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Briefings  from our SCOPE membership

  • 08/15/2023 8:42 AM | Anonymous

    NY State Ammo Background Check set to begin September 13, 2023

    A new date has been set for implementation of a background check when purchasing ammunition in NY State. The check was part of the Concealed Carry Improvement Act passed on July 1, 2022 following the Supreme Court’s decision favoring gun owners in the New York State Rifle Association v. Bruen case decided in June. 

    This ‘start date’ has been bumped up multiple times since it original implementation date of September 1, 2022. It remains to be seen if it materializes this September.

    A requirement for “sellers of ammunition” to maintain a record of all Ammo sales actually went into effect September 1, 2022.  A database to allow State Police to perform background checks on all gun and ammo sales was promised by NY when the so-called “safe” act was passed in January 2013. The state expected the FBI to permit usage of its NICS system but this was rejected by the FBI. Subsequently NY has not been able to develop its own database for such purposes. Nor has it had the manpower to operate the system. 

    Realize that there are two facets to the new regulations. First is the involvement of the State Police as a “middleman” for the purchase of a gun. FFL’s will no longer contact the FBI directly through it’s NICS check system. A gun dealer must go through the State Police. A new fee of $9.00 will be paid by the gun purchaser. There is no indication as to whether the process will be prolonged as a result of involving the State Police. 

    The second aspect of the new law requires a background check for the sale of all ammunition. Each transaction carries a new fee of $2.50 to the state. There is not expected to be a limit on the number of rounds of ammo a person can buy with each transaction. 

    It has been reported that a purchaser must provide, not just the customer's name, address, date of birth, and type and quantity of ammunition, but also their occupation.

    This leads one to believe that the intent is to allow for the purchase of ammunition that exactly matches the guns owned by the customer. But this would require the state to force us to disclose the caliber of each gun we own. Presently this could only apply to guns requiring a permit, handguns or so-called “assault weapons”. 

    Such an ammo background database was never funded and was even suspended in 2015 by a “Memorandum of Understanding”. But it was never signed by Democratic leadership and remains in limbo. The funding remains a critical roadblock.

  • 08/14/2023 8:54 AM | Anonymous

    Defund and Destroy the Police  by Tom Reynolds

    Remember ‘Defund the police’ - which came to include ‘Don’t support the police since they are white supremacist racists?’  How has that worked out?

    In the 1990s, NY City Mayor Rudy Giuliani warned that “Petty crimes” such as vandalism, graffiti, burglary, public begging, squatting, illegal drug use, prostitution, filth, when not dealt with promptly and appropriately, quickly digress into out-of-control major crimes. Under Giuliani, NYCity was the safest big city in America and people wanted to live there

    Giuliani was ridiculed and condemned by Democrats and the media as, among other things, a racist.

    Since Giuliani, and with a succession of leftist mayors, New York City has grown more crime filled. 

    To answer the crime problem, instead of more police, NY City now has “Violence Interrupters”; former gang members and people who have ‘experienced’ the criminal justice system acting as Violence Interrupters to try and stop shootings before they occur or to respond to the scenes of shootings to prevent retaliation.  (‘Experienced the criminal justice system’ is the leftist way of saying they were criminals.  What could go wrong?)

    This is what!

    Michael Rodriguez is a director of “Bronx Rises Against Gun Violence,” which is part of Mayor Eric Adams’ Violence Interrupter” plan.  He lives in Westchester, not in the Bronx!  He was arrested as a part of a narcotics trafficking network; officials say they found in his home over 1.5 kilograms of cocaine, $165,509 in currency, scales, a money counter, a vacuum sealer, digital scales and jewelry estimated to have a value of approximately $50,000.

    Oh yeah, they also found an unlicensed Ruger .380 caliber pistol and an unlicensed Bond Arms .357 caliber handgun.  Isn’t it interesting that criminals are armed but ordinary citizens of NY City are not, which makes the citizens into “prey.” 

    The violence interrupter model started in 1995 in Chicago.  (What a success story to build upon!) The program’s most ardent supporters say it is ‘promising.’

    Some disagree.  The New York Post’s editorial board stated, “NYC needs cops, not violence interrupters.” Pointing to the city’s crime statistics – total felonies are up by 39% since 2021 and murders are now 40% above 2019 levels – it describes government outreach to such groups as an empty political gesture, one that is “less than useless for actual public safety” given that the “available statistical evidence to date suggests ‘interruption’ programs do very little, if anything, to drive down crime rates.”

