Monthly Archives: January 2014

New York State Exposed: Safe Act Pushback

Created: 01/30/2014 6:25 AM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

News10NBC has an eye opening viewpoint about the SAFE Act. It comes from local firefighters. They want to set the record straight.

The law was signed shortly after two West Webster firefighters were murdered in 2012. For the first time, a group of local firefighters “opens up” about the controversial gun law and whether it has made their jobs any safer.

Every day, firefighters are out in the community, taking calls and helping people. They’re like a brotherhood. There is one thing that many are standing against. It is the New York SAFE Act.

Steve Sessler, volunteer firefighter, said, “To try and capitalize to push an agenda, especially for a politically ambitious governor, who is looking at the presidency. That doesn’t sit well with me.”

Craig Akins, former Webster Fire Chief, said, “The governor took it upon himself to use us as a pawn and I think most of us are not very happy about that.”

They’re from West Webster, Webster, Irondequoit, Rochester and other departments in Monroe and Wayne counties. They want you to know how they feel so they came to News10NBC. Former Webster Fire Chief Craig Akins gave us a unique perspective.

Akins said, “A lot of people thought that a lot of the firefighters were 100% behind the SAFE Act.”

In fact, these firefighters and many other oppose parts of the SAFE Act, especially when it comes to make certain guns illegal and the requirements for background checks for buying ammunition.

Akins said, “We are for stiffer penalties for illegal guns, anyone who wants to kill a first responder, by far those are great.”

Without a doubt, the events on Christmas Eve 2012 changed the mentality of a first responder.

Akins said, “We have several firefighters, right now, who feel very unsafe going into a call.”

News10NBC’s Amanda Ciavarri asked, “Do you feel the SAFE Act makes you feel safer going into a call?

Sessler said, “Not at all, not at all, not at all. No, in fact, the SAFE Act ironically named doesn’t make anybody any safer. In my opinion, the events of Christmas even last year, definitely changes your mind as a first responder. In fact, in Honeoye Falls, about three weeks after that incident last year, we had a call for a shooting and that was the first thing to go through my mind.”

For this brotherhood, the SAFE Act to them is not a step in the right direction.

Akins said, “The state used us, the quote, fire department’s name, to sign the enacted SAFE Act and to sign the SAFE Act in Rochester.”

Some of these men knew and worked with the victims of the West Webster shootings.

Akins said, “It is hurtful to use because one of the victims was a huge advocate, a big gun advocate, and I know he wouldn’t be happy right now knowing that these laws were enacted because of anything he had involvement with.”

California’s Most Ambitious Handgun Ban Now Underway

In 1976, the Brady Campaign, then known as the National Council to Control Handguns, said that the first part of its three-part plan to get handguns and handgun ammunition made “totally illegal” was to “slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country.” This month, anti-gunners finally got that wish in California.

America’s two largest handgun manufacturers–Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger–have announced that they will stop selling new semi-automatic handguns in California, rather than comply with the state’s “microstamping” law. The law applies not only to entirely new models of handguns, but also to any current-production handgun approved by the state’s Roster Board, if such handgun is modified with any new feature or characteristic, however minor or superficial.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the law was “intended to help police investigators link shell casings found at crime scenes to a specific gun.” That’s pure spin, however. In reality, the law, signed in 2007 by then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, is intended to terminate semi-automatic handgun sales and, over time, semi-automatic handgun ownership in the state. “Microstamping” will solve few, if any crimes and it is only a matter of time before a proposal to expand the law to include other firearms will follow.

Meanwhile, the National Shooting Sports Foundation has announced that it and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute have filed suit against the law in Fresno Superior Court “seeking both declaratory and injunctive relief against this back-door attempt to prevent the sale of new semiautomatic handguns to law-abiding citizens in California.”

Anti-gun activists often refer to California as the test bed for gun control laws they would like to have imposed throughout the country. Thus, it goes without saying that gun owners outside California should anticipate “microstamping” efforts in their states, and do what it takes to elect pro-Second Amendment governors and state legislators to deny the anti-gunners additional victories.

