AP Photo/Ed Andrieski
No one is surprised to hear about a new anti-gun bill out of New York. Governor Andrew Cuomo has made it very clear that he blames the gun industry and gun owners for pretty much every ill in the universe. I’m fairly certain it’s our fault the Arch Duke Ferdinand was killed, thus sparking World War I.
However, this latest one is riling a lot of people up even more than usual.
A State Assembly bill to ban charity gun raffles is not scheduled for a vote and lacks a Senate companion bill. Yet local gun owners say they are still alarmed by what they see as an all-out assault on their right to own weapons.
“I think it stinks,” said Mark E. Fraunfelder, an East Aurora firefighter, at a Saturday gun raffle in Elma. “It’s a great way to raise money, and they’re trying to take it away from us. All the different laws they’ve passed – they’re just trying to take our guns.”
“The governor is just running roughshod over the whole state,” echoed fellow attendee Ken King. “He just gets whatever he wants now. … Once the Republicans lost the Senate, he’s got no one challenging him.”
These are anxious times for many gun owners in New York State, who say they feel besieged by a ream of new and wide-ranging gun control laws. Since Democrats took control of the State Legislature in the November elections, they have passed bills banning bump stocks, lengthening background check waiting times and requiring gun owners with young children to lock up their firearms.
Some 160 other gun control bills also have been introduced this session, including one proposal by Brooklyn Assemblywoman Joanne Simon that would prohibit gun raffles like one held Saturday at Jamison Road Volunteer Fire Company. The organization has held this particular fundraiser twice a year for the past 15 years, said Fire Chief Brian Nolan, and currently makes about $32,000 each year from it.
What’s particularly egregious about these is that it shows a lack of understanding of how many gun raffles work.
It starts with a licensed gun dealer donating a firearm to a cause. Except, they don’t. They still have to show the transfer on their books, so what they do is they’re going to transfer the rifle to whoever wins the raffle. Technically, the charity doesn’t have ownership of the gun. Donating it so it can then be given to someone else is a straw purchase, after all.
After the winner is chosen, the lucky individual then goes through the legally required background check.
In other words, the only difference between it and the regular purchase of a firearm is who gets the money. That’s it.
There’s nothing nefarious going on here, nothing at all. Despite that, it seems that New York is looking to ban the act. Why? Because anti-gun lawmakers know jack squat about guns or how the gun culture in this country works. They can’t provide instances of people who got their guns through raffles for criminal purposes unless it was tied to some other illegal act, such as using a false ID for the transfer.
They just don’t care. Gun people aren’t their people, so we can all rot in hell as far as they’re concerned. Who cares if the volunteer fire department needs funding. They probably fight fires at the homes of gun people, after all.