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  • 10/13/2022 1:16 PM | Anonymous

    Attorney General James Releases Statement on Court Decision to Temporarily Keep New York’s Concealed Carry Gun Laws 

    NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today released the following statement after an appellate judge granted an interim administrative stay on U.S. District Court Judge Glenn T. Suddaby’s decision in Antonyuk v. Hochul, meaning the full Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA) will remain in effect:

    “I am pleased that the full Concealed Carry Improvement Act will stay in effect and continue to protect communities as the appeals process moves forward. My office will continue our efforts to protect the safety of everyday New Yorkers and defend our common-sense gun laws.”

    As a result of today’s decision, the full CCIA is in effect until a three-judge panel on the Second Circuit decides on the motion to stay. Earlier this week, Attorney General James filed a motion for a temporary pause on the district court’s decision to stop enforcement of some parts of the CCIA. Today, an administrative stay was granted, pausing the decision until a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit acts on the motion.

    The CCIA was passed during an extraordinary session of the Legislature and enacted earlier this summer in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. The law strengthens requirements for concealed carry permits, prohibits guns in sensitive places, requires individuals with concealed carry permits to request a property owner’s consent to carry on their premises, enhances safe storage requirements, requires social media review ahead of certain gun purchases, and requires background checks on all ammunition purchases.

  • 09/16/2022 9:57 AM | Anonymous

    No more Brady Checks in Wayne County!
    September 16, 2022  by News10NBC

    WAYNE COUNTY, N.Y. (WHEC) — There’s been a change in the pistol permit process in Wayne County, outside of the new state laws that took effect on Sept. 1 of this year.

    Up until now, a background check would have to be completed, every five years, in order for a simple amendment to be applied to a pistol permit.  Such amendments included name or address changes, and disposal of weapons.  In Wayne County, one could not make a handgun purchase unless he/she had a current five-year background check on file. 

    Those background checks, also known as Brady Checks, required a comprehensive check of several systems to see if a permit holder had been involved in any activity that would initiate suspension or revocation proceedings of that permit.   That process could take up to several weeks, dependent upon the number of new applications submitted to the Sheriff’s Office.  Various political races also affected the amount of Brady Checks that were submitted.  The Brady process, combined with the regular course of business, conducting backgrounds for new pistol permit applicants lengthened the time it would take for a new applicant to acquire a permit.  

    Brady Checks, enacted in 1993, mandated background checks on firearm purchases.  With informational safeguards within the criminal justice system, to include the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, Sheriff Milby sought to streamline the redundancies of the system in Wayne County.  After discussions with Wayne County Court Judges and the Wayne County Clerk, a decision was made to cease the process, effective immediately.  

    “Those amendments that were pending will no longer have to wait.  County Clerk, Mike Jankowski will be sending those amendments out right away.  All Brady checks on file have been grandfathered into this.  To purchase a weapon on an existing permit, a NICS check will satisfy the process, and once the NICS check clears the purchase, you may file your amendment with the County Clerk,” said the Sheriff.

    Sheriff Milby wishes to remind everyone that New York State still requires all Carry Concealed Permit Holders to recertify their permits every 3 years, which can be done online, and is not a background check process.

  • 08/31/2022 12:25 AM | Anonymous

    Indianapolis, IN – The National Police Association (NPA) filed an amicus brief in support of a Preliminary Injunction against New York state’s “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” (CCIA).

    The lawsuit was filed by Ivan Antonyuk and Gun Owners of America.

    In a quick response to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen, the state of New York passed a comprehensive gun control law, CCIA, that will eviscerate 2nd Amendment civil rights in New York if enacted.

    Contrary to the decision by SCOTUS the new law prohibits permitted concealed carry in most public places and creates scenarios where carrying concealed can be an unknowing violation of the law. Further, the new law replaces the subjective standard of having to prove a special need for 2ndAmendment rights, which was struck down by the court, with the subjective standard of having to prove possession of the moral character needed for 2nd Amendment rights. Moral as defined by who?

    If allowed to go into place as law, the Second Amendment will be a legal fiction in the fourth most populous state in our union, even though the nation’s highest court just told us all, explicitly, that the Second Amendment is not a legal fiction but a full partner with the other “Bill of Rights” guarantees such as freedom of speech.

