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  • 02/14/2024 3:12 PM | Anonymous

    Allowing Credit Card Companies to Track Gun Purchases  by John R. Elwood

    In 2022, the International Organization of Standards (ISO) announced it would create a Merchant Category Code (MCC) for gun and ammunition purchases for credit card companies to use.  Who is the ISO, and what is an MCC? 

    The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental (NGO), international organization.  It applauds itself by saying it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.  It began in 1946  and, today, it has a membership of 170 national standard bodies.  The ISO is an NGO that has an accredited status with the United Nations’ (UN) Department of Economic and Social Affairs and is headquartered out of Geneva, Switzerland.  The United States has access to the ISO through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). 

    A Merchant Category Code (MCC) is a four-digit code that credit card that companies use to identify the type of business that is processing a financial transaction – such as hardware stores, department stores or gasoline stations.  The code serves several purposes including whether a business needs to report a particular transaction to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and calculating consumer cash back rewards. 

    Prior to this change, guns and ammunition stores were categorized as sporting goods or miscellaneous general merchandise stores. 

    Who is leading this effort?

    The usual suspects in gun control efforts, Democrat Senators Menendez and Warren, led an effort urging the United States Treasury and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to provide guidance to financial institutions for the full implementation of these guns and ammunition codes.  Senator Elizabeth Warren stated, “We need implementation across the country if we’re going to do everything, we can to prevent gun violence.   The sooner credit card companies and banks begin using the new merchant code for gun retailers and tracking suspicious gun purchases, the more mass shootings we will have a shot at preventing before they occur”.  (A statement based on no factual studies.)  The organization Guns Down America supported this effort, calling on companies to make the gun store code available in every state where it is not banned. 

    Senators Menendez and Warren wrote to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland stating, “We believe the new MCC code has the potential to help reduce gun violence and save lives.”  The Senators highlighted in most mass shootings between 2007 and 2018, credit cards or debit cards were used to acquire the guns and ammunition used in the attack.

    (Most cars in auto wrecks were probably financed with car loans so is the answer to auto crashes a new MCC category for auto loans?) 

    A resistance formed.  Later in 2023, inspired by an uproar from Second Amendment Constituents, Republicans in the United State Senate pushed back.  Several states also launched a legislative effort that shut down the effort to track purchases of firearms and ammunition.  At least seven Republican-controlled state legislatures have banned MCCs for gun and ammunition purchases, while nine other legislatures are considering similar legislation.  States that have already banned MCCs include Wisconsin, West Virginia, Idaho, Mississippi, North Dakota, Montana, Texas, and Florida.  Under the “Florida Arms and Ammo Act”, credit cards companies can be fined up to $10,000 if they track gun and ammunition sales. 

    Great, now we can rest?  Not so fast!

    The MCC for gun and ammunition purchase is back!

    Major credit card companies (Mastercard, Visa, American Express) are moving forward to make an MCC available for firearm and ammunition retailers in order to comply with a new California law that will allow banks to potentially track suspicious gun purchases and report them to law enforcement by May 2025.  Gun control activists hope the code can be used as a tool to help identify suspect purchases and stop gun crime including mass shootings.

    What is the big deal

    Bankers have the expertise to identify potential criminals who will misuse firearms? 

    What’s a suspicious purchase…more than one box of ammo?

    Some people don’t have to use a credit card or debit card to purchase firearms or ammunition, they can use cash or pay with a check.  But, what if the federal government goes to an all-digital currency like a digital dollar, and cash is not available?   If that were to happen, and that is not out of the realm of possibilities because Democrats in the U.S Government are currently looking to move to a digital dollar.  If implemented, EVERY purchase you make, including gun and ammunition purchases, will be monitored by the U.S. Government. 

    (Not doing enough for climate change by buying what the government considers too much meat?  The digital dollar will tell on you, too!)

    The National Rifle Association (NRA) vehemently denounces the use of a firearm-specific Merchant Category Code (MCC) as a clear infringement of the sacred Second Amendment rights of every American.  An NRA representative stated, “Orchestrated by left-wing institutions and anti-gun lobbyists, this underhanded maneuver aims to bypass federal laws, effectively implementing a de facto national firearms registry and trampling the Constitution.  Amid an environment where lawful gun sales already undergo rigorous scrutiny, this scheme represents an unprecedented assault on the privacy of law-abiding gun owners”.  

    A gun expert stated, “If governments or credit card companies start to require certain purchase patterns at gun stores be reported to police, that could put a lot of innocent people under suspicion depending on how broad the criteria are”.

    We have been warned!  California’s move to institute a gun and ammunition MCC is a warning to New York State gun owners.  Now, what are we going to do about it? 

    The New York State organization, Shooter’s Committee on Political Education (SCOPE) OPPOSES this attempt by the left-wing Democrat Party to restrict the privacy of gun owners when they purchase a gun or buy ammunition.  We do so because: 

    The NRA-ILA summarizes it nicely: “Several provisions in federal law, but most notably a key part of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, prohibit the federal government from centralizing most firearm records into a registry. The new MCC could provide a way for the government to outsource the creation of a registry that the government itself is prohibited from creating. If banks and payment processors share their records with the government, that would be a major step towards the registration of all gun owners in America.”

    Gun owners know what comes after national registry…CONFISCATION

    Just as important, it is not the responsibility of an INTERNATIONAL non-governmental (administrative bureaucracy) like the ISO to pass laws on citizens of the United States.  Public-private partnerships DO NOT make legislation, the United States Congress makes our laws!

