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  • 03/29/2023 10:28 AM | Anonymous

    2A Leadership Matters  by Tom Reynolds

    February 13, 2013 was the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 16th Amendment.  Remember the parades, fireworks and celebrations?  No?  Perhaps because 16A made legal the Federal Income Tax and even the Left did not dare to celebrate it? 

    In a similar vein, January 15th of this year was the 10th anniversary of the SAFE Act.  No celebrations there either.

    In the first ten years after the SAFE Act was passed, there were few victories (if any) for 2A organizations - until 2022. 

    2A’s first ‘22 victory was indirect due to the legislature’s redistricting plan being overturned and replaced.  Had the legislature’s plan prevailed, Republicans and Conservatives would have had a greatly reduced presence (almost invisible) at the state level.  At the federal level, in the following November’s elections the new plan allowed NYS to gain enough Republican (pro 2A) seats in Congress to shift the majority power away from Pelosi and the anti-2A Democrats.

    A second victory was directly related to 2A efforts.  Republican Congressman Chris Jacobs had announced he was running for the newly drawn NY 23rd Congressional District - and it was his to lose.  But he lost it on Memorial Day weekend when he announced that he was voting for some anti-2A bills in the House.  SCOPE immediately swung into action. There are seven counties in the 23rd and SCOPE has chapters in all seven of them.  The message from those SCOPE chapters to the Republican and Conservative Committee Chairs in those seven counties was to not endorse Jacobs.  About a week later Jacobs withdrew, citing the loss of Republican endorsements.

    After Jacobs’ withdrawal, it’s interesting to note the increased attention SCOPE got from political candidates from the governor on down to the county level.  Politicians (Republicans anyway) learned that 2A supporters must be respected.   

    Then came the third victory in June; the NYSRPA v. Bruen decision by the United States Supreme Court. This changed the entire playing field along with the Heller and McDonald decisions.

    It was a good Spring after ten years ‘in the wilderness.’  Unfortunately, it did not last long.

    In response to Bruen, Governor Hochul and the Democrat majority in the legislature ignored the Supreme Court’s decision and passed the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA).  SCOPE explained the impact of these state infringements while vocally opposing them. The stage was set for a series of court decisions and appeals as the State utilized taxpayer funds while gun owners had to rely, financially, on large organizations.

    This has led to a variety of lawsuits to which SCOPE continues to make financial contributions, both as an organization and SCOPE members as individuals.  The extreme cost of a lawsuit is hundreds of thousands of dollars and SCOPE is only in a financial position to assist but not bring these suits. We must rely upon the NRA, GOA, NYSRPA and others with large memberships and “deep pockets”. 

    Gun owners’ activism rises and falls, but SCOPE still has a broad presence in the state, which left us in a position to oppose Jacobs and Hochul’s new laws. 

    Grassroots groups are important and SCOPE is one of the few that operates at both the local and state levels.  Our chapters increase the possibility of a greater voice in the selection of our local and state elected officials. Many candidates appreciate the opportunity to speak to SCOPE members and look forward to high ratings by the county chapters.  State and local level politicians are eager to meet with and hear from SCOPE; but this only happens because of the strong chapter network consisting of grassroots connections with these officials and their staff.

    Key to strong chapters is the leadership at the chapter level.  It’s vital to have volunteers step up and take leadership positions in order to allow SCOPE to continue its important work of defending the Constitution and in particular the 2nd Amendment, but also the 4th; 5th; 6th and 14th Amendments.  These include: protection of our liberties against unreasonable searches and seizures; rights to a speedy trial with representation (consider many “January 6” defendants); and confronting witnesses; due process; and “equal protection of the laws”.

    Taking a leadership position of Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary or Treasurer takes some time commitment but is not an overwhelming responsibility.  Other positions at chapter level are important but even less demanding.  What may stop people from doing this is making the time commitment.  But Americans have always been willing to make commitments to righteous causes and preserving the 2nd Amendment should be no different.  And knowing you are contributing to the defense of our Constitution is a reward beyond estimation.

