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  • 02/16/2022 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    Marijuana, Government Registries and Guns  by Tom Reynolds

    Recent headlines accuse the federal government of illegally having a registry of gun owners and some congressmen are accusing the CIA of illegally gathering information on US citizens.  Besides the usual reason that a gun registry is a prelude to gun confiscation, why should New York State gun owners be concerned if the federal government illegally compiles a gun registry?

    The New York State government - in its infinite wisdom but mostly to get more tax dollars - has legalized the use of marijuana.  

    To legally purchase a firearm in New York State from an FFL, you need to fill out BATFE Form 4473.  On it, question 11.e. asks: “Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana…”?  If you use marijuana, you are automatically an unlawful user because it’s use is still illegal under federal law and federal law supersedes state law.  If you answer yes to the question, you are disqualified from buying the firearm. 

    Question 11.e. is worded in the present tense, “Are you now” (at this moment when you are filling out the form) addicted to or a user of marijuana.    Since most gun owners are law abiding and, previously, the use of marijuana was illegal in NY State, this was not usually a problem. 

    But what about future use?  It gets complicated and gun grabbers love complicated.

    What if you had never used marijuana at the time you filled out the form but, since NY has given its blessing, after buying a gun you decide to start using marijuana on occasion?  Maybe even only once?

    Unlike voting, where it is “racism” to have to have to show a picture ID to vote, it’s not “racism” to have to show a picture ID to buy marijuana.  That ID will probably be a driver’s license.  Will that identifying information be turned over to the government?  It is not illegal to keep a registry of marijuana users.  If so, the government then knows that you used marijuana and, if it also keeps a gun owners registry, knows that you have a gun. (Theoretically, the government should only know if you have a pistol permit since it is forbidden by law from keeping a gun registry and we all know the D.C. and Albany Swamps always follow the law.)  In order to harass gun owners, will the nice people at BATFE cross reference and use that information as a basis to open an investigation into whether you lied when you filled out 4473?  Will those nice people interpret that 4473 also applies to future use and not just use at the time you bought your firearm?  If they interpret the law in the latter way, can you expect a visit from law enforcement to confiscate your firearms and even prosecute you?

    Just a conspiracy theory?  Would gun grabbers use a possible loophole or change a definition from present tense to future tense in order to further their anti-gun agenda?  Would the government violate existing law and keep a gun registry?  Does the left want to confiscate all guns from civilians?

  • 02/11/2022 9:52 PM | Anonymous

    Proposed Federal Legislation

    It should come as no surprise that the gun grabbers in D.C. and Albany never stop trying to take away our rights guaranteed under the 2nd Amendment. 

    SCOPE found 37 major bills that would affect gun rights that are currently before Congress.  Those bills are listed on the attachment at the bottom of this email.

    You can also find them on SCOPE’s web site.  Just click on link below:

    Federal Legislation | S.C.O.P.E. - Shooters Committee On Political Education -

    Dedicated to preserving the 2nd amendment rights for the residents of NYS

    SCOPE opposes over two thirds of those bills.  Those two-thirds take many different approaches to neutering the 2nd Amendment but, have no doubt, that is their goal. 

    SCOPE would encourage you to take a few minutes to review those bills and, if you are so inclined, send a message (mail or Email) to your congressperson expressing your opposition or support. (Some of hose bills are actually positive).  Even though they are firmly against the 2nd Amendment, you might also consider sending something to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand to let them know that we are watching in ever increasing numbers.

    And spread the word.  Pass on the web site link to your gun owning friends.

    FEDERAL Proposed Laws 2022.pdf


  • 02/09/2022 5:53 PM | Anonymous

    It’s magic  by Tom Reynolds

    Every Monday, we read about the number of weekend killings in Chicago and many other major cities.  The Left is filling newspapers and web sites with propaganda blaming guns for the increase in murders, while also painting career criminals as victims. 

    Someone once said, killing one person is a tragedy but killing one million is just a statistic.  The number of murders seems to be just a statistic to be exploited by the gun grabbing left.  But beyond the statistics, there is grief and heartache that will never go away.  Those murdered were someone’ son or daughter or maybe a husband, wife, brother, sister, father or mother.  Lives are snuffed out leaving behind others to grieve.  To the Left, the victims and those left grieving are just collateral damage on the road to abolishing the 2nd Amendment.

    If the Left was serious about doing something about the violence, they would admit that soft-on-crime policies are a major factor in increased violence. It's not any one policy that has created this mess but the entire soft-on-crime package.   Taking a pass on riots where arson, looting and even murder were committed sends a more powerful message to criminals than all the gun control laws in the books.  Catch-and-release bail reform does not discourage criminals but it must certainly discourage law enforcement, who see their efforts going for nothing.  Are criminals missing the fact that police are not being aggressive in pursuing crimes because police are practicing C.Y.A. and they also can’t escape the feeling of “why bother, the D.A. isn’t going to do anything”?   Putting a dollar threshold below which theft crimes are virtually ignored sends the message that crime does pay.  And leaving the southern border open not only facilitates crime but also sends a message about crime.