    This is a great example of why It is important to remind each and every American that every AMERICAN must continue to be involved in the legislative process and to ensure that your representatives are fighting to protect your Constitutional rights”. 

    Let’s not assume someone else will fight this battle.  Let’s get involved now! 

    The hour is late in the fight to protect the United States Constitution.

  • 02/09/2024 11:07 AM | Anonymous

    Special Election This Coming Tuesday

    There are currently 219 Republicans and 212 Democrats in the House, giving Republicans a seven-member advantage.  Normally, if only four Republicans switch their vote on any issues, the Democrats could enact any law.  But Republican Steve Scalise is home being treated for cancer and unavailable to vote.

    There are currently four openings which will be filled by Special Elections.

    Ohio’s 6th Congressional District is currently open with a special election scheduled for June 11th.  The district is rated as solid Republican.

    California’s 20th Congressional District is currently open with a special election scheduled for May 19th.  The district is rated as solid Republican.

    New York’s 26th Congressional District is currently open.  Governor Hochul must make a decision on a date for a special election by February 12th.  The district is rated as solid Democrat.

    The Constitutional Right you save may be your own.

    This coming Tuesday, February 13th, a special election will be held in New York’s 3rd Congressional District.  The district primarily represents part of the northern shore of Long Island.  Tom Suozzi (D) is running against Mazi Melisa Pilip (R).  The election is rated a tossup.

    Given the Republicans’ small majority and with Republicans and Democrats sharply divided on gun control – as well as many other issues – this election is important to all Americans and of special interest to all SCOPE members.

    Tom Suozzi is running on the Democrat ticket.  He said, “I’m proud of my F-rating from the NRA. We see these violent acts with guns happening much too often.”

    The Brady Campaign and Giffords endorsed Suozzi and Moms Demand Action named him a ‘Candidate of Distinction’.  Brady, Giffords and Moms are all rabidly anti-2A organizations so it’s fair to say that Suozzi is not 2A friendly. 

    SCOPE rate Suozzi as an “F”.

    Mazi Melesa Pilip is running on the Republican ticket.  Being a political newcomer, there isn’t much available about her position on 2A.  One statement was that, on gun control, Pilip supports pro-gun interpretations of the Second Amendment, but makes clear the need for responsible regulations.

    Suozzi’s campaign, in an appeal to Democrats, sees it as a negative when they say this about her, “Pilip is also running on the Conservative Party platform that opposes common sense gun reform, even red flag laws.

    Pilip spoke about gun policy in an interview with Spectrum News.  When asked about preventing school shootings, she said there are "already policies in place that we have to make sure that we coordinate between the federal and state government."

    So, we have one rabidly anti-2A candidate (Suozzi) running against one who is at least mildly pro 2A (Pilip).

    SCOPE rates Pilip as “B+”

    This election is important to all of us because, when voting for any legislator, you are really voting for two people; the legislator and the head of the legislator’s party.  The latter might become the Speaker / Majority Leader due to the election and have enormous power over that legislative body.  A vote for Suozzi is a vote for a Democrat Speaker and a vote for Pilip is a vote for a Republican Speaker.  And you know which party’s leadership Is anti-2A.

    If you live in the 3rd Congressional District, be sure to vote on Tuesday.

  • 02/08/2024 10:36 AM | Anonymous

    A Few More Lawsuits  by Tom Reynolds

    Gun control addicts realize they can’t get the 2nd Amendment repealed so their approach is that Americans may be able to keep and bear arms but there will be no place where they can do that.  This flies in the face of the Bruen decision but SCOTUS decisions never stop the Left; those decisions just invigorate the Left to try new approaches. 

    Ammoland reports on this case.

    Gun Owners of America (GOA) and the Gun Owners Foundation (GOF) filed a federal lawsuit in the Northern District of New York, challenging the state’s blanket ban on out-of-state residents being able to obtain a concealed carry permit or to have New York honor out-of-state permits.

    Under current New York law, only New York residents may apply for and obtain permits to carry concealed weapons, and the state does not grant any form of reciprocity for individuals who hold a similar permit from another state.

    While those who hold out-of-state driver’s licenses may drive in New York, exercising one’s constitutional right to bear arms in New York State is wholly forbidden to Americans who are not NY State residents. New York is the only known state where nonresidents are not allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights to keep and bear arms.  (And residents keeping and bearing arms isn’t too popular with the NY State government, either.)

    Erich Pratt, GOA’s Senior Vice President, issued the following statement:

    “The State of New York and its cadre of anti-gun politicians have done everything in their power to weaken and outright ban the Second Amendment within their borders. The Supreme Court has made clear that the right to bear arms extends to the public square, and this right is for all Americans, not just those who are residents of individual states.”

    Sam Paredes, on behalf of the board for GOF, added:

    “This is the only example nationwide that we can find where an out-of-state resident is completely barred from exercising their right to keep and bear arms, and there’s no doubt the anti-gun legislature in Albany purposely designed it this way. We’ve warned these politicians before and we’ll do it again, fall in line on the Second Amendment, or we will make you.”

    Note: while this lawsuit applies to residents of other states, it is an important step towards forcing NY State to comply with the spirit and the letter of the Bruen decision. 

    Bearing Arms reports on this case

    The Fry v. Nigrelli lawsuit challenges several aspects of New York’s carry laws including the post-Bruen ban on lawful carry on public transit.  Gun owners from Westchester and Orange counties sued New York City in 2021 because their state-issued concealed carry handgun licenses are invalid in New York City.  The case was expanded after the Concealed Cary Improvement Act was passed in 2022.

