Fake news about NY's new carry laws could land gun owners in hot water

(AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

While New York Democrats have a tendency to go soft on violent criminals, their hostility toward the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense means that otherwise law-abiding gun owners could face years in prison if they’re caught carrying a firearm without a valid carry permit. Heck, they could face years behind bars even if they do have a concealed carry license, at least if they’re carrying in one of the numerous locations designated “sensitive places” by the anti-gunners in Albany.

So, it’s awfully important for New Yorkers to know what the new gun control measures rushed onto the books in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision striking down the state’s “may issue” carry laws are all about and how they apply to current gun owners. Unfortunately there’s some bad information floating around social media that gun owners should definitely disregard.

In the midst of confusion and legal challenges in response to the law came a social media post purporting to show the New York State Office of Pistol Licensing in Oneida County announcing a slew of licensing changes.

“ALL NYS Pistol Licenses are now Concealed Carry regardless of what is stamped on the top or back,” read part of the Aug. 19 Facebook post that was shared more than 700 times in just over a week. “NO NYS Pistol License holder NEEDS to make a special trip into the Pistol Licensing Office to make this happen.”

The post went on to claim that sporting licenses no longer exist and that law enforcement personnel would be considered “Unrestricted – Concealed Carry.”

But the Oneida County Office of Pistol Permit Licensing said it did not issue any such document, and experts and government officials said the new law does not enact the changes claimed in the Facebook post. There is still a standard process to obtain a concealed-carry permit, and the new law doesn’t affect the status of past licenses, officials said.

USA Today says it reached out to the individual who posted the picture on Facebook, but apparently they didn’t receive a response. Was this a malicious attempt to put law-abiding gun owners at risk of arrest and prosecution, someone passing along fake news without doing their own due diligence, an edgelord just looking to cause chaos, or something else? I’d love to know the motivation behind this post, but I’m certain that it’s a truly terrible idea to try to follow its advice.

Depending on what part of the state we’re talking about, a concealed carry holder who simply inadvertently brings their firearm into a gun-free zone might get a pass from the local police or county sheriff, but if someone without a valid carry license is found with a gun in public I doubt they’re going to given that same leeway, and in New York City and other Democratic-dominated locales those individuals will undoubtably face arrest and potential prison time.

It may be that some of the state’s latest gun control laws will soon be halted, now that a federal judge in Syracuse who’s already on the record as saying many of the provisions are unconstitutional has another opportunity to issue an injunction (he declined to do so for lack of standing the first time around, but the lawsuit was recently re-filed with an eye towards meeting the requirements to sue), but until then every one of these infringements on the right to bear arms has the full weight of the law behind them, no matter what someone on Facebook has to say about it.