    The basis of this warped philosophy is the Left’s drive to blame American society for all that is wrong.  But, four decades ago, Reagan got it right when he said: "We must reject the idea that each time a law's broken, society is guilty- rather than the lawbreaker.  It's time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.

    It’s said that the secret strategy of magicians is to keep the audience looking at their right hand, not their left.  Joe Biden and the radical left use the same principal to hide their growing list of failures.  You are a racist if you point out their failures and by extension it’s your racism that becomes the focus and not their failures.

    It would be hard to miss the mass brainwashing that the media and the Left (but I repeat myself) have been currently pushing: more gun violence means more gun laws are needed.  Deaths due to firearms rose dramatically in 2020 and preliminary figures indicate 2021 will also be high.  Don’t look at the Left’s soft-on-crime policies in the left hand as a cause, just focus on the gun in the right hand.   

    Some of the reasoning is so sophomoric that it would be comical if it wasn’t so serious.  USA Today’s February 3rd article on gun violence started by quoting an 18 years old girl in Poughkeepsie, obviously an expert, “Young people get bored and have nothing to do…’So they go out into the street and they have gun violence’”.  Sure.  Bored?  Go kill someone.  Another part of the article quoted a pawn shop owner from Anguilla, “This is the most stressed I have ever seen kids in my life”.  If any of this were true, shouldn’t the article have been about ending the boredom and stress induced by Covid restrictions or delving into a culture where young people put so little value on human life?  Nope.  It’s the guns; we need more gun control.    

    In another case of look at my right hand and not by left, the white house web site says: “Black and brown Americans are disproportionately harmed by the direct and indirect consequences of gun violence”.  The indirect message is that guns are racist!  But the White House failed to mention that the overwhelming number of black and brown people who are harmed are harmed by other black and brown people!  But let’s not go there, since Biden’s White House loves charging racism as the root cause of everything that goes wrong. 

    In decrying the surge in legal gun purchases, Biden will never mention that a significant number of these guns are being bought by black and brown people. (Perhaps as protection against other black and brown as well as white and Asian people - and not because they are bored?) If the Left was truly interested in helping minority communities, it would drop the racist labelling and pay attention to minority against minority crime.

    The purpose of this current media blitz is to create panic amongst the uninformed in order to ease the way for more gun laws.  Read long articles spreading panic over gun violence and you will be lucky to find even one paragraph that alludes to soft-on-crime issues as maybe a contributing factor.  But if the media were really being honest – and if they really cared - it would explore soft-on-crime policies and its effect on crimes as a whole, not just gun violence.

    Who are not victims in all this?  The elite liberals in gated communities with their own security.  Nor is it editors, publishers and owners of media organizations.  They may cry false tears but they don’t want or need answers that disagree with their own beliefs; those other answers are just statistics.  Unfortunately for the rest of society, those statistics had names.

  • 02/09/2022 5:13 PM | Anonymous

    A7771 and S3018; Experiments in Idiocy  by Tom Reynolds

    In the NY legislature, proposed Assembly bill A7771 and companion Senate bill S3018 “…requires a person to apply for a hunting license prior to the purchase of a shotgun or rifle…taking a five hour gun safety course and exam…passing a shooting range test with 90% accuracy…providing notarized proof of a passed drug test and mental health evaluation…providing proof of purchase of firearm and ammunition safe storage depositories and passing a criminal background check”.

    The sponsor of the bill, Chantel Jackson, is an Assemblywoman from the heavily Democrat 79th District of the Bronx.  The Bronx, as a part of NY City, has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.  From a personal standpoint, she brags on her Assembly web site that she was a single mom because her boyfriend was serving 4 years in prison on drug charges. 

    Under the section of the bill called “Justification”, Jackson writes,“…many New Yorkers are rushing to protect their families and homes by applying for pistol permits in order to purchase a firearm.  Although the need to have protection is understandable, the notion that every citizen should possess a firearm is absurd”.

    In her first sentence, she gives a good reason to own a firearm and in the second sentence she says it is “understandable”, but then she contradicts herself and says all that is “absurd”.  She never gives a reason why wanting to protect a person’s family is “absurd”.  The left doesn’t have to explain its absurd statements, they just make ‘em. 