    A lower court denied the request for a preliminary injunction against firearm bans on public transportation such as the MTA, subway, and train cars and in Times Square.  A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit, recently heard the latest appeal for an injunction.

    The Concealed Carry Improvement Act, which took effect in September 2022, bans guns from designated “sensitive places” such as schools, playgrounds and Times Square.  The gun owners claim the regulations are “inconsistent with the text, history, and tradition of firearm regulation.

    Fry’s attorney says that both the state of New York and New York City officials have argued that no one’s going to get arrested and charged with carrying in New York City, so long as they have a valid permit issued in another New York county. But the attorney has a client who’s facing felony charges; a 23-year-old who was pulled over behind the wheel in the Big Apple and charged with three felonies for carrying concealed even though he has a valid New York State carry permit.

    As might be expected, the Leftist 2nd Circuit did not seem friendly to the complaint.  The question is whether ‘Frey’ will try to take the case to the Supreme Court.

    Note: This case applies to non-residents, too; non-residents of New York City.  Since the NYC government doesn’t want its own citizens to have guns, it should not be a surprise that they hate  the idea of non city residents having guns. 

    Ammoland reports on this case.

    In Hunter v. Cortland Housing Authority, a federal judge has granted a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to the Second Amendment Foundation and its partners in a challenge of a public housing authority gun ban in Cortland, N.Y.

    The 29-page decision enjoins the defendants and their officers, agents, servants, employees and attorneys “from, taking any action to enforce, or otherwise require any person or entity to comply with the firearms ban as set forth in the ‘Tenant’s Obligations’” in the standard lease agreement pending final resolution of the case.

    This is not the first time SAF has litigated a public housing case,” noted SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut, “which have all been about the same thing, a Second Amendment violation. We have won cases in Illinois and Tennessee, and by now, it would seem that public housing authorities should have gotten the message that constitutional rights do not end at the front door. We will continue pursuing such cases as they come to our attention because people do not give up their rights simply because they live in subsidized housing.”

    No public housing authority should be allowed to simply block tenants from exercising their right to keep and bear arms,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The Bill of Rights is an all-or-nothing proposition, not a buffet from which a bureaucracy should be able to pick and choose which rights they find acceptable. We’re delighted with Judge Suddaby’s decision, which is a victory for constitutional rights everywhere.”

    Note: These cases put NY State on the defensive, for a change, something Hochul, James and company are not accustomed to.

  • 02/07/2024 1:34 PM | Anonymous

    Chevron Dying?  by Tom Reynolds

    Under the 1984 SCOTUS opinion in Chevron U.S.A. v. National Resources Defense Council, if a law is ambiguous, the court must accept the executive agency's interpretation of the law if the executive branch agency's interpretation of the law is reasonable or permissible.  No room for judicial scrutiny.

    The Chevron decision has seriously distorted how the political branches operate; under Chevron, Executive Branch agencies become lawmakers, which is contrary to that pesky scrap of paper, the United States Constitution, which demands that only Congress can legislate.

    Chevron is the reason that the ATF has been able to arbitrarily pass firearm regulations. 

    That may be changing, on paper at least. 

    The cases of two Herring fishing companies are before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS): Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless v. Department of Commerce.  Why are two fishing cases of interest to 2nd Amendment defenders? 

    The federal Magnuson-Stevens Act, allowed the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to require herring boats to carry federal monitors to enforce of NMFS’ regulations.  NMFS decided that, without any express statutory authorization, the herring boats must also pay the salaries of these monitors, estimated by the NMFS to be $710 per day.  NMFS took the usual bureaucratic attitude; what are you going to do about it?  Sue us

    To NMFS surprise, Loper Bright Enterprises and Relentless sued.

    There is reason for us to be hopeful.  SCOTUS has ruled positively against the chevron Doctrine in a similar case.

    West Virginia vs the EPA was about the EPA legislating through regulation, under the Chevron Doctrine; the EPA was mandating the shutdown of coal fire power plants.  The question was not whether shutting down coal plants was good or bad but whether the EPA had the power and right to move forward with regulatory mandates on such “a major question” without express congressional approval.

    SCOTUS answer was a resounding no to the EPA.

    Justice Neil Gorsuch, in his concurring opinion, was a resoundingly strict constitutionalist: “By effectively requiring a broad consensus to pass legislation, the Constitution sought to ensure that any new laws would enjoy wide social acceptance, profit from input by an array of different perspectives during their consideration, and thanks to all this prove(d) stable over time…Permitting Congress to divest its legislative power to the Executive Branch would dash (this) whole scheme…agencies could churn out new laws more or less at whim.”

    2A defenders are hopeful these cases will mortally wound the Chevron doctrine and curtail agencies such as the ATF in its anti-2A methods.  The Chevron Doctrine must be put to death.

    However, that won’t necessarily solve the problem, in real life, as there is a related problem.  If the federal government loses the “Herring” cases, will they have any impact, other than as paper victories?

    Article VI of the Constitution states: “This Constitution…shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby…”  But what happens to judges (and legislators and governors) who ignore the Constitution?

    Answer, in most cases: nothing.

    In Caetano v Massachusetts, every level of Massachusetts’ state courts ignored an existing SCOTUS ruling that clearly stated that guns did not have to be in existence when the 2nd Amendment was passed in order to be protected by 2A.  Massachusetts judges openly defied SCOTUS and based their opinions on a type of gun not being in existence in 1790. 

