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Will NY be the State that Destroys All Government Gun Permitting Schemes!?

04/11/2024 1:04 PM | Anonymous

Will NY be the State that Destroys All Government Gun Permitting Schemes!?

Ammoland Inc. Posted on April 10, 2024 by Roger Katz

After decades of denying the individual right to bear arms and three landmark Supreme Court cases in the Twenty-first century refuting that myth, New York is now in the crosshairs.

“Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed” ~ Isaiah 10 (KJV)

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For decades, many people serving in the Federal or State Governments across the land, as well as many academicians, have wrongly postulated that the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms does not refer to an individual right but a collective right.

This mis-perception is grounded not on sound legal and logical analysis but on bias—a personal animus directed toward armed self-defense.

More particularly, this hostility derives from a stark abhorrence of the well-armed citizenry as a check on government tyranny.

It isn’t the prospect of tyranny or government encroachment on the sovereignty of the American people over the government that troubles proponents of the “collective rights” argument, but rather the fact that the armed citizen can effectively resist that tyranny.

Over the past decades, the Federal Government has amassed incredible power—an unconstitutional usurpation of power.

While this troubles many Americans, it troubles few others who find it tolerable, acceptable, and even commendable since it is presumed essential to the end goal of governmental power absolutism, which is considered a good thing to some. This quest is borne of an attitude.

This attitude results from strict adherence to a sociopolitical-economic philosophy that is at odds with our Nation’s history, heritage, and core values, as reflected in the Articles of the Constitution and, more directly, in our unique Bill of Rights—a set of Natural Law Rights, emanating from the Divine Creator—fundamental, unalienable, unmodifiable, unbroken, persistent, and eternal.

Many Americans and many State Governments correctly understand this and realize the need for America’s armed citizenry, no less today than in the past, as our Country is awash in violent crime.

As an uncaring Federal Government amasses more power unto itself, it uses none of that power and authority to serve the American people but, instead, to harm the people, in service to itself to secure ends antithetical to those of the people—consolidating power to cement its tyranny over the people.

A Tyrannical Government will not tolerate the armed citizenry.

Not until the first decade of the Twenty-First Century did Americans who cherish their natural law right to armed self-defense successfully challenge the erroneous collective rights idea of the Second Amendment, which had held stubbornly sway for so many years and decades and impliedly embraced a notion of the Government as sovereign over the people rather than the Government beholden to the people with the people as the sole sovereign over the Government.

A dangerous transformation of the role of the Government and its relationship to the people has gradually taken shape. It is one at odds with the concept of a Free Constitutional Republic.

A backlash was brewing. And it came none too soon in the face of a torrent of bizarre and unconscionable political and societal notions thrust on the public psyche through a concerted and diabolical propaganda campaign meant to confound the citizen’s rational thought processes and fracture his moral sense.

In the 2008 landmark case, District of Columbia vs. Heller, the U.S. Supreme Court responded to Americans’ justified outrage at states’ continued defilement of the natural law right to armed self-defense.

Through comprehensive elucidation, the High Court had, at long last, made unambiguously and unequivocally plain that the right of the people to keep and bear arms is an individual right—a right unconnected to a person’s service in a militia.

A basic rational, common-sense understanding of the need to protect oneself with effective means from aggressive assault only buttresses the Court’s legal and logical analysis in Heller.

Many States that traditionally abhor the idea of civilian citizen possession of firearms balked and, looking for an “off-ramp,” claimed the Heller decision does not apply to them.

Americans then challenged that idea, and the U.S. Supreme Court again responded by ruling in a second landmark case, McDonald vs. City of Chicago.

In that 2010 case, the Court made plain that the fundamental, unalienable right to keep and bear arms applies to the States no less than it does to the Federal Government. No Government of men can lawfully countermand Divine Law, but some States dared to do so anyway. They continued to frustrate the exercise of the right of the people to keep and bear arms.

This required the U.S. Supreme Court to step in yet again.