    A year from now, we will be in the midst of a presidential election that will determine if our country continues veering to the left or it regains the direction on which our founding fathers set America.  We need people to volunteer locally and at the state SCOPE level to begin preparing for us for this crucial battle. 

    When you don’t participate, you are saying to Biden, Schumer and A O-C, “here- take America and do with it what you will.”  Because they will!  And be happy to do so!  Can you really accept their goals for our country? If not then join a local team of SCOPE volunteers.

    If there is not a SCOPE chapter in your county, consider starting one.  Ready to help you are the state officers and, in particular:

    Don Smith, SCOPE Membership Chair


    Feel free to email or call him.

    If there is a SCOPE chapter near you, please get involved.  More hands lighten the workload and give us the opportunity to make a greater impact.  The county chairperson is listed in every Firing Lines.

    We hope you will join us in our fight, not just to preserve our 2nd Amendment but to preserve our entire United States Constitution.

  • 03/28/2023 11:47 AM | Anonymous

    Respect for the Second Amendment Act  by Tom Reynolds

    Senators John Kennedy (R-La.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced the ‘Respect for the Second Amendment Act’ to protect an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. The legislation would codify the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. 

    Kennedy said: “Congress has the ability to use its authority to guard against state overreach—and that is what this bill does. At a time when the constitutional right to keep and bear arms is under attack in courtrooms throughout America, we must ensure that the Supreme Court’s decision about the Second Amendment is not only legal precedent but that the law preserves it forever…The Supreme Court has spoken very clearly in Heller and Bruen on the Second Amendment: We have an individual right to own a gun.”

    Kennedy added: “I also believe that love is the answer, but…I own a hand gun just in case.”

    According to the bill’s announcement, The Respect for the Second Amendment Act would:

    • Create public and private rights of action against any person who seeks to enforce a law, rule or ordinance that violates the constitutional right of an individual to manufacture for personal use, acquire, possess, own, carry, transport or use a privately owned firearm or privately owned ammunition unless that law is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and history of firearm regulation.
    • Prohibit states from rejecting firearms licenses on the sole basis of the license originating under another state’s jurisdiction.
    • Eliminate 18 U.S. Code § 927 so that, on a case-by-case basis, Congress can override state law when it proves an unconstitutional attempt to override the Second Amendment.

    Section 2 of the bill (FINDINGS) is a good short summary of why this is necessary and Section 2 (6) strikes directly at Hochul and New York.

    Section 3C gives us the right to recover ‘costs and a reasonable attorney fee’ if we have to sue because our rights are violated.  The cost of these lawsuits has been a major factor which discourages people from taking to court these infringements of our rights.

    This is an opportunity to contact your Senators, no matter what party, and tell them you support this bill and 2A.  This bill gives the Senator the opportunity to support the Supreme Court decision in Bruen.  This is especially important since Senator Gillibrand is coming up for reelection in 2024 

    In the House of Representatives, do the same and add that they should introduce a companion bill in the House.

    Below is the actual bill


    This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Respect for the Second Amendment Act’’.


    Congress finds the following:

    (1) The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States protects the individual right to keep and bear arms independent of service in an organized militia.

    (2) The Supreme Court of the United States held in District of Columbia v. Heller, that ‘‘there seems to us no doubt, on the basis of both text and history, that the Second Amendment conferred an individual right to keep and bear arms.’

    (3) The Supreme Court further held in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, that the Second Amendment requires the government to demonstrate that a law regulating firearms ‘‘is consistent with this Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation’’.

    (4) The right to keep and bear arms is a fundamental individual right guaranteed by the Constitution and a cornerstone of the liberties that every United States citizen enjoys.

    (5) The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution grants Congress the authority to enforce, by appropriate legislation, that Amendment’s command that ‘no State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States’.

    (6) Certain States have enacted or are seeking to enact gun control laws that are inconsistent with the United States’ historical tradition of firearm regulation, including bans on the carrying of firearms by residents of other States and bans on large categories of firearms that are in common use for lawful purposes.

    (7) It is therefore necessary for Congress to exercise its authority under the Fourteenth Amendment to ensure that the Second Amendment rights of all people of the United States are protected from infringement by the States.