    She then points out that, “New York is one of six states whose constitution does not explicitly protect the right of the people to keep and bear arms”.  That is very narrowly correct when taken out of context, something the Left does very well.  Chapter 6, Article 2, Section 4 of New York’s Civil rights Law does say, “Right to keep and bear arms. 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 probably sounds familiar to you?  Obviously, Jackson is also familiar with the 2nd Amendment, (the wording if not the meaning) since she points out that it is not in NY’s Constitution.  But she seems to have missed the 14th Amendment, which applies all of the Bill of Rights, including the 2nd Amendment, to the states.  Therefore, it is of no consequence if it is in or out of NY’s Constitution; 2A still is governing constitutional law in NY State.     

    Jackson is apparently familiar with the sayings of Barack Obama and various other leftist gun grabbers who believe it is easier to buy an apple than a gun.   She adds under justification, “This legislation will implement changes to the process by which licensing for a firearm can be obtained...Perhaps making the process a tad bit more detailed and lengthier may also assist in discouraging purchases made in anger”.

    A “tad bit more detailed and lengthier”!  Apparently, Jackson never tried to legally purchase a firearm before she became an Assemblywoman.  Has she ever heard of NYSRPA v Bruen?  It’s been in all the papers, lately.  Her bill would take legally purchasing a gun in the Bronx from rare to nearly impossible and in Upstate NY from difficult to overwhelmingly burdensome.  And as to purchasing a gun in anger, under her bill a person’s anger will likely be redirected from its original target towards a government that is denying a constitutional right by making it unduly burdensome and expensive.  If purchasing an apple were more difficult than buying a gun, apple growers in NY would be out of business. 

    There are some lessons here: when gun owners don’t vote, these are the people who get elected to hold office and make the laws; the Left never stops trying to do a work-around on the 2nd Amendment.  I would add that all politicians and their advisors should be forced to study constitutional law, but they would just ignore it, as they currently do.
  • 02/07/2022 8:05 PM | Anonymous

    Registered in D.C.  by Tom Reynolds

    The Firearms Owners Protection Act of 1986 expressly forbade a federal firearms registry. Any records required under this act cannot be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by any state or federal government.  In addition, no system can be established for the registration of:

    • firearms, or
    • firearm owners, or
    • firearm transactions , or
    • firearms dispositions .
    • In a 2001 lawsuit, the Pennsylvania state police could not identify any crimes solved by their registration system.
    • In District of Columbia v. Heller II, the Washington, D.C. police chief could not "recall any specific instance where registration records were used to determine who committed a crime, except for possession offenses."
    • In 2000, Honolulu’s police chief stated that he couldn't find any crimes that had been solved due to registration and licensing.
    • New York and Maryland eventually abolished their registry systems because they never solved a single crime.
    • In 2010, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police failed to identify any cases where registration was integral to solving the crime.
    • Most importantly, registries don’t address already illegal crimes like: firearms trafficking; “Straw Man” purchases; and firearms’ theft
    • Many states do not report complete data to NICS
    • The Justice Department doesn’t prosecute background check fraud.  (It isn’t just Hunter Biden who get away with it.)

    The FBI’s background check further requires that all weapons’ background checks be purged from the system

    Seems pretty clear; governments cannot store or record firearms related data which would be the basis for a firearms registry.  The law would mean something if the gun-grabbers and bureaucrats in the D.C. Swamp actually believed in following the laws.  But as we know, they don’t.

    Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL’s) keep possession of their own records while they are in business but when an FFL leaves the business or sells out to someone else, BATFE claims ownership and gets the records. Beyond just collecting, BATFE is now computerizing these records into a searchable database. 

    How many records are we talking about? BATFE is computerizing about 900 million, in total.    

    Issue number one: there is no constitutionally legitimate reason for the BATFE to claim that it has an ownership right to FFL business records unless the records have been seized by a valid subpoena. (In how many other businesses that go out-of-business, does the government seize, store and computerize the records?)

    Another issue: the law currently calls for record destruction at 20 years.  Is the law being followed?  Will digitized records be purged and unrecoverable after 20 years?

    Just to be clear, the NICS check does not violate this law.  Conducting background checks to see if someone can legally buy a gun is different from the government keeping a searchable record of those who own guns. What matters is what happens to the information in the background check, after it is over.

    There is no legitimate reason for the federal government to have a database of nearly 1 billion firearms when it is forbidden by law to create a firearms registry.

    Gun grabbers justify their push for firearm registration as a way to solve crime. If only criminals would leave registered guns at a crime scene, that might be true.  Leaving the gun rarely happens, mainly when the criminal is killed - in which case the crime is already solved.  Some studies in the USA have shown that over 90% of the firearms used in crimes were illegally obtained.  And in a Canadian study covering 2003 to 2009, three quarters of the firearm homicides were done with illegal guns and in only 4.7% of all registered gun homicides was the gun registered to the accused (including self-defense cases).  The bottom line is that gun registries don’t solve crimes.  And when one includes the expense of these registries in a cost / benefit analysis, the taxpayers are paying for another bureaucratic boondoggle.