In a third landmark case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) vs. Bruen, the High Court made plain the right to armed self-defense, implicit in the words, “right of the people to keep and bear arms,” applies in the public sphere as well as in one’s home.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down New York’s “Proper Cause” requirement in Bruen that offended that Truth.

For well over a century, the New York State Government had maintained that no one has the right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside one’s home. “Proper Cause” was the instrument crafted to deny Americans’ right to armed self-defense outside the home. The New York Government created that standard for uniform application across the State.

But, the State Legislature never defined what “Proper Cause” meant.

It was left to the New York Courts to define Proper Cause” that would express the intent (or an intent) of the State Legislature in Albany.

The Courts said “Proper Cause” means “special need,” which, more precisely, means “extraordinary need” to carry a handgun for self-defense. And, “extraordinary need,” referring to need beyond the ordinary, entailed the notion that a need grounded on basic self-defense when in public is insufficient to justify the issuance of a concealed handgun carry license.

Since everyone could claim “self-defense,” especially in a major metropolitan area like New York City, prone to criminal violence, a person working or residing in the City would henceforth need to prove to the satisfaction of the licensing official (or officer) why the danger to that person’s life and well-being extended beyond the “ordinary” day-to-day danger of criminal violence that factored into everyone else’s life.

This inevitably led to the creation of arbitrary standards. Meanwhile, New Yorkers who could not prove “extraordinary need” for a handgun would face and have faced violent, life-threatening assaults.

It was then left to the various jurisdictions in New York to devise operational rules to effectuate the court definition of a “special” or “extraordinary” need sufficient to justify the issuance of a coveted unrestricted New York concealed handgun carry license.

The principal jurisdiction in the State, the major municipality, New York City, devised elaborate operational rules, effectively restricting to a bare minimum the number of people who could legally carry (concealed) a handgun for self-defense.

This was the intent of the NYPD Licensing Division, which the Municipal Government authorized to craft rules to effectuate “Proper Cause” for issuing a concealed handgun carry license that would permit the licensee to carry a handgun on his person in the City lawfully.

Other jurisdictions never bothered to craft operational rules. In those jurisdictions, the licensing official would issue concealed handgun carry licenses to favored people. Generally, that would mean Government officials such as judges or powerful, wealthy, connected people.

These ideas of issuing concealed handgun carry licenses to a privileged few or creating arbitrary rules benefitting some people to the exclusion of many others are anathema to the Second Amendment’s import.

These ideas undermine the import of the “Common Man” by creating a “privileged” subset of people whom the Government bestows the “right” to armed self-defense.

“Proper Cause,” as crafted and applied, is antagonistic and antithetical to the rulings and reasoning of the U.S. Supreme Court majority in the prior two landmark Second Amendment cases.

The High Court was not amused at New York’s continued irascibility and defiance of the most basic of natural law rights.

It saw New York’s “Proper Cause” requirement for what it was: an unconstitutional, unconscionable Government intrusion on an American’s fundamental, unalienable, enduring right—one deliberately, callously, and insidiously designed to frustrate the legitimate need of the average person, the “Common Man,” to protect his or her life against a dire threat.

Carrying a handgun is the most effective means to deter a life-threatening assault, bar none.

Long acknowledged as infinitely better than a knife, a whistle, martial arts, and, more recently, pepper spray, a handgun has, for the last two centuries, served the “Common Man” well as the singularly most effective means presently available for countering a deadly, aggressive assault on life where that threat remains commonplace and omnipresent, now as in the distant past—in the public sphere. This isn’t difficult to understand. It is simply common sense.

As one academic scholar pointed out in a law review published in 2015, seven years before the Bruen decision came down,

. . . [R]ecognition of the right to bear arms in public makes sense, while limiting the right to the home does not. People often need to defend themselves against criminal offenses outside the home. Most robberies, rapes, and assaults occur outside the home.  A ban on possession of handguns outside the home would be even more burdensome than the ban struck down in Heller: there the Court noted that homeowners could still keep shotguns or rifles in the home, which is not the case outside of the home.