However, making sure that what has happened in California doesn’t happen elsewhere is not the only reason to step up our election year efforts. California accounts for 12 percent of the nation’s population and approximately eight percent of its handgun owners. We owe it to our fellow countrymen–our Second Amendment brothers and sisters–to elect a pro-Second Amendment president and senators who will approve that president’s nominations to the federal courts, where California’s “microstamping” law might one day be challenged. What is true in football is also true in the effort to keep America’s most popular type of handguns legal and affordable: the best defense is a good offense.

No Place for Dissent in Andrew Cuomo’s New York

Open-for-BusinessJanuary 18, 2014

Michael Filozof

In a media interview Friday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo tagged his opponents as “extreme conservatives” and said that they “have no place in New York.”

Who are these “extreme conservatives?” Opponents of gun control, abortion, and homosexual marriage, that’s who:

“The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act… Their problem is not me and the Democrats; their problem is themselves. Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the State of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

Let’s deconstruct this for a moment. New York’s ultra-draconian “SAFE Act” permanently outlawed all military rifles developed in the past sixty years. It created State Police surveillance of all ammunition sales, and a required that the State Police keep a database of all ammunition purchases. It criminalized the possession of firearm magazines that were legally purchased decades ago without compensating the owners. It was passed at 2 A.M. with no committee hearings and no debate. Legislators were given 15 minutes’ notice to vote on a 39 page bill — not enough time to read it. And Cuomo waived a legal requirement that a three-day waiting period for public input occur before the legislation took effect.

And if you think that violates the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution… you “have no place in the State of New York.”

Do you oppose abortion, which the science of biology absolutely proves kills a nascent human being in utero — largely to maintain culture of reckless promiscuity? Then you’re an “extremist” who has “no place in the State of New York.”

Do you oppose homosexual marriage, which did not exist in any culture in the history of mankind until 20 years ago or so? You extremist! You have “no place in the State of New York.”

The idea that a sitting governor of the fourth-largest state in the nation can tell people he disagrees with politically that they have “no place” in the state he governs is breathtakingly frightening. I cannot recall any American governor anywhere essentially telling American citizens to shut up or get out of his state. What about the constitutional rights to free speech, free association, and freedom of the press? What ever happened to the Madisonian idea that the rights of political minorities are to be protected from the tyranny of the majority? Whatever happened to all the incessant leftist rhetoric about “diversity” and “multiculturalism”? I guess “diversity” doesn’t apply to conservatives, does it?

How is this any different than saying “The Jews have no place in the Fatherland?” How is this any different than saying “The kulaks have no place in the Soviet Union?” “How is this any different than saying “The capitalist pigs have no place in the Peoples’ Republic of Kampuchea”?

Answer: it isn’t different. Every dictatorship marginalizes, delegitimizes, and dehumanizes its opponents before it strips them of their rights and crushes them.

If you’re under the mistaken impression that the U.S. is still a free country, and New York is still a free state… you’d better read Cuomo’s comments again.

God help us.

Thomas Lifson adds:

New York State is currently running a national ad campaign urging companies to move to New York and open new businesses there, in order to receive a ten year tax holiday. These television commercials (seen regularly on Fox News Channel among others) need to be amended to indicate that no businesses owned by or employing people who believe in the Second Amendment or in the sanctity of unborn life are welcome in the state.



MILLER: Gun reregistration begins in D.C., may lead to arrest and confiscation

By Emily Miller The Washington Times

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

First law in U.S. to require renewal with fingerprints and fees

For the first time in the United States, a citizen who has legally registered  a gun will have to submit to a renewal process. The consequences of not knowing  about this new law or missing the specific 60-day window are dire.

Starting on Jan. 2, every single D.C. resident who has registered a firearm  since 1976 must go to police headquarters to pay a $48 fee and be photographed  and fingerprinted.

The Metropolitan Police Department estimates there are at least 30,000  registered gun owners.

If the registrant does not go to the police station within three months after  a set time frame, the registration is revoked. That citizen is then in  possession of an unregistered firearm, which is a felony that carries a maximum  penalty of a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.

The gun itself is put into a category of weapons that can never be  registered, just as though it were a machine gun or a sawed-off shotgun.