    Further anecdotal evidence that registries don’t solve crimes:

    What are some of the problems with gun registries, in general, that prevent it from solving crimes?

    Instead of solving the problems with current inadequate systems, the gun-grabbers want even more systems. 

    With all this evidence to the contrary, why is the government persisting in pursuing a gun registration system?  Because it’s a prelude to gun confiscation.  You can’t confiscate what you don’t know and the gun-grabbers in D.C. and Albany want to eliminate all firearms possession by non-government entities.  (Commonly referred to as American citizens.)  That pesky 4th Amendment about “unreasonable searches and seizures” gets in the way of house-to-house searches and seizures.  But if you have a registry, confiscation gets easier.

    On the other hand, if you are going to ignore the 2nd Amendment, why worry about the rest of the Bill of Rights? The answer may be, as one widely distributed meme suggests, “Why would the government want to seize all firearms unless it was going to do something for which we would shoot them”.  There is more than a little wisdom in that meme.  There are 80 million gun owners with 400 million guns in the U.S.A.  If even 10% of them were pushed to the brink by a socialist government…that’s 8 million gun owners with 40 million guns! 

    And you may also have noticed that the Biden administration has made a priority of “Domestic Terrorism”.  Just a coincidence that it’s also pushing gun registration?  Guns are defined as Assault Weapons to justify laws against them.  Why not define gun owners as “Domestic Terrorists” to justify laws against gun ownership?

    To read more articles by SCOPE President Tom Reynolds; go to our Briefings page


  • 02/05/2022 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    Primary Candidates: Attorney General and Senator  by Tom Reynolds

    Wednesday evening, SCOPE was invited to sit in on a webinar which featured a Q and A with the Republican candidates for Attorney General (to replace Leticia James) and Senator (to replace Chuck Schumer).  Neither of these positions will be affected by redistricting since they represent the entire state. 

    Both Attorney General candidates, Mike Henry and John Sarcone, are from downstate.  Both have been touring upstate in their campaign. They will be facing each other in the Republican Primary.

    Both spoke out against the Bail reform laws and rejected the “Defund the Police” narrative.  Henry wants us to “stand with police…not just out of political convenience” and Sarcone uses “Refund the Police” to emphasize personal commitment. Sarcone pointed out that some police unions have endorsed him.  (Note: nationwide, police unions have been traditionally Democrat supporters amongst their leadership but the Democrats’ soft-on-crime positions and Soros funded D.A.’s radical positions have some unions rethinking that commitment.  This causes them conflict in large cities which are usually controlled by Democrats.)

    Henry emphasized “Justice for victims” while Sarcone said, ”…the system has failed us”.

    Both emphasized that rising crime is increasingly a problem and that issue will bring some Democrats and many Independents to vote Republican in the election.

    Both were very critical of Letitia James.  Sarcone referred to the AG position as Aspiring Governor, referring to Cuomo and Spitzer having used the AG position to further their political ambitions and James tried unsuccessfully to do the same.  Henry wants the voters to hold James accountable for her actions, especially for her record in not taking action against rioters.  Sarcone called her “anti-police” and “anti-2nd Amendment” and he also pointed out that her own party has rejected her.

    Concerning vaccine mandates, both are pro-choice.  Henry pointed out that the collateral damage from these mandates must be taken into account while Sarcone said the mandates were unconstitutional.  

    SCOPE asked them about their positions on the legal actions by James against the NRA and Trump, since both actions seem to be politically motivated.  Both Henry and Sarcone indicated that, once in office, they would be reviewing ongoing actions and deciding if those actions had merit and if further action would be in the best interests of New York State.  Henry went further in volunteering that the action against the NRA seemed to be using Wayne LaPierre as a gateway to get at its ultimate goal, the NRA.  And the Trump action seemed to be aimed at embarrassing the Trump family. 

    Henry seemed to allude to James’ radical actions having a negative effect on the economy by discouraging investment in NY State.

    Sarcone pressed his experience as a practicing attorney in many areas of the law, something he said previous AG’s have not had.

    Running for Senator are Joe Pinion and Aleksander Mici. Pinion has most recently been a TV News Host on “Saturday Agenda” on Newsmax.  Mici immigrated from Albania at age 15 and is a lawyer and sometimes TV actor. Both are from downstate.

    Both Pinion and Mici want to use Schumer’s infamous record as a central point to their campaigns.  Pinion says Schumer’s, “…fingerprints are on everything that’s gone wrong” while Mici says Schumer, “…is the face of socialism” and Mici will lead a “coalition of the disaffected”.

