Is New York helping the Second Amendment?

Is New York helping the Second Amendment?
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic

The Second Amendment is one of those bits of the Constitution that has been effectively ignored by many throughout the years when it’s not being manipulated to support taking away people’s rights.


One of the states that seems to be the most against the right to keep and bear arms is New York. They’ve pushed numerous gun control laws in recent years and are continually poised to push still more.

However, could an argument be made that New York is benefitting the Second Amendment? Yeah, there probably is.

In hunting, there is an old adage: “aim small, miss small.” The point is that, if you want to hit a target, aim for a small part rather than the whole target. It is often the difference between a total miss and a marginal hit. In the area of Second Amendment law, the most promising legislative measures are the ones that aim small on the edges of the constitutionally-based right — the strategy used by abortion opponents. The problem is that politicians rarely want to aim small when they are trying to score big with voters.

An example is the recent New York public nuisance law seeking to make gun manufacturers liable for gun crime. Not only is the law likely to be a large miss, it will likely deliver another blow to gun control efforts by adding precedent protecting Second Amendment rights.

I’ve discussed the New York public nuisance law aimed at gun manufacturers, a law that doubles down on a failed legal theory using torts as a substitute for direct legislative bans or barriers. As expected, gun groups like the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) as well as 14 firearms manufacturers, distributors, and retailers are now filing suit. They should have an excellent shot at a preliminary injunction.

The New York nuisance law was heralded by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a response to the new “epidemic” facing New Yorkers. There is, of course, nothing new about gun violence in New York, but Cuomo and other New York politicians knew that promising to crush the gun industry never fails to garner support in the Empire State … and few people hold you responsible when you aim big and miss big.

The problem is that major Democratic cities are delivering lasting self-inflicted wounds to gun control efforts with poorly conceived and poorly drafted measures.


The author cites Heller and McDonald as prime examples of how anti-Second Amendment laws can actually end up strengthening the Second Amendment. After all, they head up to the Supreme Court, only to get smacked down hard. It also makes it more difficult for other states to pass similar laws.

New York also gave us NYSRPA, Inc. v. City Of New York, where the NRA-affiliated group fought against an NYC law that forbid gun owners from taking their firearms out of the city. At the 11th hour, the city changed the law to avoid it being found unconstitutional.

We also have NYSRPA v. Bruen, which is before the Supreme Court now, which challenges the law that requires citizens to show “good cause” to get a carry permit.

In short, New York is doing a lot for the Second Amendment, but not necessarily on purpose. By pushing for anti-Second Amendment laws so very hard, they’re making it easy for pro-gun groups to challenge these laws in court and to get them thrown out as unconstitutional, thus providing more legal protections for the right to keep and bear arms.

This is a fact the author point out himself, of course, and he’s absolutely correct in this. He goes so far as to say that no state has done more for the Second Amendment than New York.

Looking at the cases the Supreme Court is looking at, it’s entirely possible that’s true.


When it’s all said and done, though, it’s about our rights and not about who did what. In the meantime, though, we can thank the state of New York for their assistance in restoring our rights to where they should be.

Yes, even if they didn’t mean to help.

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