    (8) Congress has also exercised authority under the Taxing Clause and Commerce Clause of section 8 of article I of the Constitution to regulate the interstate market in firearms and ammunition.



    In this section, the term ‘‘firearm’’—

    (1) has the meaning given the term in section 921 of title 18, United States Code; and

    (2) includes—

    (A) an antique firearm, as defined in section 921 of title 18, United States Code (notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this subsection);

    (B) an assembled or unassembled firearm; and       

    (C) any part of a firearm, including any integrated or detachable magazine or ammunition feeding device.


    No person acting under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage of the Federal Government, of any State or territory, of any locality, or of the District of Columbia may enforce or implement any Federal, State, or local law, rule, ordinance, or regulation that prohibits, limits, places requirements or conditions upon, or otherwise regulates the right of an individual to lawfully manufacture for personal use, acquire, possess, own, carry, transport, or use a privately owned firearm or privately owned ammunition unless the law, rule, ordinance, or regulation is consistent with the United States’ historical tradition of firearm regulation.



    The Attorney General may bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief in an appropriate district court of the United States against any person who violates subsection (b).


    (A) IN GENERAL.—Any person who is harmed by a violation of subsection (b), or any membership organization that represents such a person, may bring a civil action for declaratory or injunctive relief in an appropriate district court of the United States against the person who committed the violation.

    (B) COSTS AND FEES.—The court shall award costs and a reasonable attorney fee to any plaintiff who prevails in an action brought under subparagraph (A), including if the action is resolved by a negotiated settlement or mooted by repeal or amendment of the offending law, rule, regulation, prohibition, policy, or practice.


    Nothing in this section shall be construed to—

    (1) preempt any provision of State law that provides greater protections to the individual right to keep and bear arms than those provided under this section; or

    (2) limit any other remedy available under the laws of a State or the United States for infringement of the right to lawfully manufacture for personal use, acquire, possess, own, carry, transport, or use a privately owned firearm or privately owned 2 ammunition.


    Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended— 

    (1) by striking section 927; and 

    (2) in the table of sections, by striking the item 8 relating to section 927

  • 03/23/2023 11:02 AM | Anonymous

    The Insanity Continues  by Tom Reynolds

    In Maryland, Murder in the first degree includes if it was committed during the perpetration or attempted perpetration of several specified crimes, such as rape, arson, robbery, burglary, carjacking, and other serious offenses that carry life imprisonment with or without the possibility of parole.

    Maryland Democrats introduced into the Maryland General Assembly the Youth Accountability and Safety Act, which would prohibit a person younger than 25 at the time of the offense from being convicted of first-degree murder under the state's felony murder provisions.  It has the support of several Democratic co-sponsors.

    Sounds like the Youth NON Accountability Act.

    Maryland wouldn’t want MS13 members, gangbangers and other ‘innocents under 25’ having their lives ruined just because they murdered someone.


    SCOPE writes constantly about how liberal politicians ignore the Constitution without any regrets.

    New York Assemblywoman Pat Fahy wants to see anywhere from a 2-to-5-cent tax on each round of ammunition sold in the state (basically, the bigger the bullet the higher the tax)

    But she said out loud what is generally only whispered: “if you buy 50 rounds, it’ll be just a couple of extra dollars.  So, it’s not a huge tax, but another disincentive to arming up.

    That statement could end up being a big oops in Appeals Courts.

    In the 1940s, in a case called Murdock v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court saidA state may not impose a charge for the enjoyment of a right granted by the Federal Constitution.

    Isn’t there something in the Constitution about the right of “bearing arms?”


    Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh’s administration unveiled a $1 million proposal to lower gun violence (Syracuse had a per capita murder rate in 2021 three times the rest of the U.S.)  Among other initiatives, he wants to pay known gang members a weekly stipend not to break the law and to work toward turning their life around.

    The Safer Streets Program would provide a $100 per week stipend for up to 90 days (13 weeks) and focus on mental health, education and career placement. The idea is to assist 50 high-risk individuals in getting on the right track. 