    What was the judges’ punishment in Democrat controlled Massachusetts for ignoring the Constitution?  Nothing! 

    In NY State, the legislative and executive branches ignored the SCOTUS rulings in NYSRPA v Bruen and passed the Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) which openly contradicted much of Bruen.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars (eventually millions) are being spent suing NY State. 

    We expect SCOTUS will overturn much of CCIA.  If so, will there be any legal action against anyone who openly defied SCOTUS?  Not in Democrat controlled NY State.

    In Biden v Nebraska, SCOTUS ruled that the Biden Administration does not have authority under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003 (HEROES Act) to establish a student loan forgiveness program that will cancel roughly $430 billion in debt principal and affect nearly all borrowers.

    In response, Biden has been forgiving loans and extending repayment periods.

    Can we expect an impeachment?

    People need to be held responsible for violating their oaths of office.

    Granted, it is also dangerous path when the executive and judicial branches start taking legal action against judges because of court decisions.  This can be easily abused.  The Left has little regard for our Constitution and this would open up a new path for them to destroy it.  Which is is why there have been few impeachments of federal judges. 

    When judges, legislators and executives openly defy the Constitution, that also opens the door to abuse and some action needs to be taken.  Without the threat of punishment, there is little downside to ignoring SCOTUS and the Constitution

    We have a problem that needs to be addressed.  With all the legal brainpower in Washington, there must be some possible solution?  Of course, there has to be the will to solve the problem.

  • 02/05/2024 12:28 PM | Anonymous

    Oregon( e )  by Tom Reynolds

    Oregon is the place where people go who are too radical for California.

    Oregon was the first state to decriminalize the possession of drugs.  Police can no longer arrest someone for possession of small amounts of heroin, methamphetamine, LSD, oxycodone and other hard drugs under a ballot measure passed by a wide margin in November 2020. Instead, those found in possession face a $100 fine or a health assessment that could lead to addiction counseling. 

    Note:  If they can’t pay what Is basically a speeding ticket, drug users had to undergo an assessment they don’t want to determine if they have an addiction they don’t want to break so they could undergo addiction counseling they don’t want.  What could go wrong?

    But, supporters of the measure were ecstatic.  (Notice how similar their comments and predictions were to Democrat comments every time a new gun control law is passed.)

    Decriminalizing hard drugs was hailed it as a revolutionary move for the United States. Supporters said that criminalizing drug possession had not worked.  

    'Today, the first domino of our cruel and inhumane war on drugs has fallen, setting off what we expect to be a cascade of other efforts centering health over criminalization,' said Drug Policy Alliance executive director Kassandra Frederique. 

    Oregon’s 'Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund' was rolling in money thanks to ‘pot taxes’ on the rapidly growing legal marijuana industry.  However, some funds were also diverted from other programs and entities that had already received the funds.  The ballot measure capped the amount of pot tax revenue that schools, mental health alcoholism & drug services, the state police, and cities & counties received at $45 million annually, with the rest going to the 'Drug Treatment and Recovery Services Fund'.

    'In the future, as Oregon's treatment programs reach full funding, the state should evaluate what other services would benefit from our continually growing marijuana tax revenues,' Oregon Education Association (OEA) President John Larson said in an email.

     Note: The OEA union represents about 44,000 educators. I wonder what other non-addiction services’ the teacher’s union has in mind to finance with the ‘pot tax’?

    The initiative was also expected to help save money by reducing law enforcement costs stemming from arrests.  After decriminalization of hard drugs, about 3,700 fewer Oregonians per year were estimated to be convicted of felony or misdemeanor possession of controlled substances, according to estimates by the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission.  The measure was also predicted to lead to a 95 percent reduction in racial and ethnic disparities in convictions and arrests, the state commission said.

    Oregon was to become Nirvana for the drugs formerly known as illegal.

    Or maybe not.

    Opioid deaths in Oregon, which were 280 before the de-criminalization of drugs, grew to 955 in 2022. The Portland Police Department’s Bureau of Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit saw a 75% increase in notifications of overdose deaths in 2023 over a year prior. According to the Oregon Health Authority, the state experienced more opioid overdose visits to emergency departments and urgent care centers last year compared to previous years.

    Oregon Governor Tina Kotek (Democrat of course) said in a statement, (we) “are grappling with how to respond” to the opioid / fentanyl crisis.

    Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson (Democrat) and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (a ‘moderate Democrat by Oregon standards) each declared a 90-day state of emergency to commit available resources into a unified response to the fentanyl crisis. (Taking money away from some of those ‘revolutionary’ methods hailed two years ago?)

    Mayor Wheeler said in a statement: “This is exactly the type of coordinated action needed to make a direct impact and a lasting difference."  (This ‘coordinated effort’ sounds a lot like what was promised two years ago about another approach.)

    Remember when Portland was synonymous with ‘Defund the police?”  Portland Police Bureau has entered into a partnership with the Oregon State Police to jointly patrol downtown streets for fentanyl sales.

    At the state level, Democrat lawmakers in Oregon unveiled a sweeping new bill that would undo a key part of the state’s first-in-the-nation drug decriminalization law.  The bill would recriminalize the possession of small amounts of drugs as a low-level misdemeanor. 

    2d Amendment supporters in NY State are accustomed to the same type of hype that accompanied the 2020 decriminalization of drugs and we are also used to the same type of results.  After all, the ‘gun control’ laws take guns away from law abiding citizens while leaving criminals virtually untouched; something the gun control proponents do not get!

