(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File

New York State Senator Jim Gaughran, who represents a portion of Long Island, has been trying to pick a fight with the NRA for over a year now. Back in 2018, he unsucessfully tried to convince the Inn at New Hyde Park to cancel a Friends of NRA dinner, and he’s tried to stir up protests against the restaurant and event space again this year. He’s also taking things a step further by introducing legislation to ban gun raffles in the state of New York.

“You shouldn’t be able to simply walk into a catering venue and walk out owning a firearm,” said Gaughran. “This law will protect public safety and advance New York’s commitment to common sense gun reform. You can’t raffle off a bottle of wine, so why can you raffle off a weapon of war?”

Gaughran can’t really believe that someone’s just strolling out of a catering venue with a gun they just won in a raffle, can he? I’m going with “duplicitous” over “stupid” here, but I think he wants voters to believe that’s exactly what’s happening. Of course any gun won at a Friends of NRA dinner is going to go through a local FFL and a background check is conducted. This isn’t about stopping people from strolling out of a catering hall with a gun. It’s about stopping Friends of NRA dinners from taking place, or local firefighters raffling off firearms to pay for equipment.

Interlaken Guns & Ammo owner Bill McGuire called the proposal misleading because it ignores the process involved for an individual to collect their raffle prize.

If someone wins a firearm at a gun raffle, a federal background check must be conducted before they can collect the prize. Anyone with a criminal record would be blocked from receiving the firearm they won at a raffle.

McGuire said the legislation would hurt groups that use gun raffles to raise funds.

“Also, there are many organizations that will use portions of these proceeds for charitable purposes,” he added.

Unfortunately, New York has anti-gun majorities in both chambers of the legislature, as well as a governor who’ll sign any gun control bill that gets to his desk, even completely unworkable laws like a ban on magazines over 7-rounds, or requiring the state police to conduct background checks on every ammunition purchase. Gaughran’s bill may very well pass, especially since there’s already a version that’s been introduced in the state Assembly.

Ultimately, this attack bears some resemblance to the attacks on gun shows in California that we’ve been covering here at Bearing Arms. The stated purpose for trying to stop these events is public safety, but the real reason is because events like these help gun owners organize. A Friends of NRA dinner is a non-political event, just like a Crossroads of the West gun show, but many of the same folks on the Friends of NRA Committee will be knocking on doors and making phone calls as volunteers during campaign season. Folks may go to a gun show to check out the selection, but they’re also engaged in conversations with the fellow attendees and vendors about California’s screwy laws.

Politicians like Gaughran don’t just want gun control. They want to destroy the culture of lawful gun ownership, whether by the angry shouts of the mob or through the dry legalese of legislative action.