COVID-19 Making New Yorkers Rethink Gun Laws

New York City has a long and proud history of being anti-gun. Their gun control laws have been on the books for over a century at this point and there’s never really been a strong push to repeal them. New Yorkers like their gun control and they’re quite content with it. Nevermind that they’ve see-sawed between being a relatively peaceful city and a warzone with those laws on the books, they feel more comfortable with them.

Or, well, they did.

You see, in the era of COVID-19, some New Yorkers are starting to feel a little different.

With thousands of cops out sick, cocky criminals on the loose, and people running out of money for food and rent because of COVID-19, the Rosario sisters of Staten Island want to arm themselves for what they fear could be a coming crime surge.

Nicole Rosario, 35, a stay-at-home mother,  is angry that she can’t get a gun.

“It’s my constitutional right,” she said. “But that doesn’t seem to matter. I live in New York which means it’s impossible. That’s crazy and unfair.”

The FBI reported a 300 percent increase in gun sales across the country in March, compared to the same period a year ago.  But New Yorkers are shut out, with the Empire State one of only five states where gun stores have closed, despite recent guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security saying they should be considered essential business.

And forget about even applying for a firearm permit in NYC; the NYPD has closed its licensing office.

Rosario’s sister Christine, 32, is going to ask her boyfriend to move in with her because he already has a gun.

The gun control laws have forced some to look for alternatives, but pepper spray is in short supply in the city and self-defense classes have been pushed online. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to learn physical skills correctly online, which means a lot of people will think themselves capable of defending themselves but won’t actually understand the techniques.

That’s not a recipe for a good day.

People who live in cities and states with requirements like New York are having a hard time getting their hands on guns, and now is the time a lot of people who likely thought those laws were just grand are rethinking that position. Suddenly, criminals are running the streets again, food is a little harder to come by, a deadly disease is ripping their city apart, and they’re stuck in the role of Potential Victim #1 with absolutely no real hope of changing that.

Good job, Big Apple.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect it to change. While New Yorkers are having problems getting guns, many are likely to delude themselves into believing that if they can’t get guns, neither can the bad guys. They’ll be shocked when they find out otherwise, but it won’t actually change anything. They don’t understand that criminals don’t follow the same process to get a gun everyone else does. They don’t and won’t understand that they will be the only ones following the rules.

But, a few might. A few might recognize what happened and how it impacted the law-abiding people of New York. If it’s the right few, you may well see growth in the fight against those regulations.

Can you imagine a New York City that was pro-gun?

No, I can’t either, but it is possible that at least some the most onerous gun laws could be rolled back, at the very least, and that could still end up as a huge win.