    While firearms in the wrong hands are a serious concern for law enforcement, unconstitutionally keeping firearms out of the hands of law-abiding citizens seeking to provide for the safety of themselves and their loved ones is just as bad. While the National Police Association supports the police, it does not support a police state, where law-abiding citizens are at minimum prevented from self-defense and at maximum turned into criminals by way of vague and unconstitutional laws.

    The CCIA is bad for safety; it is bad for public policy; it is bad for law enforcement; it is bad for the rule of law. Most importantly it is patently unconstitutional and the Plaintiff’s  sought declaratory and injunctive relief should be granted in advance of the flawed act’s enactment date.

    NPA spokesperson Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith stated, “A number of studies suggest that objective concealed carry regimes, and not the subjective, arbitrary regime put in place by the CCIA—can both lower violent crime and reduce the number of officer fatalities in many jurisdictions.” For this reason, plus those articulated in the Plaintiffs, Complaint and Motion for Preliminary Injunction, the NPA supports Plaintiffs’ effort to have this Court declare the CCIA unconstitutional under the text of the Second Amendment and the principles recently articulated in Bruen.

    The National Police Association is represented by Robert S. Lafferrandre of Pierce Couch Hendrickson Baysinger & Green, L.L.P., of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The NPA’s amicus brief can be read here:


    About The National Police Association

    The National Police Association (NPA) is a 501(c)3 Educational/Advocacy non-profit organization. For additional information visit

  • 07/08/2022 1:25 PM | Anonymous

    The Wayne County Clerk's office has recently updated information on their website for obtaining a pistol permit.  Note that this information is located on the Clerk's home page of the Wayne County site, and not on the previous (and still accessible) web page for pistol permit information.

    The new information can be found at:

    The old page is still there and can be referenced at:

  • 05/26/2022 9:34 PM | Anonymous

    The political scene has been replete for months, if not years, with continuous attacks on both sides of the aisle as to the need to reduce gun violence.  The fact that federal laws are already strong on background checks and transfer guidelines has done little to diminish criticism.  

    Some states, including New York in 2019, have passed so-called “Red Flag” laws or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO).  The recent mass shooting in Buffalo occurred despite it.  This leaves critics of guns little to focus on other than more gun control especially the inclusion of increased background checks.  The House of Representatives passed in March 2021 H.R. 8.  This bill established new background requirements for firearm transfers between private parties ( i.e. unlicensed individuals).

    This article attempts to educate the reader as to the facts in the bill as well as it’s failures.  As indicated “The bottom line is that the bill represents gun control measures that encroach on the freedoms of law-abiding citizens and do little to reduce gun violence.

    H. R. 8 – Facts and Failures


    This morning, Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee plan to markup H.R. 8, the ‘Bipartisan Background Checks Act.’ However, Democrats have shown little interest in incorporating conservative perspectives into their so-called ‘bipartisan’ bill. At a hearing on H.R. 8 last week, Democrats denied Whip Scalise the opportunity to testify as a member witness about his experience as a survivor of gun violence and his strong support for our Second Amendment rights.

    Unfortunately, H.R. 8’s claim to bipartisanship isn’t the only sham part of the bill. The bottom line is that the bill represents gun control measures that encroach on the freedoms of law-abiding citizens and do little to reduce gun violence.

    H.R. 8 shortfalls (courtesy of the House Judiciary Committee)

    Current federal laws are already strong on background checks and transfer guidelines. 

    Federal law already prohibits:

    Transferring a firearm to anyone known or believed to be prohibited from possessing firearms.

    Individuals from from transferring a handgun across state lines to someone without a firearms license.

    Anyone from acquiring firearms on behalf of another person who is prohibited from possessing firearms.

    Anyone from providing a handgun to a juvenile.

    Dealers from selling rifles or shotguns to individuals under the age of 18.

    The vast majority of firearm transfers at gun shows are conducted by federal firearms licensees performing a NICS background check.

