As the legal fights over New York’s “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” continue, gun owners challenging the constitutionality of the post-Bruen carry laws have more evidence that the new restrictions are having a chilling effect on the Second Amendment rights of residents across the state.
RochesterFirst.com recently reported on the decline in the number of new concealed carry applications since the Bruen decision was handed down, as well as the deplorably long wait times for those few who have applied.
Since the state lawmakers passed the conceal carry improvement act last year, county officials and those who teach the mandatory classes have noticed a severe drop in applicants for concealed carry permits.
When you call the Monroe County pistol permit office, a recording informs you to wait anywhere from 9 to 16 months for your application to be processed. But lately, Clerk Jamie Romeo noticed the wait times dropping.
“6 to 8 months but sometimes to a year that it can take,” Clerk Romeo said. “But oftentimes it depends on the background investigations that have to go on. There are still some cases that are getting processed from the surge in 2021 and before the new law took effect. Those are still being processed through law enforcement background and the courts.”
A six-month wait in the best of circumstances would likely still run afoul of the Bruen decision, which upheld the constitutionality of “shall issue” systems but noted that the Court does not “rule out constitutional challenges to shall-issue regimes where, for example, lengthy wait times in processing license applications or exorbitant fees deny ordinary citizens their right to public carry.”
In New York, it looks like both of those standards have now been met.
Course instructors are David Jenkins of Rochester Personal Defense believe the shorter wait time is due to a severe drop in new applicants since the laws were updated.
“As of June 1, from what I hear, just under 300 people have applied whereas this time last year it was just over 700 or so,” Jenkins explained. “I think a lot of it is the cost of the course and time factors of the course. They got to take two long days out of their life.”
Besides completing an 18-hour course, the new laws also require applicants to share their social media activity and whom they live with. Despite these new requirements, Jenkins says more people from Rochester are seeking permits.
“Because of what’s been going on in the city lately the general comment is there’s no control in the city,” Jenkins told us. “It’s free for all and people are scared.
More people in Rochester, maybe, but fewer residents of Monroe County overall. Jenkins charges $325 for the two-day training course, and though he’s allowing students to set-up payment plans that cost is still likely to price some residents out of exercising their right to bear arms. The 18 hours of training is also almost certainly having a negative impact as well, especially on hourly workers and those folks who don’t have a traditional Monday-Friday 8-5 schedule.
While responsible gun owners who want to lawfully carry a firearm in self-defense are being thwarted thanks to the state laws, violent criminals and bad actors seem unfazed by the new restrictions. A “pop up” party in Syracuse, New York held over the weekend resulted in 13 people being shot, stabbed, and run over by cars, and none of New York’s many restrictions on legal gun owners were able to prevent the violence from taking place.
Syracuse police said officers responded to a shots fired complaint on Maseena Street triggered by the Shot Spotter system at 12:22 a.m. Sunday.
They discovered a scene of around 200 people gathered for some sort of block party promoted on social media.
“Upon arrival they discovered a tremendously chaotic situation,” Syracuse Police Chief Joseph Cecile said. “Two hundred or so people in the street, people fleeing in all directions both on foot and in cars. They found over a dozen, well 13 is the actual number, victims – gunshot victims, stabbing victims, and also victims that had been hit by those vehicles that were fleeing the scenes.”
Cecile said this is not the first time a party like this has happened in the city.
Rather, every weekend in various parts of the city there are “pop up” parties typically advertised on social media. And the chief admits that sometimes police find out about them, and other times they don’t.
“Our understanding of this one, and it’s very early information, that it was a bunch of high school students who had just graduated and also some older individuals who had come back from college that were meeting here on this block,” Cecile said.
Police haven’t announced the arrest of any suspects, but I’ll make a prediction that if and when they do none of those believed to be responsible will be concealed carry permit holders. New York’s crackdown on legal gun owners is leaving violent offenders untouched, while average citizens who want to protect themselves are being denied access to their fundamental right to armed self-defense for months on end. This status quo flies in the face of the Bruen decision, but the data from Monroe County at least gives gun owners more solid evidence that the state’s post-Bruen legislation was designed to flout the Supreme Court’s ruling, not comply with it.