    The program would be funded using federal funds from the American Rescue Plan.

    So, if you work hard at being a criminal and can make the 50 worst list, you will be rewarded with $100 a week.  Who says crime doesn’t pay.


    USA Powerlifting is being forced to allow biological men - who claim to be women - to compete against natural-born women after a transgender contestant launched a nearly five-year campaign demanding to be allowed to compete in the women’s category.

    Minnesota District Court Judge Patrick Diamond ruled in favor of transgender JayCee Cooper’s attack on USA Powerlifting’s ban on transgender men competing as women.

    Anyone want to bet on who will win the next power lifting competition?

  • 03/21/2023 11:22 AM | Anonymous

    It’s Not a Suggestion  by Tom Reynolds

    One of the great problems of today is that the overwhelming majority of the media / press has jumped so far left.  The press in the United States has always been biased but there used to be a diversity of biases so we heard a diversity of opinions.  Now, much of what we hear are leftist echoes.

    Sometimes, when the Left tries to cover themselves with the blanket of intellectual superiority, they go down in flames.  Unfortunately, because so much of the media is leftist, this self-immolation is not covered. 

    Media coverage of Colorado Representative Lauren Boebert is a good example.  If the left can discredit her on one issue, they might discredit her on all issues.  And any who are familiar with the media’s image of her have probably developed a negative image.  But since she is a true 2nd Amendment supporter, she is important to the 2A community.

    Boebert’s statements are ridiculed by the liberal media, probably because she doesn’t have a college degree, unlike that Liberal intellectual giant, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.  It’s worth exploring some of the things Boebert is criticized for saying as it shows the leftist biases of the media.  

    She once was criticized for tweeting, “Protecting and defending the Constitution doesn’t mean trying to rewrite the parts you don’t like.”  (That struck home for those of us who defend 2A.) 

    Brilliant minds on the Left immediately said she was an idiot who didn’t know about the Article V of the Constitution, which covers ways of amending the Constitution. 

    Of course she knows!  The issue Boebert was referring to - that somehow escaped the Left’s great minds - is judges rewriting the Constitution according to their personal beliefs and not according to what was written in the Constitution.

    The interesting thing is that Boebert outsmarted the liberal press.  In criticizing Boebert, the Left was, in spite of themselves, endorsing what Conservatives believe in: that the only way to change the Constitution is to amend it. That’s exactly what the Left does not believe in as they see the Constitution as an impediment to be worked around.   

    The Left’s latest bit of self-arson was headlined: “Lauren Boebert goes down in flames over latest Constitutional gaffe.”  That’s worth exploring in more detail as it involves Constitutional rights. 

    The article started out: “Lauren Boebert (R-Colorado) received an avalanche of derision on Wednesday morning after she penned a vague-yet-incorrect statement about the United States Constitution.” 

    Specifically, she tweeted, “The U.S. Constitution was not written as a suggestion”. 

    Then, the article referenced her comment on amendments, noted above, to again prove she is a constitutional illiterate.  But the article never said why Boebert was incorrect to say, "The U.S. Constitution was not written as a suggestion."  Probably because what she said was true; the Constitution is not just a suggestion!

    The article then disparages her for saying, "The church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church. That is not how our Founding Fathers intended it…I'm tired of this separation of church and state junk that's not in the Constitution. It was in a stinking letter, and it means nothing like what they say it does."

    Boebert displays far greater understanding of a deeply intellectual issue than the liberal press.  She was talking about – and challenging as many others do – an interpretation of Amendment #1.  That Amendment says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” 

    The current interpretation of the 1st Amendment flows from an 1802 letter from Thomas Jefferson to the Danbury, Connecticut, Baptist Association.  (That stinking letter the Left seems to be unaware of.) In it, he described the First Amendment as erecting a "wall of separation between church and state.”

    The problem is, the interpretation of Jefferson’s wall stops all discourse from both sides – government and nongovernment.  The entire U S Constitution, including the 1st Amendment, was meant to only restrict the government, not the people.  Remember the 1st Amendment wording is: Congress shall make no law.