    H.R. 8 would not have stopped any of these mass shootings:

    • Columbine High School, Columbine, CO – April 20, 1999
    • Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA – April 16, 2007
    • Fort Hood, TX – November 5, 2009
    • Tuscon, AZ – January 8, 2011
    • Sandy Hook Elementary, Newtown, CT – December 14, 2012
    • Aurora, CO – July 20, 2012
    • Navy Yard, Washington, DC – September 16, 2013
    • Emanuel AME Church, Charleston, SC – June 17, 2015
    • San Bernardino, CA – December 2, 2015
    • Pulse Nightclub, Orlando, FL – June 12, 2016
    • Las Vegas, NV – October 1, 2017
    • First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, TX – November 5, 2017
    • Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL – February 14, 2018

    H.R. 8’s background check requirement on firearm transfers criminalizes the actions of honest, law-abiding citizens, including the following scenarios:

    Tim is struggling with suicidal thoughts. He asks a close friend to safekeep his guns while he seeks help. Under H.R. 8, Tim potentially faces up to one year in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.

    Shannon is a victim of violent domestic abuse. Her ex-husband and abuser is being released from prison and Shannon fears for her life. Shannon’s neighbor, Scott, lends her a firearm for self-defense. Under H.R. 8, Scott potentially faces up to one year in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.

    Joe and Bill have been hunting together for 40 years. This year, Joe is sick and can’t make the trip, but Bill asks if he can borrow Joe’s deer rifle. Joe lends the rifle to Bill the weekend before the trip, but Bill can’t return it immediately once the trip is over. Under H.R. 8, Joe potentially faces up to one year in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.

    Ted’s uncle wants to go to the shooting range. Ted knows he’s allowed to transfer a firearm to an aunt or uncle, so he agrees to lend him his rifle. When Ted’s cousin shows up at the door on his way to meet Ted’s uncle at the shooting range, Ted gives him the rifle. Under H.R. 8, while aunts and uncles are exempted from transfer restrictions, cousins arbitrarily are not, and Ted now potentially faces up to one year in prison and/or a $100,000 fine.

    Highlights from Whip. Scalise’s prepared, and undelivered, testimony:

    “As someone who experienced gun violence, I do not want anyone else to go through that trauma. However, it is also important to me that we be honest with ourselves and the American people about what will — or won’t — actually prevent these tragedies.”

    “The new gun control restrictions currently being considered by the Democratic majority in H.R. 8 would not have prevented my shooting.”   

    “Based on similar gun control measures in states like California, H.R. 8 would not deter a criminal from engaging in criminal activity, and it won’t decrease gun crime. Instead, it only succeeds in limiting the ways that law-abiding citizens could exercise their Second Amendment rights.”

    “Every single month in America, law-abiding citizens with concealed carry permits defend themselves and others against criminals who have guns.”

    “Instead of making it harder for citizens to defend themselves until law enforcement arrives, Congress should consider legislation like H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act”

    “I firmly believe we must never forget, nor minimize, the importance of the Second Amendment to our Constitution.”

    “If our goal is to reduce gun violence, then we should focus on penalizing criminals, not law-abiding citizens.”

  • 04/23/2022 1:58 PM | Anonymous

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — 

    California state lawmakers advanced a measure Tuesday that would make it easier to skirt a federal law in order to sue gun makers, legislation that opponents say is ultimately aimed at driving manufacturers out of business.

    A different committee was poised to advance a bill targeting so-called ghost guns, while a third committee approved a bill requiring firearm dealers to install digital video surveillance systems.

    They are among several bills that gained momentum from recent mass shootings, including what police now say was a gang battle that earlier this month killed six people and wounded 12 others just blocks from the state Capitol. 

    Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco said his legislation would make it easier to sue gun makers or dealers for liability in shootings that cause deaths or injuries. That could include those who sell ghost gun kits whose parts lack serial numbers.

    Federal law blocks most of those types of lawsuits against the gun industry. But the U.S law does permit some types of liability lawsuits, including when gun makers break state or local laws regarding the sale and marketing of their products. Last year, New York approved a first-in-the-nation law declaring such violations a “public nuisance,” opening up gun makers to lawsuits, though the law has been challenged in court by manufacturers.

    California already has some of the nation’s toughest firearm restrictions.

    Among what legislative analysts count as 107 existing California gun laws is a 10-day waiting period, background checks for buying guns and ammunition, restrictions on types of guns including assault-style weapons, and a 10-bullet limit on ammunition magazines.

    “We pride ourselves on having fairly strict gun control laws,” Ting said. “We have done better than other states, but still not good enough.”

    Gun control advocates said they have previously been stymied by the federal law when it comes to punishing manufacturers or dealers who are irresponsible or negligent in selling or advertising firearms.