    In July, NY City Mayor Eric Adams said, “…crime is down across the city year to date, and our numbers continue to trend in the right direction.” 

    The Mark Twain saying, “Figure don’t lie but liars can figure” seems to be true, since somebody has to be wrong. 

    What’s the truth? 

    People vote with their feet and NY City residents, especially the high earners have been fleeing the city.  Leftist Bloomberg puts a positive spin on outmigration from NYC.  They point out that it’s not as bad as it was; annual outmigration dropped from 300,000 to 200,000.

    In 2020, Reuters reported that, “In Tribeca, a wealthy neighborhood in downtown Manhattan, residents who left this year earned an average income of about $140,000…The typical person moving into the neighborhood earned an average $82,000.”

    Now there’s an economic plan doomed to failure.  Something which should sound familiar to all New Yorkers.

    Why are they leaving the “Big Apple”.  Could crime have something to do with it?  Soros funded prosecutors are the anti-Giuliani’s as they don’t prosecute lower-level crime.

    Police are leaving their jobs for lack of support.  Urban flight’ was once used to describe the move to the suburbs but could now describe law enforcement officers fleeing big cities.  It doesn’t just happen in NY City.

    Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore is reporting that LAPD’s complement of sworn officers has now dropped below 9,000 officers.  The Los Angeles City budget calls for 9,300 sworn officers (down from a high of 9,900 in 2010). 

    This means that when you call the police in LA for anything short of a life-threatening, forcible felony in progress, they’re not coming!  The operator will curtly tell you to go to their web page and “file a report online.”

    Ah, but count on another liberal stronghold, Illinois, to solve the police shortage problem.

    A new bill allowing eligible non-U.S. citizens in Illinois to become police officers was signed into law by Governor J. B. Pritzker.  The bill, which will come into force on January 1, 2024, allows eligible immigrants who are not U.S. citizens to join law enforcement in Illinois.

    Republican Congresswoman Lauren Boebert said, "People who are breaking the law by their presence here can now arrest American citizens. You know the other blue states are watching and getting ready to implement this idea as soon as they can!"

    Illinois Republican Mary Miller tweeted: "No sane state would allow foreign nationals to arrest their citizens!"  (She is right, no SANE state would allow it.)

    The bill was also denounced by the Fraternal Order of Police, an organization consisting of law enforcement officers nationwide. "This is a potential crisis of confidence in law enforcement at a time when our officers need all the public confidence they can get."

    The bill's description on the Illinois General Assembly's website says, “an individual who is not a citizen but is legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law is authorized to apply for the position of police officers."  Eligible non-U.S. citizens, “must be able to obtain, carry, purchase, or otherwise possess a firearm under federal law.”

    Foreign nationals "against whom the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services have deferred immigration action under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process" will also be eligible, according to the bill's text.

    If an active duty police officer were to break the law, they would probably be suspended from duty until the case was resolved and eventually fired if convicted of the crime.  But someone who broke the law in getting into the country need not worry about such legal issues.

    Of course, all these solutions ignore one of the most obvious solutions, let the citizens be armed to protect themselves.  Which is, I’m pretty sure, a protected right under one of those pecky constitutional amendments.

  • 08/11/2023 11:04 AM | Anonymous

    What gender is a computer?  by Tom Reynolds

    With all the controversy of gender, we should remember that we often give inanimate objects a gender: ships; countries; etc. But computers have not yet been given a gender.

    So, what gender is a computer? A comedienne offered this answer.

    Men believe computers are feminine. Why?

    Because no one but their Creator understands their internal logic.

    When computers speak to each other, they speak in a code language that only they and experts can understand.

    Every mistake you make is stored on their hard drive for later retrieval.

    As soon as you commit to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck accessorizing it.

    Women believe computers are masculine. Why?

    In order to get their attention, you have to turn them on.

    They have a lot of data but can’t think for themselves.

    They are supposed t help you solve problems but half the time they are the problem.

    As soon as you commit to one you realize that, if you had waited longer, you could have gotten a better model.

    Remember when we could tease each other without committing a microaggression?

    Remember the commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. There is a little known addendum to that commandment: it does not apply to computers. No one will go to Hell for swearing at a computer.

  • 08/10/2023 8:04 PM | Anonymous

    Hochul Strikes Again  by Tom Reynolds

    Our friends at GOA-NY sent us a copy of an email from 2A Attorney Paloma Capanna which should be of interest to all New York gun owners.

