New York sheriffs sound the alarm over new gun laws

New York sheriffs sound the alarm over new gun laws

With New York’s post-Bruen restrictions on the right to carry set to take effect tomorrow, some county sheriffs are warning that the new laws will only make things worse for law-abiding citizens. And based on comments by New York Gov. Kathy Hochul, we could see a new legal challenge to the pending rules in the days to come.

Thousands of New Yorkers have been lining up outside of county offices over the past couple of weeks to apply for their concealed carry permits before the new rules take effect, with Niagara County Clerk Joe Jastrzemski telling the local paper that he’s had almost as many applications in the past 12 days as the county normally receives over the course of a year. Folks have been rushing to apply before the new rules take effect, which require 16 hours of training and impose new provisions that appear to be designed to block applicants from being approved, like requiring law enforcement to comb through applicants’ social media accounts in order to determine whether they’ve displayed “good moral character”. County officials across the state have been telling applicants that as long as they drop off their completed application before September 1st, they’ll be processed under the previous requirements (absent the state’s “justifiable need” mandate that was struck down by the Supreme Court in NYSRPA v. Bruen).

On Wednesday, however, Hochul declared that simply wasn’t so, and boasted that applicants shouldn’t hold their breath waiting to learn whether or not they’ve been approved.

“It’s who has a permit on the date,” Hochul said. “Not that you’ve applied.”

The process to be approved for a pistol permit, before or after the deadline, is a lengthy one that involves a series of background checks and interviews of neighbors.

“It could take months. It could be three months, a year,” she said.

Hochul’s remarks came as she laid out new gun safety laws that go into effect starting Thursday.

I have no idea how Hochul decided that those who’ve already applied for a permit are going to have go through the process all over again if they haven’t already been approved, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this leads to another lawsuit against the state of New York for once again putting up unreasonable and unnecessary barriers between residents and their Second Amendment rights, especially given that county clerks have been advising residents that any applications received before September 1st would be processed under the old system. In fact, as of yesterday the Niagara County Clerk’s office was reporting that it had not yet received the new permit applications from the Hochul administration; making it impossible for applicants to apply under the new rules.

As it stands some New York residents are facing a wait of more than a year simply to hand in their application, and if Hochul’s proclamation is allowed to stand then the wait times are only going to grow even longer.

I’m sure that’s fine with Hochul, who made it clear during her press conference in Manhattan that these new laws are meant to prevent people from lawfully bearing arms in self-defense.

Speaking at a news conference in New York City, she talked about the scourge of gun violence across the state.

“The pain has touched everyone,” she said, from day-to-day shootings on city streets to “the mass shooting in Buffalo when an 18-year-old with nothing but pure hate in his heart took the lives of 10 Black New Yorkers who were doing nothing but going to the grocery store.”

Hochul noted that her home in Buffalo is “10 minutes” from the Tops supermarket on Jefferson Avenue where the May 14 massacre took place.

She repeatedly criticized the Supreme Court’s decision, which was rendered just weeks after the mass shooting. “At a time when people were still mourning, they decided to strip away the rights of a governor to protect her citizens from gun violence,” she said.

“We don’t need more guns on our streets,” she said. “We’ve been working very, very hard removing thousands of guns.”

Hochul’s complaint about the Supreme Court supposedly stripping away her “right” to block citizens from accessing their right to bear arms is one of the most self-serving and arrogant comments I’ve ever seen from an anti-gun politician, but it’s perfectly in line with how the vast majority of Democratic officials view the Second Amendment. Despite Joe Biden proclaiming that the left doesn’t have a problem with “responsible gun owners,” it’s evident to anyone with a pulse that Democrats are aiming their legislative firepower at those who want to be on the right side of the law. Not only is Hochul doing everything she can to prevent the issuance of concealed carry permits, she and her Democratic colleagues have made it a felony offense to set foot in a “gun-free zone” while carrying; a provision that, given the expansive list of “sensitive places” designated by anti-gun lawmakers, is sure to lead to otherwise law-abiding citizens being sent to prison for inadvertently straying into a place where lawful concealed carry is forbidden.
It’s no wonder that so many members of law enforcement are objecting to these restrictions before they’re tasked with enforcing them.
“The criminals are still going to be out there committing crimes with illegal firearms and the law-abiding public is going to be jumping through hoops to get a permit,” Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin said. “This is all going to put additional workload on the clerks and the sheriffs. We’re not going to be able to handle that workload.”
… As for Hochul’s efforts to ban all guns from “sensitive areas,” using gun-free zone signage, Patrick Phelan, executive director of the New York State Association of Police Chiefs, said: “Having a restricted area is not going to matter to someone who is already possessing an illegal firearm. He’s already breaking the law. So I don’t think sensitive areas are going to be a concern for criminals.”
Phelan said tackling the scourge of gun crimes requires a multi-tiered approach and intercepting guns acquired illegally. “We need to figure out why teenage kids are shooting each other and think about how we are raising a generation of kids who think the solution to everything is to shoot one another,” said Phelan, former chief of the Greece Police Department.
That’s a great idea, but unfortunately Hochul and her anti-gun cohorts in the state legislature have decided that the best way to address violent crime is to prevent as many people as possible from defending themselves. I continue to believe that many, if not all, of New York’s new infringements on the right to keep and bear arms are going to be overturned in court, but the longer it takes, the more damage done to the rights and personal safety of New Yorkers.