    And in a similar vein, no bail laws and soft on crime prosecutors like Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg promised new approaches to crime.  New -yes.  Effective-no.

    The lesson for all of us is that the Left promises big things when they make big changes to established laws and traditions.  Maybe the old ways aren’t so bad?  You know, things like “keep and bearing arms” to protect ourselves from criminals and drug addicts who commit crimes.  (I differentiate between criminals and drug addicts since, in Oregon, they are not the same.)   

    Some closing thoughts:

    We shouldn’t put all the blame on the decriminalization.  After all, Joe Biden opened our southern border to smuggling-at-will and that has certainly contributed to the fentanyl crisis.

    Several years before Oregon decriminalized drugs, it also made marijuana legal.  NY State has also made marijuana legal.  Can we expect the far left, which has utterly failed in their efforts in NY State, to follow Oregon’s lead in spite of Oregon’s failure?

    Congresswoman Lauren Boebert introduced a bill (as yet unnumbered) “To…treat illicit fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction.”  This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Fentanyl is a WMD Act’’.”  (Maybe Boebert isn’t as crazy as the leftist media tries to portray?)

  • 02/03/2024 10:05 AM | Anonymous

    To whom it may Concern;

    Every member of Scope - if they are not already doing it - needs to start writing and phoning their State and Local Representatives.  There is power in numbers and until our elected officials receive hundreds and thousands of messages they will not budge.  I myself write to Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, Senator Cooney, Representative Joe Morelle, Assemblyman Josh Jensen and Governor Kathy Hochul on a weekly, sometimes daily routine, and President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris when I’m really upset.  Out of these people the only individual that I believes cares to buck the system is Josh Jensen.  I would vote against the rest of them.

    We have illegals requiring that our school children go back to remote learning because the illegal migrant camps are overcrowded and the space in our schools is needed to house the illegals during storms.  When these illegals will be required to attend school, be prepared to watch our school budget and taxes go sky high with no input from us by the way.

    We have more money in our state budgets for the illegal aliens that we do for our legal residents, many who live in poverty. State Senator Cooney was pretty proud of the fact that the Monroe County area would receive $50 Million from Governor Hochul for impoverished families. This same Governor is putting 2.4 billion in our state budget for the illegals, something Senator Cooney forgot to mention.

    We have Governors, Attorney Generals and other officials asking our President for relief supporting the illegal population entering our country with no response.

    We have a Vice President telling Katie Couric on National Television that our leaders need to do something while, apparently, not realizing that she is a leader (I Think).

    This week on National TV, we watched as Illegal Aliens beat up a NYC policeman.  Initially four were arrested and released without bail.  As of today Thursday, seven of the 12 suspects have now been arrested with police still looking for the rest. Governor Hochul thinks the event should be looked at to determine if the illegals should be deported. Do you believe she needs to think about it?  Why were the arrested released without bail? 

    I can go on and on but nothing is going to change until everyone that is unhappy starts contacting their elected officials and telling them they’ve had enough.

    It’s very important that we keep our members informed, as you have done nicely, but it’s just as important that, after we read your messages, we also do our part and follow up and act upon your message with a phone call, email, Facebook any kind of message that confronts our elected officials with the truth which is “We don’t like what you are doing and we want you to change it”.  We need to do this because while all of this daily commotion is going on with the illegals, these same politicians that ignore the laws of our country and make a farce of their Oath of Office are sneaking in new gun bills.

    With Respect Ron B.

    NYS Assembly
    NYS Senate
    NYS Congressional Delegation    

  • 02/03/2024 9:19 AM | Anonymous

    Senate Proposed Bill S3407

    At its inception, the United States Constitution was unique in that its power came from the bottom up (from the people) and was not top-down.  We became citizens instead of servants-of-the-king. 

    In addition, there were many parts of the Constitution specifically designed to decentralize power.  We often think about three coequal branches of the government but there is another very important way power was diffused.  Amendment 10 says that, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  The separation of powers between the states and the federal government is a vital part of the Constitution.

    Our founders understood a simple truth, that it is easier for a tyrant to take power if it is centralized.  Decentralized power requires multiple efforts while centralized power can be taken in during one short, freakish moment.

    Unfortunately, politicians being politicians, the federal government has constantly strived to increase its power, primarily by buying it from the states.  The feds offered to pay for things, relieving states of expenses, if power is transferred to the feds.  (Think highways.  Education is not a federal issue but the feds have bought their way into controlling it, too.)

    The feds have also stepped in when the states abused citizens’ rights as with Civil Rights in the 1960’s.

    Any excuse, good or bad, was sufficient for power hungry politicians to centralize power in Washington.

    Now, the Left in Washington D.C. has initiated another power grab that would further move power from the states to the feds.

    Twenty-seven states (a majority) have adopted Constitutional Carry (Permitless Carry).  Constitutional Carry reflects the will of the citizens of that state and flies-in-the-face of the Left’s efforts to disarm American citizens.  So, the Left is striking back and trying to federalize gun laws that have traditionally been state issues.    

    On 12/5/2023, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D Mass.) for herself and Senators Corey Booker (D New Jersey), Ed Markey (D Mass.), and Mazie Hirono (D Hawaii) introduced proposed Senate bill S3407.  All the sponsors are Democrats from deeply Blue States.  The bill was read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance. 

    Note: Whenever you see Elizabeth Warren’s name attached to something you can bet it increases the power in D.C.

