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S9137A: So Hunters Don’t Believe Hochul and Company Are Coming For Them

06/11/2024 2:06 PM | Anonymous

S9137A:  So Hunters Don’t Believe Hochul and Company Are Coming For Them

Larry DiDonato did a good job of outlining this in Outdoors on June 7th and we reprint it here with his permission.


New York gun grab may hurt hunters 

The New York State Senate recently passed a bill, S9137A, that bans the open carrying of rifles and shotguns in New York. It defines openly carrying a rifle or shotgun as doing so in a manner that allows the rifle or shotgun, or any portion of it, to be visible to others. Rifles and shotguns are also commonly referred to as “long guns.” The senate states the purpose of the bill is; “…to regulate the open carry of rifles and shotguns with enumerated exceptions in order to promote public safety and align with existing law in other states.”

Sponsor of the long gun carry ban, Deputy Senate Majority Leader, Micheal Gianaris, (D-Queens), said, “Making our communities safe starts with educating gun owners and limiting accessibility to weapons of violence. I am proud we are taking serious steps to tackle this critical issue. We must keep our communities safe and prevent guns from taking more lives.” 

I don’t know of any hunter or shooting sports enthusiast who considers firearms used as they enjoy their hobby, a “weapon of violence,” but it’s apparent Sen. Gianaris does. 

This bill does nothing to keep our communities safe. Criminals, intent on committing crimes with guns, will not be deterred by this legislation. Plus, long guns are almost never used in the commission of street, turf, gang, and drug fueled shootings, currently ravaging NY’s urban centers.

According to the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Of all firearm-related crime reported to the survey, 86% involved handguns. The FBI's Supplemental Homicide Reports show that 57% of all murders in 1993 were committed with handguns, 3% with rifles, 5% with shotguns where the type was unknown.” 

Later federal studies confirm the trend. When the FBI researched homicides to determine the type of weapon used in homicides committed in the U.S. in 2019, they determined rifles were used in just 2.6%, and shotguns in just 1.4% of those homicides. Handguns, not long guns remain the weapon of choice in most of the homicides committed in the US. 

Although the NYS bill banning the open carry of long guns claims to “promote public safety,” it does nothing to address the real issue of crimes committed by criminals with guns in our cities.  

The state Senate already passed its version of the long gun carry ban, but its companion bill in the state Assembly, A10052, currently remains in the Assembly Codes Committee.

In an interview with New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) President Tom King, he called upon all concerned citizens, especially hunters and shooting sports enthusiasts to immediately contact their assembly representative, regardless of their party affiliation, to object to passage of this assembly bill. Its imperative legislators hear from constituents expressing their disapproval of needless, harmful legislation that does nothing to fight crime, and makes law abiding long gun owners into criminals simply by carrying hunting and target shooting rifles and shotguns.

Tom King added there’s recently been a deluge of anti-gun and anti-hunting legislation in NY. This bill checks both boxes. It is both anti-lawful gun ownership, and anti-hunting. The NYSRPA president went on to say Democrats have a veto-proof super majority in both the NY senate and assembly and emphasized the most important thing people can do is vote in November. “What we are seeing is the result of losing elections.” Make sure you vote so we can achieve a more balanced legislative body. Call your legislator on this, and other anti-gun and anti-hunting legislation you find objectionable.   

While the current Senate and Assembly bills prohibiting the open carry of long guns tout some exemptions for police, military, military re-enactors, etc., in addition to those lawfully engaged in hunting and target shooting, there’s a problem. If you’re hunting and injure a deer for instance, and you track that deer onto posted property with a firearm, that used to be a mere violation in NY and you’d get a ticket for trespass while hunting facing a maximum fine of $250/and/or 15 days in jail. This new law makes the offense a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. The law follows a ridiculous theory established by NY’s CCIA where all NYS landowners must affirmatively post their property ALLOWING carrying of firearms. Otherwise, a hunter with a long gun who trespasses can go to jail for a year after being charged and convicted of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the 4th Degree pursuant to this long gun open carry legislative ban.

How does this bill “promote public safety”?  Locking up law-abiding hunters and target shooters who get caught up in loopholes that make them criminally liable for a serious gun charge do nothing to “promote public safety.” In fact, the legislature is defying a federal court ruling that already shot down the provision of NY’s CCIA requiring signage affirmatively permitting those with legal firearms from being guilty of a crime just by going across a private property line.  “A federal appeals court has struck down a New York State law requiring private property owners to post signs allowing concealed carry on property open to the public as part of a massive decision dealing with several separate challenges of the Empire State’s post-Bruen gun control legislation.” 

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R/C-Schoharie) said, "New York State continues to set the bar for some of the most constitutionally-infringing legislation when it comes to gun rights, and this bill is just another example. It's another attack on responsible gun owners and sportsmen, and should absolutely not be the priority for this government. The fact that the Democrats of this state would rather work on this as opposed to the immediate issues people are facing on the ground, like affordability and the ongoing migrant crisis that is draining this state's resources is frustrating to see. I'd much rather focus our time and energy on those matters."

This statement seems to sum up the frustration of many NY sportsmen, gun owners, in addition to those voiceless victims trapped in high-crime urban areas who seek effective redress to combat crimes committed by criminals with guns. ​​​​​

A resident of Durham, Larry is a retired captain with the  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

SCOPE Note: With the legislature closed down, hopefully for the year, we can hope this bill was not passed by the Assembly in their flurry of last minute activity.  But even if not passed this year, you can bet that a new version will be dialed up by Senate Democrats in January 2025.

Hunters, you have been warned!

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

PO Box 165
East Aurora, NY 14052

SCOPE is a 501(c)4 non-profit organization.

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