    The New York State Police held a call to discuss the changes that will impact retailers across the state as New York transitions to being a ‘point of contact state’; that is, the state police will be the initial contact/ clearing house for all background checks for firearms and ammunition. The FBI will stop all connections with Federal Firearms Licensees in New York State once the NYS Police becomes the Point of Contact.

    All NYS Firearms and Ammunition Dealers can start to register under the new system beginning on August 16th, even though they are already registered as a Federal Firearms Licensee.  Each user (administrators and store employees) will need an business account.

    The targeted date for the NYS Police to take over processing NICS applications is Wednesday, September 13th. 

    The new background check fee for firearms will be $9 and for ammunition will be $2.50; they will begin on that date.  

    The state police will be the intermediary for all firearms transactions as background checks will go to NYSP and NYSP will, then, contact NICS.  NICS checks are free so, to use a Mafia phrase, NY State gets to ‘wet its beak’ into an otherwise free transaction.

    The anti-2A New York bureaucracy is inserting itself into a proven process. There was no concrete information given concerning how the new system will function, recourse for when it fails, an appeals process or the inevitable delays retailers will experience.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Well, for instance…

    The state police said that there could be situations where someone could pass a background check for a firearm but fail for the ammunition. (Their explanation was that for ammunition they might check more records in state.)  Welcome to New York’s bureaucratic world.

    Live operators will only be available to help with technical assistance, they will not have the ability to enter NICS applications on behalf of the business.  So much for customer service!

    For those of us who live close to the Pennsylvania border, it would probably not be financially worthwhile to make a special trip in order to buy ammo, gas price being what it is.  Unless for spite.  But if we happen to be in Pennsylvania…it’s just another jolt to New York’s staggering economy.

    Did anyone in Hochul’s ‘brain trust’ figure out that if one fails the ammo test, it becomes a short road trip to PA in order to get around this restriction?  Remember what happened when there were ‘dry counties’ in New York?  (At least drivers buying ammo will be sober.)

    An important reminder: NY’s Income tax form IT-201 line 59 (Sales and Use Tax).  If you buy an item in another state that would be taxable in New York and bring it across state lines, you need to pay NY Sales and Use tax on it.  (SCOPE is just being a good citizen in reminding you of this even though we are sure no SCOPE members would ever dream of shorting NY State on this!)

  • 08/09/2023 1:44 PM | Anonymous

    NY State Proposed Firearm Legislation

    The current NY Legislature is in office for 2023 and 2024. Any proposed bills introduced in 2023, but not approved or rejected, are automatically carried over into 2024. If those bills are not acted on in 2024, they are dead and must be reintroduced as a new bill, with a new number, in 2025. Below is a list of bills concerning firearms that were introduced in 2023 and are still alive. (There are probably more!) Some bills have ’companion’ bills introduced in both the Senate and the Assembly and they are noted.

    You can find more information on these bills on

    They are also listed on the SCOPE website: NYS Legislation


    Includes certain violations involving the use of a machine-gun, firearm silencer, firearm, rifle, shotgun, disguised gun, ghost gun or assault weapon as qualifying offenses for the purpose of imposing bail.


    Establishes a private cause of action for certain violations regarding machine-guns, assault weapons, disguised guns, ghost guns, and unfinished frames or receivers.


    Includes offenses involving the possession, display or discharge of a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine-gun, or disguised gun as qualifying offenses for the purpose of allowing a principal to be eligible to be held on bail.


    Relates to gun buyback programs; requires entities operating such programs to check the serial number of all firearms obtained against the NYSPIN records and to obtain the express permission of the lawful owner of any firearm found to be stolen before the destruction thereof.


    Authorizes the court the discretion to release persons charged with certain crimes involving possession of a firearm on their own recognizance or under non-monetary conditions, fix bail, or commit the person to the custody of the sheriff.


    Relates to prohibiting the possession of certain 50 caliber firearms; directs the division of state police to embark on a program whereby persons currently in lawful possession of such weapons may be reimbursed for the fair market value thereof upon.


    Requires persons possessing any firearm to hold a firearms safety certificate; establishes application and training process therefor; makes technical corrections.


    Relates to the regulation of three-dimensional printed firearms; provides that a person who intentionally sells, distributes, or disposes of a three-dimensional printed firearm is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.