    Pistol Permits (or Constitutional Carry) have been state issues.  S3407 would supersede the states and require a federal license good for ten years to own firearms and ammunition.  There are numerous provisions to obtaining a federal license that are similar to Hochul’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act.

    Note: there is an exception from the license requirement for lawfully possessed firearms and ammo at the time this law is implemented but if you want to buy another firearm you will need to be federally licensed.  And how will the retailer know about ammo purchases for previously owned guns?

    The good (??) news for NY State residents may be that a license will not be required if a state “has in effect a process for issuing a state firearm owner’s license to eligible individuals in the State that is substantially similar to the requirements” in this law.  NY’s permit requirements are so over-the-top (unconstitutional) that we may qualify as an exception.  But if you are from a Constitutional Carry state – which is where this law is directed – they are about to find out what real bureaucracy is!

    Oh yeah, if you pick up a box of .22 ammo for a friend or relative, you are a criminal under this law.

    You will have to be 21 to buy a firearm or ammo.  (There a New York State bill establishing NO minimum age for a child to decide to have a sex change operation without parental consent.  [See January 29th,s email to members on ‘Natural Allies’ for more information.]  Apparently, a mental illness is not a disqualifying factor if you are doing something of which the left approves but saneness does not qualify you if the Left does not approve of your choice.)    

    The bill is 281 pages long so we will only highlight a few of the other conditions.

    Only one firearm purchased every 30 days.  Don’t worry about this since the added taxes and costs will make it unaffordable to buy more than one gun every 30 days.

    30 percent tax on pistols, revolvers, firearms other than pistols and revolvers and any lower frame or receiver for a firearm, whether for a semiautomatic pistol, rifle, or shotgun that is designed to accommodate interchangeable upper receivers.

    50 percent tax on Shells and cartridges.

    Note: You will not see the taxes you will only feel them since they are hidden taxes on the manufacturer.  A $500 firearm will suddenly cost $650 (plus sales tax.)  And isn’t there some issue in the news about inflation?

    Universal background checks designed to make it more bureaucratic – and thus more frustratingly difficult – to buy a firearm.  If you like working with the IRS you will love working with the ATF.

    Secure gun storage for all firearms, not just handguns.

    Gun Free School Zones expansion.  Apparently, mass murderers need more opportunities without the fear of someone shooting back.

    Extreme Risk Protection Orders (Red Flag Laws) are federalized.  Another example of a state power being taken over by the feds.

    Assault Weapons’ definition is formalized and a great many semi-automatic firearms will now be illegal. 

    Note: there is an exception for lawfully possessed ‘Assault Weapons’ at the time this law is implemented but if you want to buy another ‘Assault Weapon’ you are out of luck.  And how long before previously owned ones will be illegal?

    Repeal of pistols revolvers and other firearms from consumer product safety laws.

    And if a direct hit on gun owners is not enough, this law will fund anti-2A propaganda.  “$60,000,000 for each fiscal year for the purpose of conducting or supporting research on firearms safety or gun violence prevention.”  Anyone want to bet on how much of $60 million will go to pro-gun researchers?

    Does it seem like a lot of proposed bills that are anti 2A are being pushed on us?  The way to prevent it is to remove anti-2A legislators from the legislature.  That’s called voting.  But hey, if they haven’t come for your gun yet, why worry.  30% tax on firearms and 50% tax on ammo aren’t inflationary, right?

    Spread the word to those gun owners that don’t want to get involved that this is what is happening in D.C.

  • 01/31/2024 3:14 PM | Anonymous

    NY Proposed Bills A3855 and S5763

    Proposed bills A3855 and S5763 (same as bills) were introduces into the NY Legislature in February and March 2023 by Assemblywoman Chantel Jackson (D, Bronx, NYC) and  Senator Kevin Parker (D, Brooklyn, NYC).  At that time, they were referred to committee, where they have sat. 

    Something may be going on with them as SCOPE is hearing about activity on them in January 2024.

    Gun owners be warned…these are extreme anti 2nd Amendment bills that would not stand up to scrutiny under the Bruen decision.  (But constitutionality never stopped the radical Left who seem to say, “Pass it and let them bankrupt themselves suing us.”)

    From the official summary: Relates to establishing additional requirements to purchase a firearm, shotgun or rifle; requires a person to apply for a hunting license prior to the purchase of a shotgun or rifle; establishes additional requirements for all firearms, shotguns and rifles including 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.  (Emphasis added.)

    Specifically, to purchase a firearm, rifle or shotgun, no license shall be issued or renewed:

    • except by the licensing officer, and then only after investigation and finding that all statements in a proper application for a license are true. (More on this later.) 
    • except for an applicant who has provided notarized proof of a passed drug test by a licensed physician; (Added cost & time.  Shouldn’t the government have to prove you failed a drug test.)
    • unless the applicant has provided notarized proof of a passed mental health evaluation by a licensed physician; (Added time & cost.  Purely subjective.)
    • unless the applicant has successfully completed live firing instruction and a test with at least ninety percent accuracy at a shooting range using the type of firearm he or she anticipates purchasing, possessing or acquiring.  There is an exception for Honorably Discharged Veterans; (No standards for the test Notice that they still used traditional gender terms…the Woke police will be coming for them!)
    • unless the applicant has purchased a safe storage depository for his or her firearms and ammunition as evidenced by a receipt of such purchase.  (If you don’t have the receipt or it was a gift, there is no exception in the law for producing the actual storage unit.)  

    Prior to the purchase of any rifle or shotgun a person shall also apply for a hunting license.  (Sorry, no self-defense.  You must hunt Bambi.)