    Daniel Dreisbach is a professor in the Department of Justice, Law and Society at American University in Washington, D.C., who explains: “The literal text of the First Amendment restricts government only…The wall metaphor implies that the First Amendment restricts people of faith, religious spokesmen, and religious leaders also, but that’s far beyond the requirement of the text of the First Amendment.

    Remember the rest of the 1st Amendment about abridging the freedom of speech?  Dreisbach believes the First Amendment, “is intended and designed to create an environment where various ideas and perspectives can compete in a marketplace of ideas on the same terms and conditions…Religious communities and religious perspectives…should be able to compete in that marketplace. An analysis that draws on the wall of separation metaphor…treats religious perspectives differently than other nongovernmental perspectives and actually puts them at a disadvantage.”

    Putting up a wall to exclude or to limit the ability of religion to inform public life or to inform about political actions is wrong. 

    The 1st Amendment enforces that government should not use its overwhelming power to pick winners and losers, nor is it meant to silence either the winners or losers.

    But the Left was never big on disagreements with their principles.  We know that from their attacks on the 2nd Amendment.

  • 03/20/2023 10:46 AM | Anonymous

    Lazarus Returns  by Tom Reynolds

    The HUD program called Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) is a program you should really be aware of even though it’s not about 2A. 

    Obama’s HUD discovered a brief mention in the 1968 Fair Housing Act, and created AFFH, which calls for diversity in all levels of housing in towns and suburbs. 

    Towns and suburbs are obligated to “do more than simply not discriminate”.  They have to make it possible for low-income minorities to choose suburban living and the towns must also provide “adequate support to make their choices possible.”

    Vox suggests “adequate support” might include:

    providing rides and counseling to those who might want to move from a low-income urban area to an affluent suburban one; (they want to move into more affluent community but can’t afford a ride to get there?)

    require increasing the value of housing vouchers so that low-income recipients could cash them out in more expensive neighborhoods; (increasing government subsidies!)

    requiring cities to steer new subsidized housing development into wealthier locales.  (I’ll bet gated communities won’t get subsidized housing near them but middle class neighborhoods will now be classified as wealthier locales.)

    Under this programsuburbs were viewed as fundamentally unjust communities because they prevented taxation from flowing into the urban cities they surround.  (Suburbanites are selfishly keeping their own money.)

    AFFH’s plan included building high-density housing in low density suburban neighborhoods, (goodbye local zoning laws). 

    Trump’s HUD Secretary, Ben Carson stripped away Obama's AFFH Rule.  (In response, the left-wing media played the race card.  Ignoring that Ben Carson is black.) 

    But the Fair Housing Act of 1968 is still on the books and the AFFH rule still exists and Like Lazarus rising from the dead, AFFH is back under President Joe Biden.

    In January, the Biden administration’s HUD department proposed a new rule that would require virtually all communities across the U S A to create plans to address local housing discrimination. (As with all whites being racist under the definition of ‘white supremacy’, rural and suburban communities are labelled as discriminatory under AFFH.)

    Backed by enforcement mechanisms and credible threats of yanking needed funding or facing a penalty which entails the potential loss of billions of dollars in federal funding, any city or county that accepts HUD grant money would have to comply. 

    Some predict there may be opposition.  (Ya think!)

    Any move toward an increase in density generally faces very strong negative reaction from neighborhood groups that have significant influence on the decisions made by local politicians,” says Greg Proctor, vice president for affordable housing for RealPage Inc.  (Put a less deceptive way, Proctor thinks it is bad that local voters have a say in what local elected politicians do.) 

    Never having met a radical left proposal she did not like, Kathy Hochul has joined Biden with her latest plan to destroy New York State.

    Politico reported in February that Hochul is pushing ‘a proposal that may be radioactive in the bedroom communities (of the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island): A plan to mandate more housing in those suburban counties…:”

    “Hochul wants to give the state bold new authority to override local zoning laws in cases where municipalities resist her measure, which she hopes will help address a housing shortage that made New York one of the least affordable places in the country.”

    New York State had the largest interstate population loss of any state in the nation last year, according to Census data.  The governor attributes it to housing unaffordability, impacting the state’s ability to compete for jobs and residents. 