    Ting’s bill would require firearm makers and dealers to “take reasonable precautions” under a “firearm industry standard of conduct” in making and selling their weapons. That can include things such as making sure buyers are taught how to safely store and use the weapon, he said.

    They also would be barred from making or distributing guns that are “likely to create a substantial and unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety” under the bill co-sponsored by the Brady Campaign and state Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta.

    Starting in July 2023, violators could be sued by the attorney general, city or county attorneys, or anyone who suffered harm. They also could be sued for alleged violations of other laws, including false advertising, unfair competition or deceptive acts or practices.

    “We think it provides a really good opportunity to put the power back in the hands of individuals who are the individual victims of gun violence,” Ting said. “And really, what we hope is by holding this industry accountable that they will be much more thoughtful about how they sell their weapons.”

    The National Rifle Assn. said the bill’s real intent is “to torment the firearms industry through costly litigation in the widest array of circumstances.”

    The bill is written so broadly that “almost anyone could bring civil action against the firearm industry,” said the California Rifle and Pistol Assn. “It is an attack on the lawful commerce of firearms with an intent to limit the availability of firearms.”

    Roy Griffith, the California group’s legislative director, said the proposal is “clearly in direct conflict with federal law.” 

    He equated it to allowing lawsuits against carmakers for drunk driving deaths.

    “This industry gets protection that no other industry in the United States gets,” Ting responded. “Guns are not cars. The purpose of guns is to harm another individual.” 

    The Assembly Judiciary Committee advanced the bill on a 7-2 vote.

    A different Assembly committee was poised to advance a bill aimed at ghost guns, which law enforcement agencies say have become more common in recent years. The U.S. Department of Justice reported nearly 20,000 were recovered nationwide last year, nearly double the number seized in 2020.

    The move comes days after President Biden highlighted the Justice Department’s work to finalize new regulations to crack down on ghost guns, which are privately made firearms without serial numbers. 

    “Anyone with a credit card and skills to build Ikea furniture, and some spare time, can make the same gun that took the lives of two of my classmates and changed mine forever,” testified Mia Tretta, who was shot in Santa Clarita during a 2019 attack at Saugus High School, where she is now a junior. She also spoke at Biden’s announcement. 

    California law already requires anyone building a weapon to apply to the state Department of Justice for a serial number to be inscribed on the firearm. 

    Assemblyman Mike Gipson’s bill would instead block the sale of unfinished gun parts until they are regulated by the federal government. The measure would take effect Jan. 1 and give Californians who have weapons without serial numbers six months to register them and add the numbers.

    Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, said the emphasis on ghost guns is overblown.

    “Privately made firearms have become an unfortunate scapegoat,” he said, citing statistics by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives showing they are used in less than 1% of homicides. “There is simply no evidence that they are the cause for the surge in violent crime.”

  • 03/24/2022 11:46 PM | Anonymous


    BELLEVUE, WA – A new survey by the nationally-recognized polling firm of McLaughlin & Associates shows strong public support for the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in the wake of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

    The Second Amendment Foundation commissioned survey said 66.1 percent of the respondents agreed with the statement posed by the McLaughlin poll stating, “When you see what is going on with Vladimir Putin and Russia’s military invasion of the Ukraine, it is more important than ever for Americans to defend their 2nd Amendment Constitutional freedoms for law-abiding citizens to continue to have the right to own guns for their personal protection.” Only 25.7 percent disagree, and only 8.2 percent had no opinion. The survey may be read here.

    “This should send a message to the Biden administration that Americans by a large majority fully understand the Second Amendment is about defending liberty and not about duck or deer hunting,” said Alan Gottlieb, SAF founder and executive vice president. “The new McLaughlin data shows how out-of-touch Biden and his fellow Democrats are about the right to keep and bear arms.”

    “Unfortunately,” veteran pollster Jim McLaughlin observed, “Americans are seeing first hand through Vladimir Putin’s brutal, military invasion of the Ukraine the importance of our cherished Second Amendment rights. The brave Ukrainian citizens have been able to thwart Putin’s military aggression by arming themselves against the Russian invaders. Americans clearly associate the importance of their Second Amendment rights with maintaining a safe, free and democratic nation.”