    Enacts the "children's weapon accident prevention act"; creates crimes of failure to store a weapon safely in the first and second degrees, aggravated failure to store a weapon safely, and criminally negligent storage of a weapon in the first and second degrees; provides affirmative defenses; directs the commissioner of education to develop a weapons safety program.


    Prohibits the possession and use of live ammunition at a film production facility or a qualified film production facility; requires all persons employed or present at a film production facility or a qualified film production facility to receive proper training on the safe use, handling, storage and transportation of firearms.


    Restricts the sale of ammunition to only individuals authorized to possess such weapon; creates the no-gun database under the division of criminal justice services.


    Relates to suspension and revocation of firearms licenses; relates to private sale or

    disposal of firearms, rifles or shotguns; establishes a minimum age to possess a firearm relating to gun control.


    Prohibits gun industry members from marketing firearms and firearm related products to minors; establishes a private right of action for violations.


    Prohibits entry to gun shows to anyone under twelve years of age.


    Establishes the offense of unlawful possession of firearms by persons under twenty-one.


    Increases penalties for criminal use of a firearm in the first degree when committing a drug related felony offense.


    Requires the division of criminal justice services to establish and maintain a database of information relating to the sale or use of microstamped guns in the state and to promulgate regulations regarding the provision of information pertaining to the sale, use or delivery of such guns within the state.


    Relates to establishing the civil rights restoration act; amends provisions regarding firearm licenses and destruction of firearms; exempts certain individuals from providing photographs in order to obtain a firearm license; expands the definition of immediate family.


    Establishes the crimes of carjacking in first, second and third degrees, as the stealing of a motor vehicle from a person or presence of another person through the use or threatened use of force; increases penalties for causing injury to such victim, displaying a real or fake gun or using such a weapon; provides that all carjackings are violent felony offenses.


    Expands juvenile offender status to include rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse in the second degree and aggravated sexual abuse in the third degree if committed by persons thirteen, fourteen or fifteen years of age.


    Establishes the class A-I felony of criminal use of a firearm for possessing a deadly weapon or displaying what appears to be or is a rifle, pistol, revolver, shotgun, machine gun or other firearm during the commission of a class A or violent felony; repeals the offenses of criminal use of a firearm in the first or second degrees.


    Provides for the posting of firearm signage in areas in which the rate of gun violence is above the national average.


    Requires police officers to take temporary custody of firearms for not less than one hundred twenty hours when responding to reports of family violence.


    Removes the prohibition on firearm silencers.


    Relates to criminal penalties for possession, theft, or sale of stolen firearms, shotguns and rifles.


    Requires reasonable controls and procedures to be taken with respect to the sale, manufacturing, importing and marketing of rapid fire modification devices.


    Requires liability insurance for owners of firearms, rifles and shotguns.


    Requires victims of firearm violence be offered and/or provided psychiatric care.


    Makes clarifying changes to the definition of imitation weapon.


    Prohibits the promotion, sale, transfer, exchange, giving or disposing of a weapon on property owned by the state or any political subdivision thereof.


    Relates to limiting the acquisition of a rifle or shotgun to one per ninety-day period.


    Enhances the penalties for crimes committed during a riot.


    Relates to licensing and other provisions relating to firearms.


    Relates to lowering the age for universal hunting licenses from 14 years old to 12 years old.


    Expands qualifying offenses eligible for pretrial detention and bail.


    Relates to hunting and hunting licenses.

  • 08/08/2023 5:32 PM | Anonymous

    To Bribe or Not To Bribe, That is the Question  by Tom Reynolds

    Unless you have been living in a cave, you are aware of the multiple criminal charges against former President Donald Trump.  The leftist media can’t say enough about those charges.  However, they are not rabidly covering accusations against President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.  Nor is the Department of Justice highly motivated to investigate charges against Biden.

    It seems apparent that the charges against Trump are a message from the D C Swamp that this is what happens when you go against the Swamp.  The Swamp has also been sending ‘this is what happens’ messages to anyone who would assist Trump.  And let’s not forget government agencies interfering in the 2024 presidential election. But there is also a fourth part of this story, an attempt to make accusations against President Biden disappear from public view into the bowels of the Department of Justice.  

    New York State Congresswoman Claudia Tenney bluntly spelled out the situation when she wrote:

    Americans are not fooled by the latest set of politically motivated charges concocted against President Trump by Biden’s corrupt Department of Justice, led by dirty cop AG Merrick Garland, and spearheaded by the Biden Crime Family’s attack dog, Jack Smith. Instead, Americans see the indictment for what it is: yet another shameful abuse of our criminal justice system and further illustration of why our fellow citizens have lost faith in our institutions. The timing of the charges is not coincidental.