    Pinion emphasized his opposition to “Defund the Police”, vaccine mandates and illegal immigration.  He pointed out the hypocrisy of vaccine mandates while there is no mandate for illegal immigrants. He also brought up the “outmigration” of New Yorkers to other states under the Democrats and that redistricting is just a power search.  Pinion also believes Election Integrity is important; if we take off the safeguards it encourages fraud.  He believes that “right versus wrong” can be a simple clear issue for most voters.

    Mici emphasized his experiences growing up in Albania, then a communist country, and those as an immigrant, as the driving forces in many of his positions. He criticized Critical Race Theory as teaching people to hate their country while, in actuality, the USA allows people to realize their dreams.  Mici emphasized foreign affairs and noted that Schumer has abandoned Israel.  He also supports Trump’s policies as to building a southern wall.  He said “walls work” and to “let the border patrol do their jobs”.  On domestic policy, Mici pointed out that NY used to be a powerhouse and that education and family life must be tied together.

    The webinar was hosted by Nick Langworthy, the Chair of the New York State Republican Committee. 

    To read more articles by SCOPE President Tom Reynolds; go to our Briefings page


  • 02/02/2022 4:10 PM | Anonymous

    Warning For NY Firearm Owners: Don’t Die.  by Tom Reynolds

    SCOPE has been asked about leaving firearms to someone after death.  This can be a very simple thing,  in very limited cases, or very complex.  SCOPE does not give legal advice.  The following will clearly demonstrate why we do not give legal advice!  But what we can do is make you aware of some of the pitfalls that you should avoid.  Legal sites constantly advise you to consult a lawyer and, in this case, that’s good advice.  And of course, the laws on guns change constantly so what is correct and legal today may not be tomorrow (another reason we don’t give legal advice and why you should talk to a lawyer)!

    All of this assumes you have a Last Will and Testament.  Bad assumption?  If so, don’t bother going any further.  The laws covering dying without a Will can be very ugly and your guns are one of many problems.   If you want to protect your firearms, go see a lawyer to discuss a Will, sooner rather than later.

    If you have a Will, and it was written before the passage of the SAFE Act (or written without considering the effects of the SAFE Act), you should probably consider updating it.

    Here are some the issues you need to go over with the lawyer:

    •        Make an inventory of your firearms prior to death. This will let the person responsible for probating (administering) your estate, usually referred to as the executor, know that you have firearms, where they are located, what licenses you hold, etc.  The executor has several legal responsibilities regarding firearms.  The Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) governs estates and requires every executor to file an Inventory of every firearm, shotgun and rifle with the local Surrogate’s (probate) Court, with a copy sent to the Division of Criminal Justice Services in Albany.  The inventory must have the make, model, gauge, and value of each gun left in a decedent’s personal belongings. Heirs to an estate holding firearms assets should be aware that failure to file the required inventories is a violation of New York Penal Law.
    •        Is the gun legal and are you legally allowed to possess it?  If you fail on either of these questions, it would be best to resolve them before you die.  Your executor’s work and the cost of administering your estate will get infinitely worse if you don’t resolve this and your gun may not end up where you want it to go.
    •        Designating a beneficiary. Even if you leave the gun(s) to a specific beneficiary, the executor cannot simply give them to the beneficiary without potential criminal liability. The executor must:|
    •    1) have knowledge that you legally owned a gun;
    •    2) ascertain that the beneficiary of the gun(s) may legally own the gun(s);
    •    3) adhere to proper transfer procedures.         
      The beneficiary cannot take possession of the handguns until they are registered to the beneficiary’s pistol permit. 
    • The beneficiary cannot take possession of the handguns until they are registered to the beneficiary’s pistol permit. Encourage potential beneficiaries to obtain any needed permits as soon as possible!
    •        Out-of-state heirs.  If beneficiary is living in another state, check with them to be sure that their state laws are also covered.  Again, you will want a lawyer on this.
    •        Is the gun co-owned (joint ownership) by another person?  It’s probably like a joint bank account in which each person owns the gun and if one dies the other has 100% ownership.  However, since this is New York, it’s not a sure thing.  Some people have reported that this arrangement works to keep firearm outside of the estate, in order to transfer them, but each case can be unique. 
    • While counties will usually allow firearms to be “co-registered,” each co-registered firearm must be listed on each person’s pistol permit; often this is only allowed between immediate family members.  Some counties also require that both co-registrants live in the same county, or even same household. 
    • Of course, as with any joint ownership, the question is: who do you trust? The joint owner now jointly owns the weapon and any action you want to take with it (before or after your death) may require the joint owner’s approval. And if you want to leave it to someone other than the joint owner…you definitely need a lawyer.      
    •    Transferring guns during your life, either by sale or lifetime gifts to family to avoid probate. If you sell them, you need to follow the laws for gun sales (NICS check, eligibility, etc.). 
    •        Handling firearms in the estate. Each county in New York has its own specific rules on the exact procedure to handle the deceased’s guns. 
    •        Other estate issues you should be aware of.  An executor may be able to legally possess the guns for up to 15 days in order to lawfully transfer, or dispose of them. If they cannot do so within that timeframe, they will need to give the firearms to law enforcement officials to hold for safekeeping while probate action is undertaken. Law enforcement holds the firearms either one or two years, depending on the county (one year is probably the safe bet).  When an executor does not transfer or dispose of the firearms given to law enforcement, within that period, law enforcement officials can have the firearms destroyed.
    •        What about a “gun trust”? Some estate planning attorneys are solving these issues through the use of a “gun trust.” A gun trust is typically set up as a living trust. It is made specifically to transfer firearms, with the gun owner set up as the trustee. Transferring the firearms to a gun trust, provided it is properly documented and reported (which, unfortunately, will probably engender some level of state review), should protect them from seizure by the local law enforcement upon death. Letting a trust control the disposition of a firearm collection also helps avoid probate. It should be noted, however, that in New York, the documentation regarding the transfer of the firearms is not part of public record in probate proceedings. 
    A trust does not always make sense for a person who wishes to pass down firearms. For example, if the dollar value of the collection is not very high or the guns do not come with federal restrictions, the benefits of a trust are diminished.  Setting up these trusts is very complicated and, again, the services of an attorney will be required.