    No hunting license for the purchase of a rifle or shotgun shall be issued except for an applicant:

    • who is not an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance as  defined in  section  21 U.S.C.  802 and
    • who has provided notarized proof of a passed drug test by a licensed physician; (Added cost & time.  Shouldn’t the government have to prove you failed a drug test.)
    • who has stated whether he or she has ever suffered any mental illness.  (Not every mental illness makes you a risk but it will disqualify you.) 
    • who has provided notarized proof of a passed mental health evaluation by a licensed physician; (Added time & cost.  Purely subjective.)
    • who has successfully completed a five hour firearms safety course. Exception for Honorably Discharged and can produce evidence of official qualification in firearms during the term of service.  (More time & cost.)
    • who has successfully completed live firing instruction and a test with at least ninety percent accuracy at  a shooting range using the type of rifle or shotgun he or she anticipates purchasing, possessing or acquiring; (No standards for the test.)
    • who does not have a criminal record which would otherwise disqualify him or her from purchasing a shotgun or rifle; and
    • who has purchased a safe storage depository for his or her rifle or shotgun and ammunition.  (If you don’t have the receipt or it was a gift, there is no exception in the law for producing the actual storage unit.)  

    Before a license is issued, there shall be an investigation of all statements related to the requirements of this section by the duly constituted police authorities of the locality where such application is made.  (They have to investigate the truth in your statements.  Remember how efficiently and timely the new law on background checks has gone.  This puts those background checks on steroids.)

    For that purpose, the records of the appropriate office of the department of mental hygiene concerning previous or present mental illness of the applicant shall be available for inspection by the investigating officer of the police authority.  (When the Left was pushing legalizing drugs, it said that reporting discourages people from dealing with their mental health issues.  Let’s not encourage gun owners with a mental health issue from coming forward, it’s not like they are in a favored class, like drug addicts.)

    In order to ascertain any previous criminal record, the investigating officer shall take the fingerprints and physical descriptive data in quadruplicate of each individual by whom the application is made.     

    one standard card shall be forwarded to and retained by the division of criminal justice services in the executive department, at Albany.   A search of the files of such division and written notification of the results of the search to the investigating officer shall be made without unnecessary delay. (Good luck on that!)  Thereafter, such division shall notify the issuing officer and the executive department, division of state police, Albany, of any criminal record of the applicant filed therein subsequent to the search of its files. 

    second standard card, (supplied by the federal bureau of investigation), shall be forwarded to that bureau at Washington with a request that the files of the bureau be searched and notification of the results of the search be made to the investigating police authority. 

    one shall be filed with the division of state police, in Albany, within ten days after issuance of the license, 

    the other remain on file with the investigating police authority.

    In acting upon an application, the issuing officer shall either deny the application for reasons specifically and concisely stated in writing or grant the application and issue the license applied for.

    Summary reaction:

    You have to pass a test to exercise your Constitutional rights.  What’s next, a civics test to exercise 1st Amendment rights?

    Lots of added time and cost.  The recent background check laws should warn us as to what will happen.

    Medical practitioners are increasingly pressured to toe-the-line on Leftist issues.  A mental health exam is subjective.

    No procedure for challenging any of this is included.  But then again, you won’t be able to afford the challenge, anyway.

    Will NY State and local entities be hiring additional staff to expedite the handling of these licenses?

  • 01/29/2024 1:45 PM | Anonymous

    Natural Allies  by Tom Reynolds

    2nd Amendment (2A) defenders face an increasingly leftist and extreme-bordering-on-insane agenda in the Democrat controlled NY Legislature.  The Left will do anything to promote their agenda to tear down traditional and constitutional American values.  And it is not confined to 2nd Amendment issues.  2A defenders need to be aware of some of the other insanity happening in Albany as this insanity creates natural allies to those of us opposing the Left on 2A issues.

    Destroying ‘Parental Rights’ has been one of the Left’s goals and two proposed ‘companion bills’ in the NY Legislature would be a giant step forward for the extreme Left.  However, these bills should also motivate those on the right to vote these politicians out of office. (And by-the-way, these are the same politicians who would take away our 2A rights.)    

    For more than a decade, New York legislators have been steadily raising the minimum age for minors to do things that have any risk.  In New York State,

    You have to be at least 18:

    • to use a tanning saloon;
    • to get married;
    • to be prosecuted as an adult;
    • to get piercings and tattoos without parental consent.

    You have to be at least 21:

    • to buy a semi-automatic rifle;
    • to buy tobacco and e cigarettes;
    • to buy nitrous oxide cylinders

    Consistency never being a trait of politicians in general and leftist politicians in particular, children are now being threatened by the latest round of left-wing madness; bills A6761 and S8352 propose doing away with the age of medical consent, without parental approval.

    The official descriptions of NY legislature bills A6761 and S8352 say: “allows homeless youth to give effective consent to certain medical, dental, health, and hospital services, provides for insurance coverage of such health care services consented to by such youth.“  (Emphasis added.)

    Do you believe the bill’s description or your lying eyes?

    A6761 / S8352 allows any medical procedure, including trans surgery, for ALL children, not just runaways and homeless minors, without parental consent.

    The key language in the bill says, “Any person, including a minor, who comprehends the need for, the nature of and the reasonably foreseeable risks and benefits involved in any contemplated medical, dental, health and/or hospital services and any alternatives thereto, may give effective consent to such services for themselves, and the consent of no other person shall be necessary.”  (Emphasis added.)

