Let’s acknowledge right up front that if Joe Biden wins the presidency in November, there is a zero percent chance of Second Amendment supporters being happy with whoever he picks to be his Attorney General. If rumors are to be believed, however, Biden’s mulling over appointing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to the position, which would be a declaration of legal warfare on gun owners as well as the firearms industry.
On today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co we take a look at Cuomo’s longstanding hostility towards the Second Amendment, which dates back to his time as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under the Clinton administration. As the National Shooting Sports Foundation pointed out earlier this year, Cuomo actually tried to enlist public housing agencies across the country in junk lawsuits against gun makers back in the late 1990s.
Cuomo’s antigun bona fides trace back to his time as the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development during the Clinton administration where he threatened to have over 3,200 public housing authorities sue members of the firearm industry for crime committed in those housing projects. Congress quickly put a stop to his threatened litigation. He also violated antitrust law in 2000 by conspiring with several big city mayors to politicize law enforcement purchasing by collectively refusing to buy from any handgun manufacturer that didn’t signed a so-called “code of conduct” that sought to implement gun control that Congress would never pass. NSSF sued Cuomo and his allies in federal court prompting putting a stop to their illegal antitrust conspiracy.
You can bet that an Attorney General Cuomo would be a willing partner with gun control groups like Everytown for Gun Safety and Giffords (which both feature their own in-house law firms) to target the firearms industry and even Second Amendment organizations. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have both been adamant about repealing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and empowering lawsuits against gun companies that seek to hold them responsible for the actions of criminals. Cuomo’s made his own opinion of the National Rifle Association clear, penning an official press release earlier this year that stated, “If the NRA goes away, I’ll remember them in my thoughts and prayers.”
Cuomo’s disdain for Second Amendment supporters is large enough to encompass individual gun owners as well. Back in 2014, a year after his SAFE Act gun control package became law in New York State, Cuomo told opponents of his gun control measure that they weren’t welcome in New York.
The Republican Party candidates are running against the SAFE Act — it was voted for by moderate Republicans who run the Senate! 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.
The SAFE Act, by the way, hasn’t exactly been a huge win for Cuomo. Federal courts have ruled his ban on ammunition magazines that can hold more than 7-rounds to be unconstitutional, the SAFE Act’s requirement that ammunition sales go through background checks has never been put into effect, and there was massive non-compliance with both the registation requirements for so-called assault weapons as well as the mandate that all pistol owners re-register their handguns in order to create a statewide database.
Meanwhile, despite the gun control laws that Cuomo put in place seven years ago, shootings and homicides in many cities across the state, from New York City to Buffalo, are at levels not seen in a decade or more. The SAFE Act hasn’t made anyone any safer, in other words, though it’s turned a lot of otherwise legal gun owners into criminals on paper. Sadly, that makes Cuomo the perfect choice to enforce Biden’s gun control agenda if the Democrats win the White House next month.