbed twice in the last three years, including last March when a Western-attired man walked in, ordered bank employees to fill a canvas bag with money and then fled in a pickup truck. The man, who did not brandish a weapon, has not been caught.
The sign has made Chappell Hill Bank and Smith somewhat of an Internet sensation.
A photo of the sign has made its way around the world, and Smith has even been interviewed for the National Rifle Association’s radio network (http://www.nranews.com/#/nranews). He’s also been contacted by other media outlets wanting to do stories.
“It’s kind of gotten a life of its own,” he said.
Expressions of support have far outnumbered criticism.
Smith been contacted by officials from larger banks considering to take similar action, and has received e-mails in support from across the United States and even from England, Canada and Germany.
“I haven’t gotten any from Chicago or California, which doesn’t surprise me,” Smith said with a laugh. “We did get a real nice e-mail from an 88-year-old World War II veteran who said it’s about time somebody stood up in this country.”
The NRA has even invited him to speak at an upcoming convention, but Smith said, “I’m still deciding on that.”
Smith said he’s only received one negative e-mail, from an anonymous sender.
The policy change has also brought Chappell Hill Bank a handful of new customers and comments from people outside Washington County that they’d bank there if they lived here, said Smith.
“I tell them that we’re a full-service bank and we’re on the Internet. They can bank online,” he said.