The state of New York is pretty rabidly anti-gun. Most of that is because of the outsized influence New York City has on the state, of course, thus illustrating why the electoral college is a thing.
That anti-gun attitude is how someone like Andrew Cuomo could be elected governor. The man has made his anti-gun position very clear.
However, there was always some sliver of hope that the more rural counties were far more pro-gun, that they recognized the right to keep and bear arms as an essential right. I’m not so sure of that right about now.
States across the country have swiftly adopted draconian measures to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, including an indefinite suspension of their citizens’ Second Amendment rights.
New York has taken some of the most extreme measures. According to a phone survey of all 62 New York counties conducted by 2ANYS, a full 84 percent of counties (52) have suspended or ignored their duty to continue processing pistol permits.
Thirty-eight counties confirmed that they’ve suspended pistol permitting activities until further notice, six counties have stopped tracking whether permit applications are being processed, and two counties are no longer making staff available to process permits. One county admitted that delays will occur as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and five additional counties have already imposed a de facto ban on permits.
“During a period of crisis when entire law enforcement patrol divisions could be brought down by COVID-19 exposure and 911 response times could grow to an hour or more as a result, government agents are making it impossible for citizens to lawfully defend themselves in the home,” 2ANYS Founder Steve Felano said.
Felano isn’t wrong. At a time like this, people being able to lawfully carry a firearm can be absolutely essential. Right now, things aren’t as bad as they could be, but how will people react if shortages continue? How long until someone tries to kill another over a package of toilet paper? It’s not out of the realm of possibility, after all.
Now, on the same token, I can also see the counties’ position as well. They’re strained enough as it is and the permitting process may create a vector for Covid-19 to spread throughout these offices. I get it. I really do.
It seems to me that the best answer is to kill the licensing process completely and allow constitutional carry throughout the state.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s not going to happen. Not in New York. I’m only saying that constitutional carry would create an environment where people could carry firearms if they needed to and law enforcement staff tasked with permitting right now could still be protected from Covid-19.
However, it’s not just permitting that New York is hammering. They also forced the closure of the Remington factory there, deeming it “non-essential.”
Unfortunately, it makes up a sixth of the county’s economy, meaning this will be a body blow to the county as people are no longer able to work.
Especially since I can make a case that it damn well is an essential business. Especially with the current demand for firearms.
Then again, expecting government officials in New York to see wisdom is about like expecting someone in Hollywood to see virtue.