Just Two Percent of NY Gun Owners Moving to PA Can Change Presidential Elections; Will They?

AP Photo/Hans Pennink

New York State is a basketcase, an irredeemable one at that. The dysfunction is everywhere. New York has massive deficits despite the heaviest tax burden, an unfriendly economic climate chasing businesses away, and a continuous outmigration of people that led to the loss of another congressional seat after the 2020 census.


For gun owners, New York has gone from bad to significantly worse since NYSRPA v. Bruen, as the state has passed and continues to pass numerous laws that further infringe on our right to keep and bear arms. New York borders states that have significantly better gun laws, including Pennsylvania, the state that it shares its longest border (~225 miles) with. Along that border lie 10 out of New York State’s 62 counties.

Pennsylvania has been a crucial Swing State for the past 2 presidential elections. Trump carried it in 2016 with a mere 44,292 votes, a tight 0.72% margin. In 2020, Biden carried it with 80,555 votes, a 1.17% margin. Assuming the victory margin from 2020 holds for future elections and all other demographic factors remain unchanged, it would take just over 80,555 committed Second Amendment voters moving from New York to Pennsylvania to swing presidential elections in favor of the Second Amendment.

New York’s population estimate as of 2024 is almost 19.5 million people. An estimated 19.9% of New Yorkers own guns. That means there are a solid 3,874,377 gun owners in New York State. To tip the presidential election in Pennsylvania, it would take only 80,555 of those 3,874,377 gun-owning New Yorkers to move to Pennsylvania. That’s only 2.08% of the gun owning population.


The broad outlines of how a pro-Second Amendment presidential victory would help are obvious. First and foremost, the President gets to nominate the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The current Director of the agency, Steve Dettelbach, has been an outspoken opponent of gun rights. He has weaponized the agency in several ways. In its day-to-day function, Dettelbach has changed the focus of the ATF to harass ordinary Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) using its new “Zero Tolerance” policy. Under his watch, the ATF has usurped the legislative powers of Congress by passing regulations that are de facto laws: the Frame or Receiver rule, the Pistol Brace rule, and the latest “Engaged in the Business” rule.

The second biggest impact will come from appointments to the federal judiciary. As anti-Second Amendment states pass more gun control laws, and as the ATF passes newfangled rules, they will be challenged in the federal (and state) Courts by gun rights activists. This is where presidential nominations and appointments to the federal judiciary will have a serious impact. 

The first Trump presidency saw the appointment of a large number of originalist judges, including that of three Supreme Court justices. Some of those judges are firearms owners and enthusiasts who actually understand guns and know how they work. One of my favorite Trump appointments is Judge Lawrence VanDyke, who has been pictured with a SCAR-17.


While there’s no guarantee that originalist judges, who follow the Constitution and laws wherever they lead, will give us the results we like, at a minimum, we won’t get the sort of unfair and prejudiced treatment we get from leftist “Living Constitution” judges.

There are other benefits to a pro-Second Amendment presidential victory. Things like export/import regulations, State Department meddling, the Department of Education defunding schools with firearms programs, etc. – all of those will stop.

New York State has given gun owners more reasons to leave in just the past two years. Incentivizing New Yorkers to move to Pennsylvania ironically has the potential to backfire on gun controllers, as that gives gun owners the opportunity to win the long game federally.

The mechanics of moving to Pennsylvania are dependent on one’s personal circumstances. If you’re close to the border, it may be feasible to move and commute to your current job. If you are wealthy enough, you can buy a second house there and make it your primary residence. Some gun owners may have to quit their jobs and look for opportunities across the border. Most gun owners may not be able to move at all. But all we need is just over 2% of gun owners, just over the 80,555 voters, to seek federal redress for the constant humiliations and degradations we have been subjected to in New York.


People who fight the hardest are ones who have nothing left to lose. With heavy-handed gun control, New York State has put gun owners into that category. 

Moving isn’t easy. As an immigrant, I lost most of my personal friendships when I moved to the United States from India. My extended familial ties have been impacted by distance. In the end, I’m still happy I made the move.

If you’re a New Yorker who is open to the idea of moving, you need to relocate to Pennsylvania before October 6, 2024 to be eligible to vote there. The voter registration deadline in Pennsylvania is October 21, 2024. 

Second Amendment supporters around the country will be thankful for your effort and personal sacrifice.

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