    It’s a transparent, calculated, and desperate attempt to prevent Americans from learning the truth: Joe Biden has been caught running a criminal influence peddling, money laundering and bribery enterprise using his troubled son as a proxy to enrich himself and his family. Period. This latest weaponization of our government and gross overreach of power is election interference. This stunt can now be placed alongside similar nefarious antics: the Russia Collusion Hoax, Impeachment Hoax #1, Impeachment Hoax #2, January 6 committee show trial, phony Mar-a-Lago boxes hoax and Alvin Bragg’s phony charges. 

    Devon Archer’s damning testimony to the House Oversight Committee on the Biden Family should have been a day to cause Biden’s co-conspirators to do some soul searching and put country first once and for all. Instead, these same individuals continue to serve the Biden brand, whatever the cost. Not only are these legal gymnastics a complete violation of equal justice under the law, President Trump’s First Amendment rights and an attempt to interfere in the 2024 election but a truly dangerous precedent for our justice system has been set.

    Among the issues Tenney was writing about are possible bribes to Joe Biden when he was Vice President.  What are the facts?

    In 2015, Ukrainian energy company Burisma was under suspicion of money laundering and public corruption. Ukrainian prosecutor Victor Shokin investigated the case before he was terminated due to pressure applied by then-Vice President Joe Biden, who threatened to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid from Ukraine if the Ukrainian government did not fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma.

    This was attested to by Joe Biden, himself.  During a 2018 appearance at the Council of Foreign Relations, Biden said: “I said, I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars. I said, you’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours.  I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.”

    Those seem to be uncontestable facts. 

    It is reported that, under oath, Hunter Biden’s close business associate Devon Archer testified before the House Oversight Committee that, in December 2015, Burisma cofounder Mykola Zlochevsky and Burisma executive Vadym Pozharski put pressure on Hunter Biden to get help from Washington, DC, regarding the Ukrainian prosecutor Viktor Shokin’s investigation of Burisma corruption.

    Archer was under oath when he said this and he was stating a fact, as he knew it.

    So, how has Biden explained this away?

    Biden and his Democrat and media backers pushed the narrative that Biden didn’t want Shokin fired for investigating Burisma, but for NOT investigating Burisma. Then-Vice President Biden was only executing American policy. 

    The evidence to the contrary of Biden’s explanation comes from the ‘laptop from hell.’  Burisma executive Pozharskyi’s November 2015 email to Hunter Biden and his colleagues spoke of Burisma’s “ultimate purpose” being “to close down…any cases/pursuits against Nikolay in Ukraine.” Burisma’s founder, Zlochevsky, and its top executive, Pozharskyi, feared Shokin and his investigation.

    And the claim that Shokin never went after any corrupt individuals at all doesn’t square with even the Democrat Washington Post’s reporting that under Shokin in February 2016, Ukraine had reinstated a court order to seize Zlochevsky’s personal property, including a mansion, a luxury car, and plots of land.

    Then there is a common-sense question: In a world of huge challenges, why would the United States government be focused on the removal of a prosecutor in a small eastern European country, to the extent it would compromise foreign policy to get rid of him?

    Devon Archer told House investigators that he believed the Biden brand kept Burisma from going out of business.  Archer said. “I think Burisma would have gone out of business if it didn’t have the brand attached to it.”

    Archer was also under oath when he said this but it was phrased as an opinion. 

    An informant has told House Republicans that the informant has two pieces of evidence that show Joe and Hunter Biden each received $5 million in small sums through separate bank accounts to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to fire the prosecutor. 

    The evidence has not been made public, as yet.  Tracing the receipt of the $5 million each has been difficult since it ran through a number of Limited Liability Corporations that have been reported to have no business dealings other than transferring money.  (Money laundering?)

    If the money can be traced to Joe Biden, that would certainly qualify as a bribe.

    One would believe that the U S government’s Department of Justice could trace these funds if it were a mind to.  However, the Attorney General is Merrick Garland and you may note Claudia Tenney’s description of him.

    Of course, headlines about informants don’t always prove to be true: remember the Russian Collusion headlines.  But because of Merrick Garland’s lack of ’energy’ in pursuing accusations against Biden, how will the public know the real story.