    According to ‘Hochul think’, NYS’s bleeding of population and jobs is the fault of rural and suburban voters who don’t want to live in congested, crime ridden cities. 

    Could taxes and regulation have something to do with people moving to Texas and Florida, which have lower taxes and regulations?  Nah!

    Half of the 800,00 homes that Hochul wants to see built will be in NYC and require a tax incentive for affordable housing.  And there you have the underlying adjective in her plans: affordable - which is another word for government subsidized which is another way of saying taxpayer funded.

    “If you build it they will come” works in the movies but there are other issues in real life.  It’s laughable to think that if we just add houses that jobs and people will come running back.  (I bought a house in New York and stayed for the taxes is not a winning slogan.) 

    Another Hochul measure would require downstate counties to rezone to allow more dense housing near rail stations where they will have easier access to a certain crime ridden city that people are leaving for the suburbs.  (In Hochul speak: “Transit oriented development.”)

    If the targets aren’t met or new zoning changes aren’t made, a state appeals process would allow circumvention of local zoning restrictions.  (You shouldn’t have a say in what the area you live in looks like.  Hochul knows best and you’ll just have to suck-it-up.)

    An alternative to family homes are rental units.  Hochul’s answer to that is to include more anti-landlord regulations in her budget.  Brilliant strategy to increase housing development!

    The governor is looking to get her proposal approved by the Democratic led Legislature, as part of a budget deal for the fiscal year that starts April 1.  It is reported that the Democrats who control both legislative houses want to soften the bill - but still pass it.

    Because the federal and state governments are now funding so many local projects, they only need to threaten to withhold funding to trample on constitutional rights.  (The founding fathers warned about what a too powerful central government would do to individual rights.)

    You might want to contact your federal and state representatives and tell them how much you are looking forward to your rural town / suburb becoming a clone of NY City.

  • 03/17/2023 11:38 AM | Anonymous

    March 20th  by Tom Reynolds

    SCOPE has kept you informed on the upcoming court hearing on March 20th and even contributed to the legal fees.  (Over $14,000 from SCOPE and its members at last count.)

    One of the case’s lawyers recently advised that, if this follows the Court’s usual procedure, it may be 3 to 6 months before we get a decision.

    Legal Insurrection’s web site had a nice summary by James Naught of the situation.  So rather than “reinvent the wheel” in order to refresh you on the situation, the following are excerpts from that post, which closely align with what SCOPE has been saying:    

    As we have covered, on June 23, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 opinion authored by Justice Thomas, struck down New York State’s restrictive concealed carry law:

    The usual suspects, of course, were not happy.

    New York and other blue states impacted by the Court’s decision immediately began attempting to work around the ruling, which resulted in New York passing its new Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) only eight days after the Court’s ruling.

    This new law, “intended to thwart the SCOTUS decision,” prohibits concealed carry in “sensitive places” such as “health care facilities; houses of worship; colleges and universities; places where children gather, such as schools, day care centers, playgrounds, parks and zoos; public transportation; places where alcohol or cannabis is consumed; and theaters, concerts, casinos and other entertainment venues.” It also prohibits concealed carry “in any business that does not post a sign saying it’s OK.”

    Additionally, although “SCOTUS struck down the prior law as giving too much discretion to the state,…the new legislation has plenty of fuzzy, judgmental standards that reestablish discretion,” such as…add[ing] new requirements for New Yorkers to receive a concealed carry permit, including 16 hours of training on how to handle a handgun, two hours of firing range training, an in-person interview and a written exam, as well as a review of social media accounts.”

    As we concluded when the new law was passed, these requirements, taken as a whole mean that “basically, you cannot actually carry. The entire scheme is a willful and knowing evasion of a constitutional right.”

    Of course, litigation ensued, and in October, as we reported, “U.S. District Court Judge Glenn Suddaby found critical parts of New York’s gun law, the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA), unconstitutional.” Not only did Northern District of New York Judge Suddaby, in Antonyuk v. Hochul, strike down almost all of the “sensitive places” prohibitions in the law, he also “blocked the part where applicants must prove “good moral character” and allow authorities to review their social media profiles.”