      If you gift them, check the gift tax laws. You can gift up to $16,000 to one person in 2022 without that person owing tax on the gift. (The maximum changes almost every year.  $16,000 is the tax-free maximum for all gifts, not just firearms, to any one person in any one year.)

      If you have multiple guns or valuable guns that have a total worth of more than $16,000, you may be able to split the gifts over multiple years to stay below $16,000 yearly and avoid a gift tax. 

      If your total estate is below the threshold for no estate tax, your gift will probably have no estate tax impact.  Remember, there may be no estate tax in this case but if you gift more than $16,000 to one person in 2022, they must pay a gift tax on the amount above $16,000.   

      If your estate is above the estate tax threshold and may incur a tax, gifts below $16,000 may or may not have an impact.  You need a lawyer.

      It is important to realize that the law does not make clear who is responsible for the guns after the death of a gun owner. The “person in charge of the decedent’s personal belongings” can be anyone who resides at the home where you stored your guns or it can be the executor of your estate or anyone else who may have a claim to your personal belongings. Any or all of the people who fall into these categories could be subject to criminal charges if the guns are not properly handled.  Remember, anyone taking possession of the gun must be legally entitled to take possession, even temporarily!

      The procedures to “lawfully dispose” of guns is again, not uniform throughout the state. The local police or sheriff’s department typically has jurisdiction to determine proper transfer procedures. In some counties, the department may send an officer to the decedent’s home to inventory the guns and take them for safekeeping until proper transfer procedures can be followed.  In other cases, lawful disposal can be accomplished with the assistance of a licensed firearm dealer.

      Illegal possession or transfer of a decedent’s registered firearm, without following statutory protocol for estate transfer to a beneficiary, is considered a misdemeanor offense “criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree”.  

      An executor should never remove firearms from the home of the decedent or transport guns in their vehicle when turning guns over to the police. Call the local police or sheriff’s department and ask for an officer to come to the decedent’s home to inventory and collect the firearms.

        In 2022, the federal no tax estate maximum is around $12 million and the New York State no tax estate maximum is around $6 million. 

        As we all know, New York State is very gun-owner “unfriendly,” and continues to be even after death.    Many New York politicians, especially downstate, would be very happy to see your firearms destroyed when you pass away (if not before).   Guns are valuable, both in terms of monetary value and, often, sentimental value; sometimes, guns have been in families for generations.      Avoid their loss after your death and avoid criminal penalties for your loved ones.   Don’t hesitate.   Ask a lawyer who works in estate law, preferably one who supports the Second Amendment, about the legal transfer of an estate owned firearm asset.

        for a printable copy: click here

      • 01/31/2022 9:06 PM | Anonymous

        Beware of the Amish Cartel  by Tom Reynolds

        No arrests have been made and authorities are keeping mum about a raid on a property in the heart of Pennsylvania’s Amish country, around Lancaster. Details are murky, but BATFE agents confiscated an unknown number of guns from the “Cattail Foundry”. Is the BATFE getting ready to accuse an Amish farmer of being an unlicensed gun dealer?

        The Amish owner, Rueben King says he is a dairyman and owns about 50 cows. He also admits to selling some long guns (no handguns) to fellow Amish for hunting – and some to non-Amish, too.

