New York gun group promises swift response to new carry restrictions

Full disclosure: I was hoping to share an interview that I conducted with Tom King, the executive director of the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co but the internet ate my homework. Thanks to technical issues I can’t share the video of our conversation, but I can at least relay what Tom told me about the group’s anticipated response to New York Democrats’ attempt to undermine the Supreme Court’s decision in NYSPRA v. Bruen by passing a host of new restrictions on the right to carry, including widespread bans on carrying in publicly accessible spaces, onerous new training requirements, and more.

King says NYSPRA is ready to go back to court to ensure that that victory won at the Supreme Court a week ago isn’t undone by anti-gun lawmakers, who were set to introduce and approve their new restrictions on the very same day without any public input or testimony. In fact, as of 10:30 this morning King says he’d been told that none of the Republicans in the New York State Senate had been able to see the legislation that they’d be voting on within just a few hours. Apparently that’s because there was no bill at that point. Check out this update from around 4 p.m. Eastern:

Three hours after the special legislative session in Albany officially began at noon, the gun bill and proposed Equality Amendment were still being hammered out behind closed doors.

Sen. Zellnor Myrie, a Brooklyn Democrat, emerged from discussions around 3 p.m. and told reporters the gun legislation was nearly completed, with some details still unresolved but agreement among leaders of the two chambers on the overall content.

“I think we’re very, very close,” he said.

Myrie said the proposal was so vital to public safety that lawmakers and the administration were focused on ensuring it would comply with the Supreme Court decision and withstand any legal challenges. Among the topics still under discussion was what types of public places would be classified as “sensitive areas” where carrying guns is forbidden.

“This is such an important public safety bill; we want to make sure that it isn’t subject to attack,” he said.

Oh, it’s going to be subject to “attack” by Second Amendment supporters, and if the law’s intent is that the average New Yorker is prevented from exercising their right to carry in public (with a few “extraordinary” exceptions for “sensitive places” for the purposes of self-defense, then it’s going to get tossed.

It’s funny… for decades now the state has had their “may issue” laws in place and never saw fit to require any sort of training or limit the places where the chosen few could carry a firearm. As of today, in fact, the 4,000 or so New York City residents who possess a handgun carry permit are free to take their firearms with them on subways and buses, but now that the Supreme Court has ruled that everyday New Yorkers, not just the powerful, wealthy, and well-connected (as well as a paltry few who could demonstrate a “justifiable need”) can carry a gun to protect themselves from violent criminals, Gov. Kathy Hochul and her fellow Democrats have suddenly found it necessary to impose a host of new restrictions that they’re apparently coming up with on the fly.

If these laws are so sensible, why didn’t Democrats try to put them in place before now? If they’re so sensible, why can’t the public weigh in on them before lawmakers approve them? In fact, how can you call something sensible when you haven’t even written it yet?

What Hochul and her anti-gun allies in the legislature are doing is nothing more than defying the Supreme Court and continuing to put the lives and safety of New Yorkers at risk by putting in place laws that are designed to inhibit their right to bear arms in self-defense. Meanwhile, what happens when one of their own allegedly violates the state’s gun control laws? They’re allowed to avoid prosecution and felony charges, naturally.

Tom King knows how frustrating this is for New York gun owners, but he encouraged them to “keep the faith” during our conversation today. As long as the Democrats in charge of the state continue to violate the Second Amendment rights of residents, King says the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association will haul them into court and hold them to account.

Aug 18, 2022 5:30 PM ET