    Lastly, there is the Foreign Agents Registration Act  which is a United States law that imposes public disclosure obligations on persons representing foreign interests. It requires "foreign agents" - defined as individuals or entities engaged in domestic lobbying or advocacy for foreign governments, organizations, or persons- to register with the Department of Justice and disclose their relationship, activities, and related financial compensation.

    It’s not illegal to represent a foreign entity, unless you are a government official, but you must register as such.

    Neither Hunter or Joe have so registered. And we know Hunter got paid $1 million a year to do what for Burisma?

    Evidence seems to be mounting that Joe Biden was supporting of his son’s lobbying for a foreign organization, which made Joe a ‘foreign agent’ when he was also Vice President of the United States. 

    And, perhaps, for a bribe.

  • 08/01/2023 2:17 PM | Anonymous

    Congress Can’t Write Plainly  by Tom Reynolds

    Per the Gateway Pundit: According to federal guidance circulated among hunting education groups and shared with Fox News Digital, the Department of Education determined that, under the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) passed last year, school hunting and archery classes are precluded from receiving federal funding. The interpretation could impact millions of American children enrolled in such programs.  (Emphasis added.)

    The actual law, [Section 8526 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965

    (20 U.S.C. 7906)] including the above change, reads as follows (the bold sections are the ones of concern)

    7906. Prohibited uses of funds

    No funds under this chapter may be used—

    (1) for construction, renovation, or repair of any school facility, except as authorized under this chapter;

    (2) for transportation unless otherwise authorized under this chapter;

    (3) to develop or distribute materials, or operate programs or courses of instruction directed at youth, that are designed to promote or encourage sexual activity, whether homosexual or heterosexual;

    (4) to distribute or to aid in the distribution by any organization of legally obscene materials to minors on school grounds;

    (5) to provide sex education or HIV-prevention education in schools unless that instruction is age appropriate and includes the health benefits of abstinence;

    (6) to operate a program of contraceptive distribution in schools; or

    (7) for the provision to any person of a dangerous weapon, as defined in SECTION 930(G)(2) OF TITLE 18, or training in the use of a dangerous weapon.

    This sounds like schools may not use funds to support things like archery and hunter education since they involve the use of a dangerous weapon.

    But wait…

    Republican Senator John Cornyn of Texas was a key person in getting the bill passed.  Blaze Media reports that: “…Cornyn and Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina penned a letter to Education Secretary Miguel Cardona this month stating that they believe the Department of Education is misinterpreting the BSCA provision regarding school funding. The senators noted that it was intended to prevent education funds from being used for school resource officer training, which is funded under a different provision. (Emphasis added.)

    "We were alarmed to learn recently that the Department of Education has misinterpreted the BCSA to require the defunding of certain longstanding educational and enrichment programs — specifically, archery and hunter education classes — for thousands of children, who rely on these programs to develop life skills, learn firearm safety and build self-esteem."

    "The Department mistakenly believes that the BSCA precludes funding these enrichment programs…Such an interpretation contradicts congressional intent and the text of the BSCA."

    If Cornyn is correct and he is not C Y Aing, wouldn’t one think that Congress, with all its resources, should be able to write a simple statement that is clear and does not need interpretation (that’s called full employment for lawyers, of which John Cornyn is one.)

    But what if Cornyn is C Y Aing and the statement does apply to archery and hunting?

    It’s not as big a deal as made out to be.  It’s called the interchangeability (fungibility) of funding.  (It’s also called full employment for accountants.)

    Any school that wants to continue funding these activities takes money out of an ‘approved’ area and transfers it to fund archery and hunting.  Then, the school uses the federal money that can’t be used for archery and hunting for that ‘approved’ area that was just shorted.

    The only problem with the latter is that it gives liberal school administrators the ability to kill archery and hunting by not doing anything. 

    SCOPE will keep you informed as we learn more.

  • 07/31/2023 4:22 PM | Anonymous

    Chevron  by Tom Reynolds

    The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), in Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo, has agreed to reconsider one of its foundational decisions, Chevron v. National Resources Defense Council (the Chevron Doctrine.)

    The Loper Bright case involves small vessels that fish for Atlantic Herring.  Why should gun owners be interested in a case involving the Chevron Doctrine?  In three letters: A T F. (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives)

    The Chevron doctrine established that courts ordinarily should defer to policymaking decisions made by federal agencies, (such as ATF for example.)  SCOTUS held that “a court may not substitute its own construction of a statutory provision for a reasonable interpretation made by the administrator of an agency.” This Chevron doctrine “directs courts to accept an agency’s reasonable resolution of an ambiguity in a statute that the agency administers.” 