        The Department of Justice web site has a post, “Do I need a license to buy and sell firearms?”. It states that “persons who are engaged in the business of dealing in firearms be licensed by the bureau.” It says a person “will need a license if you repetitively buy and sell firearms with the principal motive of making a profit,” but not if the person only does “occasional sales of firearms from your personal collection”.

        Was King engaged in a gun business, as opposed to just making a few incidental sales? Does BATFE have information that an Amish dairy farmer in Pennsylvania is secretly selling firearms to Mexican drug cartels? (Oh wait, that was the Obama administration!) Usually, liberals target law abiding citizens in their gun control efforts but, in this case, did they accidentally stumble across a real law breaker?

        The point is not to take a position on this specific incident, as the facts are not yet known, but to show how misdirected liberal gun control efforts are.

        Is the Biden administration familiar with the medical term triage, where the urgency of the medical issue is evaluated so that the most urgent can be given the priority? Liberals are screaming about gun violence. How much of a priority to BATFE should King have been? How many violent crimes involving guns have been committed by the Amish (not against the Amish) in the last month?...Year?…Decade? (Go ahead, I’ll wait while you do the research. I’m pretty sure the number approaches zero for all those categories.)

        If BATFE proves that King was acting as a gun dealer and stops him, how many violent crimes will BATFE have prevented?

        There are more murders in a week in cities (dare I say it, Democrat controlled cities) like Chicago, NYC and St Louis than committed by the Amish over any period. (Again, feel free to do the research and I’ll apologize if I’m wrong but I’m not buying any knee pads, just yet.)

        If leftists were serious about reducing gun related crimes, wouldn’t one think that inner city efforts would be more fertile hunting grounds? Stopping one illegal gun dealer in Philadelphia would certainly have more impact on gun violence in Pennsylvania than stopping one unlicensed Amish dealer.

        But then again, a big reason for the Left’s gun control efforts is to make them feel good; effectiveness is nice but secondary. And it does add another meaningless statistic to BATFE’s year-end reporting.

        Triage is not a priority for the Biden administration, which shuts down pipelines in America but okays them in other countries in the name of Global Climate Change. General Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, prioritizes Critical Race Theory ahead of planning the withdrawal from Afghanistan. (I wonder what Milley is reading as Russia builds up forces on the Ukraine’s border?)

        To read more articles by SCOPE President Tom Reynolds; go to our Briefings page


      • 01/27/2022 11:01 AM | Anonymous

        Breyer: Facts and Theories  by Tom Reynolds

        Supreme Court Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer has announced his retirement. Since a radical progressive President will probably nominate a radical progressive replacement for a radical progressive justice, this will have no immediate effect on the Supreme Court philosophical balance. It will, however, lock in that seat for a longer period since whoever is nominated for this lifetime appointment will be much younger than Breyer.

        This will almost surely be bad news for the 2nd Amendment, as radical progressives ignore the Constitution if it suits their purposes. (Don’t bet against the three progressive judges ignoring the Constitution and siding with New York State in NYSRPA v Bruen?)

        President Biden has said he will nominate a black woman as his first Supreme Court nominee. Biden, as usual, made blatant race discrimination on the part of Democrats a central part of his actions. If he follows through on his promise, the nominee will be decided based on race and sex and not qualifications. Whites, Asians, men, etc. need not apply. When this naked political partisanship happens, it further destroys the ever-decreasing confidence American citizens have in their government.

        The Senate can approve the nomination by a simple majority. In case of a tie, the Vice President casts the deciding vote. This raises three interesting but distant possibilities: what if something happened and either party lost a sitting Senator and especially if it was a Democrat Senator; what if something happened to Biden and Kamala Harris became the President, leaving the tie breaking Vice Presidency vacant; what if Biden were temporarily disabled and Harris was serving as Acting President, would she be eligible to cast the tie breaking vote? Remote possibilities, but history has turned on even more remote possibilities.

        Filibustering the nomination is not a possibility. When the Democrats controlled the Senate, it was to their benefit to change the filibuster rules to exempt judiciary appointments from being filibustered (but Supreme Court appointments were still eligible to be filibustered). So, when Republicans subsequently controlled the Senate and it was to their benefit, they changed the no-filibuster exemption to include Supreme Court nominees. This is a lesson currently lost on the Democrats except for Manchin and Sinema; that power can change hands and turnabout is fair play.