    Under this law, a 12 year old can decide what medical care he / she will receive, including genital mutilation surgery in the name of ‘affirmative’ health care.

    Question: why is this law necessary, since a New York law already allows physicians to treat runaway youth if the child’s health is in danger and a parent cannot be reached.*  

    Answer: to the Left, the law is necessary because A6761 / S8352 will cover ALL children not just homeless and runaway youth and it can be used to promote the gender confusion agenda of the Left.

    This bill ‘s authors obviously believe that parents are not to be trusted with their children’s healthcare - and that the child knows better than the parents. Do children know enough about their own personal and familial medical history to make life-altering medical decisions?  Do children have the knowledge and experience to make life altering decisions? Is completely removing parental involvement in a child’s healthcare a good thing?

    Oh yes, parents will still be legally responsible for the care of the child if there is any fallout or complications.

    Nothing in A6761/S8532 prevents minors from being recruited for experimental procedures. There are no protections for developmentally disabled minors, especially those who are not visibly disabled.  Do children feel mentally strong enough to challenge adults promoting a political agenda?

    2A defenders are no less concerned about their children’s welfare than those with no interest in 2A.  And the people endangering our children are also the people endangering 2A.  The extreme leftists have built a bridge between factions that oppose leftist goals. We need to take advantage of that bridge and work with these other groups to rid our state of this insanity.  

    You have an issue of mutual interest and pursuing that issue will have the added benefit of defending 2A.

    *New York Public Health Law, Paragraph 4.

  • 01/24/2024 12:08 PM | Anonymous

    Anti 2A Bills

    Numerous anti-2A bills get proposed in the NY State legislature every year.   It’s educational to follow a few of them and see the various issues surrounding them.

    Keep in mind that the current legislative session includes calendar years 2023 and 2024.  Any bill introduced in 2023 and not rejected is still alive in 2024.  (It dies and must be reintroduced after 2024.)


    On January 4, 2023, State Senator Sean Ryan, Brian Kavanagh, Iwen Chu and Julia Salazar (all Democrats) filed proposed law S138 to remove the National Rifle Association from the list of entities authorized to grant certificates as instructors in small arms practice.

    S138 is the same as Assembly bill A0663

    S138 was passed by the Senate on June 7, 2023 (41 to 20) and was delivered to the Assembly

    Assembly has not ever taken a vote on it.

    S138 was referred back to Senate Codes Committee

    Note: The NRA has a decades long record of first-rate firearm instruction.  Why would it be removed from the list of eligible instructors for anything but political reasons?  This is an excellent example of the Democrat Party using its political power to punish those of which they disapprove.


    On January 4, 2023 State Senator Sean Ryan has also filed proposed law S140 which would revoke a license to carry, possess, repair and dispose of firearms for a conviction for failure to safely store rifles, shotguns, and firearms.

    S140 was referred to Senate Codes Committee.

    Note:  No conviction for any crime is necessary, just fail to store your firearm in accordance with NYS regulations and you would lose your 2A rights.  Sounds unconstitutional, but when has that ever stopped a Democrat gun grabber?


    On March 27, 2023, State Senator Kevin Parker filed proposed law S6033 stating that “Any person in this state who shall own a firearm shall, prior to such ownership, obtain and continuously maintain a policy of liability insurance in an amount not less than one million. Failure to maintain such insurance shall result in the immediate revocation of such owner's registration, license and any other privilege to own such firearm.

    S6033 was referred to Senate Insurance Committee.   

    Note If you don’t have liability insurance you lose your 2A rights!  What’s next, needing liability insurance to exercise your 1st Amendment rights in case you offend someone?  Again, unconstitutional but that doesn’t stop the Democrats.

    Here are three bills lurking in the background.  Do they have a chance of getting passed?  S138 got passed by the Senate and made it to the Assembly which is overwhelmingly Democrat but for some reason the Assembly Speaker did not bring it up for a vote.  The other two are sitting in Senate committees and could be acted upon at any time.

    So, what do we do?

    Democrats Kavanagh, Chu, Salazar and Parker all have districts in the NY City / Long Island area and are probably safe from 2A supporters effectively challenging them. 

    However, Parker is known for violent rages and has been convicted for them and also accused of rape.  Even the far left New York Times editorial board wrote that that Parker was "known as the man with frightening rages that could erupt at any time and on almost any subject…Mr. Parker should be censured, and voters in central Brooklyn should start recruiting a qualified replacement.”

    Will the Democrat Party do the right thing and replace him?  The seat would most likely still be in Democrat hands, in any case.

    Sean Ryan’s Senate District 61 stretches from Buffalo's inner suburbs to the southwestern corner of Rochester and including parts of Erie and Monroe Counties and all of Genesee County.  Registration is 37.8% Democrat and 33.6% Republican, so it is relatively close.  But in 2022, Ryan won with 56.6% to 43.3% so there are probably Independents in the district who are closet Democrats.  Is he beatable with a strong candidate and support?

    S138 passed the Senate on an almost straight party line vote; the only Republican to vote for it was Jack Martins, whose district is on the north shore of Long Island.  Martins is a different problem. His district registration is 40.4% Democrat to 28.4% Republican.  But in 2022 he defeated a Democrat incumbent 53.2% to 46.8%. 

    Was Martins tossing his Democrat constituents a bone when he voted for S138.

    The answer, again, is for 2A supporters (and others) to get motivated to vote in districts where there is a chance of victory.  Until Republican supporters of 2A get back a majority in the NY State Senate, we are in constant danger of having our 2A rights infringed.

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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