    This doctrine has allowed federal executive branch agencies, such as the A T F, to run wild, unchecked by either Congress or the courts.  Don’t believe that?  According to the legal database Lexis Nexis, federal courts have cited Chevron in over 19,000 different judicial opinions.

    Liberal judges were happy to adhere to the Chevron doctrine because it transferred power to the uber liberal administrative state (the Swamp.)  Conservative judges adhered to it for a different reason; because they obeyed the rule of law as handed down by SCOTUS.  The net result being the unrestrained growth of the Swamp’s rulemaking power, which we are seeing in the A T F’s anti 2nd Amendment rulings. 

    Defenders of Chevron argue that agencies typically have far greater expertise in the areas they regulate than judges, and thus are more likely to make wise policy decisions.  (This interpretation would make Pete Buttigieg, as Transportation Secretary, more of an expert in transportation than, say, any cab driver or grocery delivery boy in NY City?  We should defer to his expertise?)  

    Chevron defenders also state that overruling Chevron would make the United States less democratic. They argue that overturning Chevron would concentrate authority over federal policymaking within the unelected court, which would shift power away from the other two branches, whose leaders are elected.

    This argument ignores that Chevron switched the lawmaking authority from the legislature and put it in the executive branch, which violates the very first sentence of the very first Article and the very first Section of the Constitution. 

    Their position also ignores Article III of the Constitution which vests the judicial power in SCOTUS.

    (But violating the Constitution has never been much of a moral impediment to the Left.)

    2nd Amendment defenders are probably aware of the A T F’s recent actions on: pistol stabilizing braces; homemade suppressors / silencers; that frames and receivers are the same as fully functional firearms; ghost guns; bump stocks; among others.  The A T F has also increased its attempts to drive Federal Firearms Licensees out of business.  Adhering to Chevron makes the A T F’s word the final word.

    And it’s not just 2A that would be affected.  Last year, Biden proposed a Disinformation Governance Board to protect us from thoughts and ideas that vary from the approved federal government’s position.  Under Chevron, government agencies would decide what is protected speech under the 1st Amendment and judges would defer to the agency’s decision as the experts.

    Chevron is still the law but SCOTUS has been inching its way to overturning Chevron.

    Multiple organizations have filed briefs in support of overturning Chevron.

    The Atlantic Leal Foundation said: “A federal agency should not be able to hide behind Chevron while arrogating to itself a pivotal power…that the Constitution assigns exclusively to Congress."

    The Firearms Policy Coalition brief says: “Chevron violates Article III by transferring from the judiciary to the executive the ultimate interpretative authority to say what the law is…It violates Article I by incentivizing Congress to abdicate its legislative duties and delegate legislative authority to the executive. As a result, Chevron accumulates legislative, executive, and judicial powers in a single branch of government—which the Founders considered the very definition of tyranny.”

    2A defenders too often focus narrowly on issues that have the word gun in them while missing other issues that will have as much effect on their 2nd Amendment rights.  We need to be informing them that the Left is always looking for the backdoor to stripping us of our Constitutional rights.  We also need to ally with other organizations that may not be directly 2A centric but believe, as we do, in preserving the Constitution.

    We are probably a year away from a decision on this, but let’s hope SCOTUS keeps recognizing that past liberal precedents reflect a judge’s wishes and not the written law as approved by the founding fathers in the Constitution.

  • 07/26/2023 11:38 AM | Anonymous

    Challenge the Lies  by Don Smith/Tom Reynolds

    Wayne County Chairman Don Smith is one of our more active SCOPE members and when he saw a cartoon in the Times of Wayne County which blamed mass shootings on ‘assault weapons’ and absolved mental health issues of being a cause, he had to reply.  Below is his response.

    One of your misguided cartoons in the July 23rd issue requires clarification due to an obvious exaggeration. You are attempting to stigmatize a rifle commonly owned by law abiding citizens as a despicable firearm. You are likely hoping readers will interpret the gun as an “assault weapon”.

    It would be far better to educate your audience rather than attempt to mislead them. “Assault weapon” is an invented term. In the firearm lexicon, there is no such thing as an “assault weapon”.  A judge once commented at a Wayne County SCOPE meeting that the “assault weapon” encountered most often in his courtroom was a “sneaker”.