    Biden came into office 14 months ago with an ambitious gun control agenda that dramatically stalled after the Senate debacle regarding his nomination of former ATF agent-turned-gun-control-advocate David Chipman to head the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    SAF commissioned the McLaughlin survey, which was conducted among 1,000 likely voters across the country March 17-22. McLaughlin’s survey also revealed more people oppose bans on semi-automatic rifles and 9mm pistols than support them.

    “After what we’ve seen on the nightly news from Ukraine, Americans are more protective of their constitutional rights than ever,” Gottlieb said.

  • 03/02/2022 10:48 PM | Anonymous

    BELLEVUE, WA – While Joe Biden began his State of the Union speech properly condemning Russia’s undeclared war on Ukraine, he used his bully pulpit to continue his own lifelong war on gun owners and the Second Amendment, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.

    “Biden’s remarks about gun control and his already-discredited claim about gun manufacturers being immune from lawsuits simply reinforced his reputation as a career gun prohibitionist who never let facts get in the way of a flippant falsehood,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “His claim that bans on so-called ‘assault weapons’ and original capacity magazines are ‘proven measures’ to reduce violent crime is demonstrably untrue. Just look at the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

    “And we should note these are the same kinds of guns and magazines Ukrainian citizens are using to defend their freedom from a savage enemy bent on killing innocent civilians including women and children,” he stated. 

    “His declaration that gun manufacturing is the only industry in America that can’t be sued has been fully discredited,” Gottlieb continued. “It ranks right up there with Biden’s bogus claim that people couldn’t own cannons when the Second Amendment was written. Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler gave Biden four ‘Pinocchios’ for repeating that tall tale, which is tantamount to calling the president a habitual liar.

    “Perhaps Biden’s biggest fib of the night came when he said his proposals don’t infringe on the Second Amendment, and that they save lives,” he observed. “Crusading to disarm law-abiding citizens hasn’t saved a single life in this country. Banning commonly-owned firearms definitely violates the Constitution, and Biden knows it.

    “Biden’s remark about deer and Kevlar vests was intended to perpetuate the myth that the Second Amendment is about hunting,” Gottlieb stated. “If he honestly believes the right to keep and bear arms is protected by the Constitution just so we can head to a duck blind, he needs remedial courses on U.S. history and constitutional law.

    “There was a time in the distant past when people forgave Joe Biden for his gaffes and fabrications, but his crusade against gun owners and the firearms industry has clearly become an obsession for which he no longer gets a pass. He wants Nancy Pelosi and Capitol Hill Democrats to gut the Second Amendment, and by default, the entire Bill of Rights. That cannot be allowed.”

  • 02/11/2022 8:21 AM | Anonymous
    • Wayne County Members Meeting Minutes
      Marion American Legion Post 1430
      4141 Witherden Rd. Marion, NY 14505
      February 9, 2022

      1. Sheriff Rob Milby opened the meeting at 7:05pm with the Pledge of Allegiance.

      2. The secretary was absent due to covid concerns at his home and the January Minutes were unavailable.

      3. Treasurer’s Report was given by treasurer Mark Coleman. One new member’s dues was sent to State SCOPE. A check in the amount of $125 was received as a donation to Wayne County SCOPE by the Williamson Conservation and Sportsmen’s Club. 

      4. It was announced that State SCOPE has extended the drawing date for a 243 Henry rifle to April 30 at the State members meeting. Treasurer Mark Coleman is in chargeof this fundraiser.  All funds will remain with the individual chapters, so it is important for members to participate by selling as many tickets as possible.  State SCOPE has donated the rifle.  It was in last year’s State raffle, but the winner chose cash instead. 

      5. Chairman Don Smith gave a legislative report which initiated several questions and comments. The report included:

    • ·      NYSRPA v. Bruen
    • ·      Federal gun-control bills introduced this year
    • ·      State gun-control bills introduced this year
    • 6. Wayne County Board of Supervisors Chairman Ken Miller presented an update on redistricting in New York State. It focused on:

    • ·      Our 24th Congressional District and the possibly of a new Congressman in Chris Jacobs. John Katko is retiring.
    • ·      Our 54th State Senate District with Senator Pam Helming.
    • ·      Our 130th State Assembly District with Assemblyman Brian Manktelow. 