Some argue that, even if the Second Amendment was historically understood to protect the right to bear arms in public, it does not protect the right to bear handguns in public because effective handguns did not exist until around 1835. This argument is ‘frivolous’ after Heller, however, which states ‘the Second Amendment extends . . . even [to] those [arms] not in existence at the time of the founding.’ Alternatively, the very existence of state legislation prohibiting concealed carry, or public carry entirely, reveals a longstanding tradition of states being able to regulate the right. While it is true that state laws barring concealed carry have been upheld under the Second Amendment, these laws were typically only upheld where the ability to open carry was not infringed. [ Note: New York’s municipalities do not permit “open carry” of handguns, only “concealed carry”—and then, only if the civilian citizen has secured a valid concealed handgun carry license, which he must always have with him].

From “The Constitutional ‘Terra Incognita’ Of Discretionary Concealed Carry Laws,” 2015 U. Ill. L. Rev. 909, 944-945 (2015), by Brian Enright.

The New York Government, like many others, refuses to acknowledge the obvious—obstinately maintaining that “Public Safety” demands the “Common Man” be disarmed for the good of all. Really?

Tell that to the family of a person whose life was snuffed out because he or she had applied for and was denied a handgun license for self-defense for failure to prove, to the satisfaction of the handgun licensing authority, “Proper Cause,” for issuance of a license.

Apart from politicians like Kathy Hochul, it is the career criminal, the psychopathic, murderous gang member, and the violent, raging, drug-addled lunatic that delights in the prospect of a disarmed public.

New York Governor Hochul, no less so than her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, detests the idea of civilian citizen possession of firearms.

“Proper Cause” effectively subverted the Second Amendment and rested at the heart of the Handgun Law.

It was an apt instrument—an expression of and actualization of the State’s belief system—thrust on the “Common Man,” the American citizen who happened to reside or work in New York.

“Proper Cause” is an irrational response to an equally irrational attitude.

By robbing the “Common Man” of his access to the best means available for effectuating the natural law right to self-defense, New York denied, in law, the sanctity of innocent human life.

The State would never acknowledge this, but its Handgun Law entails that conclusion. Without the enactment of “Proper Cause,” New York could not have become an efficient “May Issue” State. It remained so for well over a century. But that smug self-complacency came crashing down.

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court released the Bruen decision.

Hochul was irate and lashed out at the court’s rulings and the Justices. She did so immediately after the decision came down and continues to do so.

But Hochul feigned indignation. As the consummate politician, she knew she could rely on favorable Press coverage from a sympathetic mainstream media. Like all petty tyrants, her fear isn’t predicated on the ridiculous idea that law-abiding armed citizens are prone to create a “wild-west” atmosphere. There is no evidence for that anywhere. The contrary holds. See, e.g., the article in “Freedom and Prosperity.”

Presumed concern for ensuring “Public Safety” became the mantra for restricting the exercise of the Common Man’s fundamental, unalienable right to armed self-defense.

Governor Hochul knew an adverse ruling was coming in Bruen—eight months before the decision was published—and her Government intended to be prepared for that exigency.

She deciphered this after Oral Argument held in late November 2021.

In the succeeding months before the publication of the Bruen decision, her government meticulously crafted amendments to the Handgun Law that, when implemented, would provide an adequate, if not ideal, substitute for “Proper Cause.”

Plainly, Hochul had no intention of complying with the U.S. Supreme Court rulings. The Court’s Article III authority be damned.

Her defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court rulings amounts to blatant disregard for and contempt for the U.S. Constitution, the foundation of a Free Constitutional Republic.

The Hochul Government used all the state power, money, and authority it could muster to battle against the weight of the U.S. Constitution and the sacred, inviolate natural law rights of man, upon which our Nation has stood fast since its inception.

The Hochul Government has devised two mechanisms that, together, substitute for “Proper Cause” that the High Court had struck down.

These two mechanisms, cunningly crafted, operate in tandem.