    Now that case is on appeal, and even liberal groups such as the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, Operation Blazing Sword–Pink Pistols, an LGBT Second Amendment advocacy group, the Liberal Gun Club, and others have filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief against the CCIA, as we reported here: Liberal Groups File Court Opposition To NY Gun Control Law Requiring Disclosure Of Social Media Accounts.

    Oral argument will be heard in the case at 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning, March 20, 2023 at the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in lower Manhattan.

    This is important, because as the New York Sun reports, this is the first comprehensive federal appellate challenge to states’ attempts to work around, or even completely emasculate, the US. Supreme Court’s Bruen ruling: 

    Five cases out of New York’s federal district courts will be heard in the Second Circuit in front of a panel of three judges. The judges face the difficult task of interpreting the state’s gun laws in the wake of a Supreme Court decision from last year.

    The confusion around what is and what is not permissible following the Bruen decision will now face its first comprehensive test at the appellate level after five decisions from lower courts struck down key aspects of the CCIA.

    The five cases — Antonyuk v. NigrelliHardaway v. NigrelliSpencer v. NigrelliChristian v. Nigrelli, and Gazzola v. Hochul — resulted in a number of the CCIA’s provisions being thrown out. A requirement that permit applicants demonstrate “good moral character” was thrown out, as was the requirement that applicants submit their social media information as part of background checks.

    The panel who will hear the appeal consists of Circuit Judge Joseph F. Bianco, appointed by President Trump, and Senior Circuit Judges Robert D. Sack, a Clinton appointee, and Richard C. Wesley, appointed by President George W. Bush, and who had been an Associate Judge with the New York Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court, prior to his appointment to the federal appellate bench.

    Especially important as regards this appeal is that the U.S. Supreme Court is typically reluctant to hear Second Amendment cases. Before Bruen, the Court had not heard a gun case since McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742, in 2010. So, what the Second Circuit says regarding the CCIA is likely to be the last word, at least for now.

  • 03/16/2023 10:40 AM | Anonymous

    Reeling?  Angst?  by Tom Reynolds

    CBS News report on the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen indicated angst among gun control proponents now faced with the challenge of justifying restrictive gun laws.

    CBS cries about, “the new legal test” has “led to uncertainty over whether measures that aim to curb gun violence can survive legal scrutiny.”

    CBS suggests that anti-gun administrations and legislatures in multiple states are reeling from the SCOTUS majority opinion. 

    Anti-gun states have angst?  Are reeling?  Who’s kidding who?

    Kathy Hochul and the NY Legislature were not reeling when they passed several laws which flew in the face of the Bruen ruling. They knew they were on extremely radical ground (not just shaky ground but an earthquake) when they passed these laws.  But they didn’t care that these laws won’t stand up to scrutiny by anything but leftist judges and would be struck down by any reasonable reading of the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision. 

    And Hochul is not alone as Deep Blue states such as California, Washington, Illinois, New Jersey and Maryland are passing similar laws.

    Why are they not concerned with the Constitution?

    Like NY, these states have been dominated by democrats for years.  The governor’s mansion and the legislatures have democrat majorities and the state judicial systems are heavily filled with democrats.  And it’s not enough to just be a democrat.  To be in a political leadership position or judgeship, one has to be a far-left, woke, radical, democrat.

    The politicians believe that they will be reelected in Deep Blue states where the Democrat nomination is akin to winning the election.  (Maybe they should ask Lori Lightfoot if that still holds true.) 

    They know that it will take hundreds of thousands of dollars to challenge these laws while plaintiffs can expect defeats in the state courts and must get to federal court in order to prevail on the Constitution.

    Judges know that most of their decisions will not be appealed because of the time and money involved.

    Like politicians, the judges know that there are no personal repercussions to their ignoring the Supreme Court.  Judges are rarely impeached and probably never impeached for ruling wrong on a constitutional issue.

    Reeling?  Angst?  That would require that they care that they are violating the Constitution!