The city has not made clear how it will enforce the law, but the police are  in possession of all registrants’ home addresses so confiscation and arrests  would be simple.

The police are notifying registrants by mail that they have to come to the  station on the set schedule.

Also, the department took out a $550 advertisement in The Washington Times to  run on Monday. The required public notice is not being printed in any other  newspaper or media outlet.

The three-year expiration date is supposed to uncover if a gun owner does  something that makes him suddenly a danger to society, such as committing a  felony, becoming a drug addict or being involuntarily committed to a mental  hospital.

I recently asked D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who wrote these laws  in 2009, why he couldn’t just run all our names through the FBI’s National  Instant Background Checks System (NICS), which uses information including name,  Social Security number, birth date and physical characteristics to determine if  the applicant is legally prohibited from owning a gun.

NICS is used nationally for gun sales and transfers from licensed dealer and  applications for a concealed-carry permit. (The records are not kept in order to  prevent a national gun registry.)

“I don’t want name-based,” Mr. Mendelson replied. “I can go in and pretend  I’m Emily Miller if I have your name and Social Security number. So name-based  is not as good for identification as fingerprints. And NICS doesn’t have all the  information.”

These points are disputed in a December court filing in the federal court  case known as Heller II, which is challenging D.C.’s registration laws,  including the reregistration section. The plaintiffs point out that NICS covers  all state and local databases.

In a deposition, the officer in charge of the registration section for 20  years admitted that the unit has not had a problem with fake IDs.

Furthermore, criminals don’t go to the police station before buying their  guns. Only the law abiding do that.

The city is making a tidy profit from forcing everyone to reregister. The  fees, set in 2003, go to a general fund. It costs $13 for each gun registered.  For renewals, the cost is the same, but it is per person, not per firearm.

In addition, gun owners pay $35 for electronic fingerprinting for an FBI  background check.

While there is no charge for a NICS check, the FBI’s fingerprint background  check for a civilian is $18. This means D.C. is essentially charging a total $30  gun tax.

Multiply that times the minimum 30,000 registrants and the city is raking in  about a cool $1 million from gun owners. No other right in the Constitutional  comes with a cash payment.

“Requiring registration in the first place to exercise a constitutional right  is harassment enough,” Stephen Halbrook, the lead attorney of Heller II, told  me.

“Canceling the registration every three years and charging the equivalent of  a poll tax to reregister, and requiring citizens to be fingerprinted yet again,  adds insult to injury. Criminals in the sex-offender registration system aren’t  even subjected to that.”

The schedule for going to police headquarters is somewhat confusing.  Registrants are given two-month windows that are loosely aligned to their birth  dates. However, Kelly O’Meara, one of Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy  L. Lanier’s top deputies, said they decided to spread the renewals over a  two-year period to avoid long waits.

As a result, the months don’t match up exactly. For example, if you are born  between Feb. 16 and March 31, your renewal period is April 1 to June 30 this  year. Firearms owners are not allowed to go to the Firearms Registration Section  at any other time.

I asked Ms. Meara what happens if a gun owner comes in early. “We probably  would not turn them away,” she said. “We just won’t encourage it by saying we  are open to it.”

The District started registering long guns (rifles and shotguns) in 1976  after issuing a complete ban on handguns. In 2008, the Supreme Court overturned  the handgun ban in the landmark Heller decision.

Afterwards, the D.C. Council passed the most restrictive gun-control laws in  the nation in an attempt to dissuade people from exercising their newly  recovered right.

The purported purpose of reregistration is to keep firearms out of the hands  of dangerous people. However, the District’s own witnesses in the Heller II  depositions “cite no studies showing that periodic registration renewal or  reporting requirements reduce crime or protect police officers.”

While the police are forced to put tens of thousands of innocent people  through a reregistration process, the actual criminals are having a field day in  D.C.

Homicides were up 15 percent in 2013 over 2012. Robberies with a gun rose 4  percent.

The police should be going after the bad guys and not wasting time on those  of us who are exercising our Second Amendment rights and abiding by the law.

Emily Miller is senior editor of opinion for The Washington  Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun”  (Regnery, 2013).