        The nominee only needs a majority vote in the Senate. Democrats have been pretty good at holding their own in-line, until they recently became so radical that Manchin and occasionally Sinema fell out of line. Might Biden nominate someone so radical that it would break the Democrat’s “Iron Curtain”, again? Not such a remote possibility since Biden nominated a communist for Controller of the Currency and his current nominee to the Federal Communications Commission has a huge ethics problem. (And don’t forget gun grabber Chipman to head BATFE.) In a party that embraced riots - except on January 6th - and where A O-C is considered the de-facto speaker of the House, radicalness is more often the rule than the exception.

        Will the Republicans be able to hold the line? Several Republicans have often been willing to reach-across-the-aisle. But a Supreme Court justice is not a part of the President’s administration, but is a member of the independent 3rd branch of our government and deference to the presidency should not be the rule. Still, past history has shown that Republicans are more likely to be “bi-partisan” than Democrats.

        Looking forward, one can’t help in believing that the upcoming November election had an impact on this.

        It’s heavily believed (but never certain until the “fat lady has sung”) that Republicans will win control of both houses of Congress. A Republican Senate would insure a much more moderate nominee and this may have pushed Breyer to retire now, to increase the chances of a radical progressive successor.

        Biden may also feel further pressured to nominate a black woman as most polls show him and the Democrats losing voter support amongst their historically Democrat black voters. Any vote against a black or woman will be touted as racism or sexism and not based on disqualifications.

        Who will be the nominees? Since we can expect an overtly political nomination, let me suggest three overtly political (and unqualified) possibilities: Michelle Obama (like the Clintons before them, the Obamas will never go away. However, this would seem to eliminate her from running for President); Kamala Harris (but could she ethically and legally cast the tie breaking vote as VP if she were the nominee. Ethics? Legality? Since when has that been an issue for Harris?); Susan Rice (will she give up running the country for Biden to step down to a Supreme Court decision. And like Michelle Obama, this would eliminate her running for President).


      • 01/26/2022 11:05 AM | Anonymous

        SCOPE Political Questionnaire  by Tom Reynolds

        This is an election year at both the state and federal level and many of us will have the opportunity to ask questions of the candidates. To get you started, below are a series of questions, some of which you might want to ask. Pick and choose as appropriate.

        - Do you believe the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is:

        Hunting? Self Defense? Defense against foreign threats? Defense against domestic threats?
        Constitutional Carry?    Shall Issue?     May issue?
        Handguns?  Rifles?  Shotguns?  Automatic firearms?  Semi-automatic firearms?  Firearms?
        30 round magazines?    10 round magazines?     5 round magazines?
        Does it require Senate approval as a treaty?
        More Crime?     Less Crime?     Has negligible effect?

        - Do you believe a gun owner must retreat, before using deadly force, when faced with an unlawful intruder inside their house?

        - Do you believe a home owner has the right to use deadly force inside the house to protect lives and/or property?

        - Do you believe a gun owner engaged in self-defense must retreat, before using deadly force, when outside their house?

        - Do you believe a home owner has the right to use deadly force outside the house to protect lives and / or property?

        - As to firearm licenses, should New York State be:

        - Do you support legislation for total or partial bans any of the following:

        - Do you support the USA rejoining the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty? 

        - Do you support New York residents being able to directly (not through an FFL) purchase ammo over the internet?

        - Do you support New York residents being able to directly purchase firearms over the internet, using an FFL and following NICS regulations?

        Do you believe localities can pass more restrictive firearms laws than state statutes without the state’s permission?

        - Since 1988, The United States Undetectable Firearms Act made illegal any firearm that is not detectable by walk-through metal detection. Given that, do you believe we need more state or federal “Ghost Gun laws?

        - Do you believe that increased civilian firearms ownership leads to:

        - Do you support the 2005 “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” (PLCAA)?

        - Do you believe the 2005 PLCAA supersedes and nullifies any state laws to the contrary?

        - Do you believe that the NYS law classifying firearms as a nuisance violates the PLCAA?

        - Do you believe Self-Defense is a right and the 2nd Amendment protects - and does not grant that right?

        - Does the 2nd Amendment restrict firearms only to members of militia or other government agencies?

        - Do you support legislation requiring microstamping?

        - Do you support pistol permit reciprocity with other states?

        - Do you support Safe Storage laws?

        - Do you support a gun purchase waiting period longer than the NICS required 3 days?

        - Do you support laws limiting firearm purchases to a specific number per time period?

        - Do you support laws limiting ammo purchases to a specific number per time period?

        - Do you believe firearm possession is limited to only inside the residence?

        - Do you support restricting ammo purchases only to the caliber of gun owned by the purchaser?

        - Do you support mandatory liability insurance for all gun owners?

        - Do you support enhanced sentences for those that use a firearm while committing a felony?

        - Do you support a ban on firearms over a certain caliber? If so, what caliber_______________

        For a Printable copy of the questionnaire: CLICK HERE

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

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      East Aurora, NY 14052

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