New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is no friend to gun owners. He’s a rabid anti-Second Amendment jihadist and that’s putting it mildly. While I’ve had some suspicions that he doesn’t actually have any principles himself, that doesn’t mean his crusade against the right to keep and bear arms is any less harmful because of it.
However, despite all of his efforts in the past on gun control, Cuomo’s not satisfied. Oh no, he wants to try expand the list of prohibited people.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday provided a first glimpse at the proposals that will be contained in his 2020 State of the State address — and the first initiative would bar people convicted of violent crimes in other states from obtaining a gun license in New York.
Cuomo’s office said Sunday that state law currently bans individuals from receiving a gun license if they commit certain misdemeanors that are deemed “serious offenses” – but the law does not prohibit people from getting a gun license after committing comparable misdemeanors in another state. Cuomo is proposing amending the Penal Law to prohibit those people from buying or possessing a gun in New York.
“Gun violence in this country is a crisis. The cause is clear: spineless politicians in Washington who refuse to stand up to the NRA and pass common-sense reforms,” Cuomo said in a statement. “Until the federal government acts, states with weak gun laws will continue to endanger New Yorkers at home, and I will not tolerate it.”
Federal law already prevents people from acquiring guns in every state if they are convicted of certain misdemeanors: either a state offense that is punishable by more than a two-year prison term, or a crime that included “the use or attempted use of physical force or threatened use of a deadly weapon” and targeted a current or former family member, partner or housemate.
Cuomo’s proposal would build on the federal statute. In New York, misdemeanors that disqualify people from gun ownership include certain domestic violence convictions, forcible touching and other misdemeanor sex offenses, and unlicensed possession of a firearm.
Except, some of those people are already barred from having a gun. Where they commit those crimes is irrelevant and those show up in a NICS check, either during the permitting process or when they go to buy a gun.
The others, however, are more problematic because Cuomo is seeking to deny people a constitutionally-protected right for relatively minor crimes. These are misdemeanors, and “other…sex offenses” could well include a couple of teenagers getting busy in the back seat of a car. Is that really something that warrants disarming people? Hardly.
Look, I’m not saying that everyone who has committed any of these crimes is innocent in every way. Sometimes, these are just the first crimes they’ve been caught committing. But there are serious problems here, too.
For one thing, how many people accepted a plea deal on these crimes specifically so they could keep their gun rights rather than face felony convictions? Cuomo’s plan would treat them, should they move to New York, like felons despite that.
Further, keep in mind that some of these misdemeanors don’t get a jury trial in some places. I’m sorry, but no constitutionally-protected right should be threatened with anything less than a jury trial, a fact a federal court recently upheld. In some locales, though, it’s not a consideration because they’re not taking people’s rights away. New York, however, wants to punish them in their state despite that.
I’m not sure that will hold up to legal scrutiny, to be honest.
Then again, it’s not like Cuomo really cares. All that matters to him is striking a blow against the Second Amendment in his state. How cares about pesky things like rights when you’re the governor of the state of New York, am I right?
It’s high time for someone to step in to disabuse Cuomo of this fact.