  • One involves a substantially reworked, heavily bolstered “Good Moral Character” requirement.

  • The second involves the imposition of a “Sensitive Place” impediment to legally carrying a concealed handgun.

The State invoked the “Character” requirement as an imposing hurdle for applicants to overcome to constrain the issuance of concealed handgun carry licenses.

And, for those individuals who secure a New York concealed handgun carry license (many more individuals than had received such licenses when “Proper Cause” existed), the “Sensitive Place” impediment kicks in. This, a new requirement, severely constrains a licensee’s exercise of armed self-defense when carrying a handgun in public for self-defense.

Concealed handgun carry, which had been unrestricted in New York for decades for self-defense in the public sphere of life, would henceforth be reduced in status to heavily restrictive lawful use in the public arena for self-defense.

As the Hochul Government had undoubtedly intended, these amendments would compromise the licensee’s ability to lawfully defend him or herself in public when the need arose.

Challenges to the constitutionality of the amendments to New York’s Handgun Law came quickly.

Wending their way up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Court published its decision in December 2023. The case is Antonyuk vs. Chiumento, 89 F.4th 271 (2nd Cir. 2023). The Court mostly sided with the Hochul Government.

The case is before the U.S. Supreme Court on a Writ of Certiorari. The High Court must take this case up for review, as the Second Circuit’s decision impacts and is inconsistent with Bruen. A loss for NY could see the end of all unconstitutional license or permitting schemes across the nation.

Given the present and considerable danger to safety and well-being in New York and in various municipalities and States across the Country resulting from unchecked unvetted illegal entry of aliens into our Country, and to demoralized, handcuffed police departments across the Country, and to a flaccid, flawed criminal justice system, violent crime has metastasized at a geometric progression as the hardened, violent criminal has grown ever more confident.

Innocent people become the playthings of vicious criminals and lunatics. This doesn’t perturb Kathy Hochul and Albany.

Armed self-defense has become more important today to safeguard survival given a fragmenting society.

But many New Yorkers have no intention of playing the victim in a Country transformed into a Beehive. The average person’s life means nothing to people like Hochul, Biden, and other Political Progressives and Marxists.

With the ominous specter of Government autocracy becoming more evident every day, the citizen must be more cognizant of the predatory Government man-beast, no less so than he must be cognizant of the predatory criminal beast who preys on him at random and with abandon.

While most States have acceded to the dictates of the natural law right of the citizen to take up arms in his defense and that of his family, especially in such dangerous times as these now upon us, several States have not deigned to accede to or even to acknowledge the natural law right to armed self-defense.

Ironically, it is these latter States that also hamstring their police departments and kowtow to the criminal element and the Radical Left lunatic fringe to the detriment of the law-abiding, rational, and responsible citizen. New York is one of these jurisdictions.

Governor Hochul and the Democrat Party-Controlled Legislature in Albany have abdicated their responsibility to the American citizen who resides and/or works in New York or otherwise does business in the State.

It is bad enough that the Hochul Government has effectively washed its hands of New Yorkers. Worse, the Hochul Government won’t allow the American citizenry to provide for its defense against a society that has run amok.

The New York Government’s antipathy toward armed self-defense, as evidenced in word and deed, must not be perceived in a vacuum.

The Government’s public policy and the accompanying statements reflect a general suspicion of, a contemptuous attitude toward, and an abject disregard for the safety and welfare of the American people who reside and work in New York.

This isn’t something that just happened recently. What exists today in the State is a product of what occurred in the past—the far-distant past.

New York’s abhorrence of the right of the people to keep and bear arms is worth scrutiny, for New York is a microcosm of the view held by the present Biden Administration toward this most important of all natural law rights and mirrors much of the same antagonism toward the natural law right codified in the Second Amendment expressed by Governors in similar jurisdictions.

We delve deep into this in the next several articles in the lead-up to the most important U.S. Presidential election in our lifetime. Will Tyranny continue to prevail and worsen or will the Country return to sanity and its historical roots? Woe to all of us if this Country continues down the present path.

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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