    In most cases, so-called “assault weapons” are functionally identical though less powerful than hunting rifles, but they are cosmetically similar to military guns.

    Nationally, “assault weapons” were used in 1.4% of crimes involving firearms and 0.25% of all violent crime before the enactment of any national or state “assault weapons” ban. In many major urban areas (San Antonio, Mobile, Nashville, etc.) and some entire states (Maryland, New Jersey, etc.) the rate is less than 0.1% according to Dr. Gary Kleck in his book “Targeting Guns”. Dr. Kleck is a criminologist and professor emeritus at Florida State University. 

    There are many reasons people prefer to use these firearms:

    • They are easy to operate.
    • They are reliable in outdoor conditions (backpacking, hunting, etc.)
    • They are accurate.
    • They are good for recreational and competitive target shooting.
    • They have value in many self-defense situations.

    Don did what we all have to do when we see the emotional exaggerations and lies of the leftist media - he responded with facts. 

    Unfortunately, we are surrounded by misinformation on ‘assault rifles’ and our 2nd Amendment rights.  But most people only hear the drumbeat of the leftist media, Hollywood, the education industry and Democrat politicians.  If we are to keep our rights, we must do what Don has done and openly challenge this propaganda.

    One small step but a giant step for our rights.

  • 07/25/2023 2:37 PM | Anonymous

    Under the Radar  by Tom Reynolds

    Assemblyman Phil Palmesano is one of the more active legislators and can often be found addressing a SCOPE meeting.  Last Monday, he spoke to the Steuben County SCOPE Chapter about some legislation that probably slipped below your radar.  All of the legislation is intended to further cement the anti-2A left’s power through election law changes.

    A05874 and S350 provide that any legal challenge to the constitutionality of the election law shall be brought in the following designated courts:

    first judicial department: New York county;

    second judicial department: Westchester county;

    third judicial department: Albany county;

    fourth judicial department: Erie county.

    Previously, one could make an election law challenge in your local NY Supreme Court before a locally elected judge.  Now you have to travel and none of these courts are located in central New York.

    Micromanaging these court venues means cases will be heard in a select few venues that just so happen to have extremely high concentrations of Democrat representation.  (Purely a coincidence?)

    A07632A and S07394A expand absentee voting. Near-universal absentee ballots will greatly increase the risk of election fraud. 

    So, the opportunity for election fraud is increased and it will be more difficult to take a case to court.

    A4282b and S3505b provides that certain local elections (outside of New York City) shall now be in an even-numbered year.  Changing the election cycle will undoubtedly drown local issues out at the expense of national ones.

    Note that it will not change School Board elections which typically have the lowest turn out and are held in schools instead of the regular election places.

    One change that may not have gone below your radar is that the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court in Albany ordered, on July 13th, that New York State’s congressional map be redrawn.

    Pursuant to a referendum in 2014, in NY State, redistricting occurs through the Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC), which is bipartisan and evenly split between Democrats and Republicans. However, if the commission fails to reach a decision, the state legislature — which has a sizable Democratic majority — can and did impose a map of their own. That happened in 2022, prompting lawsuits claiming that the legislature’s maps were partisan gerrymandering. 

    The maps drawn by the legislature were so partisan that even the leftist Court of Appeals struck them down.  The 2022 district lines were ultimately drawn by a neutral, court-appointed expert and were thought to be competitive.

    Too competitive for Democrat tastes.  Republican areas ended up with Republican congresspersons.

    Appeals of the latest decision are imminent.

    Speaking of the Steuben County Chapter:

    Steuben SCOPE is a very active chapter which meets twice a month and it has speakers and contributes to local 2A causes such as the Steuben Chapter of Armed Woman of America and high school trap shooting teams.  It supports state SCOPE, advertises 2A issues in the media and supports 2A defense lawsuits.

    A few years ago, the only conservative radio talk show in the Central NY Southern Tier (Steuben / Chemung area) was bought up and conservative talk radio disappeared in that area.

    Then, WLNL (The Bell) AM 1000 started airing conservative talk radio.  The station recently had a fund raiser.  Steuben SCOPE offered a $1,000 challenge grant to the fund raiser, which was matched.

    The fundraiser offered a prize, chosen by lottery, of a Keuka Lake boat tour for 11 people.  The Steuben Chapter won that prize!

    Happy sailing!

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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