  • 03/13/2023 3:21 PM | Anonymous

    Not Be Infringed…Hunting and Fishing  by Tom Reynolds

    We all know that the U S Constitution says: “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”  (Amendment II)

    The U S Constitution also says: “No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges and immunities of citizens of the United States.” (Amendment XIV)

    The right to “keep and bear arms” is protected in the U S Constitution by the 2nd Amendment and the 14th Amendment reinforces that Constitutional rights cannot be overridden by state laws. 

    Though described as amendments, 2A and 14A are, in fact, the U S Constitution, just as much as having two Senators from each state or the President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.  They are not 2nd Class parts of the U S Constitution, subject to states ignoring these rights as the state deems fit.

    Since the U S Constitution covers this issue, it would not seem necessary but some states also have a statement similar the 2nd Amendment in their state constitutions. 

    New York State does not. 

    But New York Civil Rights Law art. II, § 4 provides that "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed."  That doesn’t stop Kathy Hochul and the leftist legislature but there is something new being added which might cause the gun grabbers some further problems.

    Florida (that state to which many New Yorkers are fleeing) is taking the fight over gun rights to a new level.  On March 10thTownhall reported that Florida could soon add a right to hunt and fish amendment to its state constitution.  A joint resolution is currently being deliberated in the state legislature. The provision, if passed, would add to Florida's constitution a statement to "preserve in perpetuity hunting and fishing as a public right." 

    Now is the time for Republicans in the NY Legislature to introduce such an amendment to the New York Constitution.

    As SCOPE often points out, we need to awaken those millions of New York gun owners who don’t vote and believe all these gun control laws don’t affect them.  However, losing our gun rights will eventually take away our hunting rights and we need to take proactive steps to protect hunting.   Let’s put legislators and the governor on record if they are in opposition to hunting (and fishing).  If they refuse to vote for that constitutional amendment, that might awaken some of these “sleeping dog” gun owners who will ignore gun control efforts until it hits them between the eyes.

    Of course, the Left would claim their gun control laws don’t apply to guns used in hunting but hunters / gun owners would know that the models the Left would ban are used in hunting.

    This would also give 2nd Amendment defense advocates another arrow in their sling; guns being indirectly protected in the NY Constitution.

  • 03/11/2023 7:08 PM | Anonymous

    NY State Governor Elections  by Tom Reynolds

    In the last 3 New York State governor elections, the numbers of people who voted were:

    • 2014  3,925,000
    • 2018  6,231,000
    • 2022  5,962,000
    • 2014  1,537,000     (39.2% of total vote)
    • 2018  2,208,000     (35.4% of total vote)
    • 2022  2,763,000     (46.3% of total vote)
    • 2014  1,025,000    
    • 2018  1,472,000
    • 2022  1,842,000
    • 2014  3,975,000
    • 2018  3,528,000
    • 2022  3,158,000
    • 2014     532,000     (A. Cuomo vs R Astorino)
    • 2018  1,428,000     (A.Cuomo vs M. Molinaro)
    • 2022     378,000     (K. Hochul vs L. Zeldin)

    In those same elections, the Republican candidate got:

    Let’s say that half (50%) of the Republican votes were from gun owners and (since the Democrat Party is uncontestably anti-gun), let’s say gun owners voted 75% for Republicans and 25% for Democrats.  Therefore, the total number of gun owners who voted were:

    Conservatively estimated, there are 5 million gun owners in NY State!  (Some estimates go as high as 6 million.) 

    Using the 5 million figure, these following numbers of gun owners didn’t vote:


    1.1 million additional gun owners had voted in these elections and they continued to vote 75% for Republicans, that’s a net gain of 550,000 votes in each election.

    In those same elections, the Democrat won by:

    If those additional 1.1 million gun owners had voted, Republicans win 2 of the last 3 governor elections!

    Go back and look at the estimated number of gun owners who voted and didn’t vote.  An additional 1.1 million is not a stretch; the voting total never goes over 3 million which would be only 60% of the gun owners.

    The answer to the craziness coming out of Albany – and not just on guns – is right before us:  VOTE!

    And yet, the majority of gun owners…

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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