There was A New Hope after the rebel alliance won NYSRPA v. Bruen, but the Empire State struck back. In a pitiful, vindictive tantrum after its SCOTUS loss, New York passed its Concealed Carry “Improvement” Act, a mishmash of wholesale infringements on the right of New Yorkers to keep and bear arms.
Prior to this law, the few New Yorkers who were lucky enough to get (or bribed their way to) a pistol permit could carry just about anywhere, including the NYC subway. Now that ordinary riffraff like us can get permits based on objective standards, New York has substantially limited where we can carry guns.
Private property is the new battleground. In most states, the default is that permit holders can carry their concealed weapons onto private property, unless they are conspicuously notified that they cannot. Thus, the law defaults to not infringing on a citizen’s right to bear arms. The Gun Grab Lobby wants to change that, banning concealed carry on private property by default, unless the property owner conspicuously notifies permit holders that they can.
Professor Jake Charles of Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, in an online conversation with The Truth about Guns, drew a false equivalence between the two defaults. His Twitter account is protected, so I will summarize what he said:
Jake Charles: “Right now the *default* is guns okay unless expressly prohibited. NYS flipped the *default* to guns not okay unless expressly permitted. It’s not hard to parse the similarity.”
TTAG: “The state legislated that every property owner must explicitly allow guns. That’s a de facto ban on 2A exercise on private property legislated by the state that the property owner must act to counter.”
Charles: “So if I’m understanding your argument right, would you then say it’s problematic Texas de facto bans private property owners from exercising their const’l property right to exclude guns and that prop owners have to act to counter that ban that’s legislated by the state?”
This is where I asked Prof. Charles a question about what a default ban would look like with the First Amendment:
What would an analogous law that forbade someone from exercising their First Amendment right on private property look like? E.g.,
“Sure, you can walk into a store but can’t wear religious insignia by default unless the store owner posts a sign allowing it.”
— Ranjit Singh (@AuthorSingh) November 23, 2022
With the rise of outright animosity directed at religion in modern America, this is a valid question to ask. What if a future militant atheist majority is so deeply “triggered” by religion that they, acting through a legislative majority, manage to pass a law that defaults to forbidding religious insignia on all private property? That you have to remove your religious insignia before entering any private property, even if it’s concealed by a garment, unless the property owner posts a sign saying religious insignia are welcome.
That would be an infringement of religious liberty, something that one would hope even an atheist court would strike down. Granted guns aren’t religious insignia, but the objection to lawful concealed weapons arises from an animus akin to religious zealotry.
Here’s a hypothetical based on real life: over 13 years ago in Minnesota, after a fatwa from the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, Somali Muslim taxi drivers started asking passengers at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport if they were carrying alcohol in their baggage, and refused rides to passengers who did. Let’s say that 50 years into the future, these taxi drivers are the majority population of Minnesota, and they vote in a legislature that passes a default ban on carrying alcohol in your luggage unless expressly allowed by a taxi driver. Would that law not be a violation of others’ rights? (Note that banning alcohol from others’ luggage is a step much further than refusing to bake a specialized, non-generic cake or designing a specialized, non-generic website; the former violates privacy and neutral carriage, the latter infringes on free speech and religious liberty.)
Yet, somehow, the default violation of our right to keep and bear arms is allowable in the gun control mindset.
So why would someone support such a default infringement on our right to bear arms? For that look to Professor Eric Ruben of Southern Methodist University, a fellow at the left-wing Brennan Center:
The law sets the default either way. One way property owners have to act to keep guns out. The other way property owners have to act to allow them in. Either way they exercise constitutionally protected property rights. The NY law set a more efficient default.
— Eric Ruben (@ericmruben) November 23, 2022
“A more efficient default?” What exactly is that? I asked the professor and did not receive a response, and I know why. It’s the most efficient way of infringing on other people’s rights because you don’t respect them.
When Stephen Gutowski at the Reload wrote an article titled, “Private Property Gun Ban Blocked as New York Stacks Up Losses in Federal Court,” Prof. Ruben claimed that New York’s default ban on concealed carry on private property isn’t a ban at all.
Wouldn’t call this a “ban”…
— Eric Ruben (@ericmruben) November 23, 2022
If a state passed a 15-week abortion ban with exceptions for rape and incest, would any newspaper or media outlet not call it a ban? I doubt it. Yet again, with guns though, the gun control crowd plays by a different set of rules.
I hope the courts see through New York’s shenanigans (which will likely be reproduced by other states).
Infringing on the Second Amendment may be fun and games in the short-term, but will result in assaults on the rest of the Bill of Rights in the long-term.