    7. Sheriff Rob Milby introduced his choice for undersheriff, Tammy Ryndock, with whom he has been associated for several years in the Wayne County Sheriff’s office.

    8. Bob Brannan presented Milby and Ryndock with a plaque containing the “Policeman” speech given by the late Paul Harvey on talk radio nearly 40 years ago. Mr. Harvey's father inspired this speech as he was a police officer who was shot and killed while doing what police officers do every day.

    9. The chairman announced election of officers will occur at the March 9 members meeting.  A request was made for new Chapter Board and Committee members.

    10. Vice-Chairman Dave Colburn encouraged members to visit our SCOPE website while answering questions and explaining different aspects of it. 

    11. The meeting was closed at 8:25pm. The next members meeting will be March 9.


     Donate Here    

  • 01/22/2022 6:15 PM | Anonymous

    At Townhall: As Gun

    Sales Soared, the

    Number of Violent

    Crimes Committed

    with Guns


    Jan 14, 2022 | op-ed

    gun sales op-ed

    Rachel Morgan and Alexandra Thompson, “Criminal Victimization, 2020,” Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, October 2021.

    Dr. John Lott has a new piece at Townhall on the claims about increased gun sales causing an increase in violent crime.

    With violent crime soaring over the last two years, Americans want a solution. Over and over, President Joe Biden and gun control advocates frame violent crime as a gun problem. Relying on public health researchers, articles such as this one in the Atlantic and in local news stories this week point to increasing gun sales as the cause. But reported gun crimes fell in 2020, so the  writers ignore the obvious explanation for rising crime, that law enforcement isn’t being allowed to do its job.

    Gun sales increased dramatically in 2020 before receding some in 2021. Background checks on gun sales soared from 12.4 million in 2019 to 20.3 million in 2020 and declining back to 17.6 million in 2021. Meanwhile, murder and aggravated assaults rose in 2020. In 2020, they increased double-digit rates (29% for murder and 12% for aggravated assaults).

    To many, the connection seems obvious. Gun sales increased, and murder and aggravated assaults rose, though robberies fell.

    But what the media ignores is that the number of violent gun crimes dropped dramatically in 2020. Last October, the US Department of Justice released a study showing victims reported 212,470 gun crimes to police in 2020, a drop of 27% from the 290,790 in 2019. The share of violent crimes committed with guns also fell – by over 30%.

    Of course, victims don’t report all crimes to the police. To get a handle on that, the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ National Crime Victimization Survey interviews about 100,000 Americans each year. That survey also finds that the estimated number of gun crimes also fell by 27%, from 481,950 to 350,460 and that the share of violent crimes involving guns was only 7.7%.

    In 2020, there was a statistically insignificant few percentage point rise in the share of murder committed with guns, but the share of guns used in robberies and aggravated assaults has dropped dramatically.

    All this is consistent with academic research by myself and others showing that when civilians carry guns criminals are less likely to carry them. If a criminal pulls out a gun against an armed victim, he is more likely to be shot.

    Gun ownership didn’t fuel the increase in crime over the last couple of years. Rather, people worried about violent crime and decided to arm themselves for self-protection.

    It’s not hard to find explanations for the increased violence. Many urban areas saw more than half of prison inmates released because of the pandemic, and the releases still continue. Nationwide, there are over 340,000 fewer inmates in jails and prisons in 2021 than in 2019. In many places, police budgets were cut and officers ordered to stand down. New York City cut its police budget by $1 billion

    Prosecutors in many major urban areas have refused to prosecute violent criminals. In October, two rival drug gangs got into a gunfight in Chicago during broad daylight. The fight, caught on video, left one shooter dead and two others wounded. Cook County District Attorney Kim Foxx declined to prosecute any of the gang members, initially explaining they were “mutual combatants.” 

    Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, hardly a right-winger, lashed out at Foxx: “If the bad guys that are out there that are picking up guns and shooting without any regard for the sanctity of life do not believe that there’s accountability for them, the brazenness will not end. It will escalate, it will continue, and our communities will not be safe.”

    Throw in bail reform and some places cutting criminal penalties, and you have a real mess. In Harris County, Texas, criminals released since 2018 on little or no bail (some of them previously charged with murder) have murdered 156 people. In Nevada, Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak championed a measure gutting the state’s three-strikes law, where criminals convicted of their third felony faced additional prison time. He replaced it with a rule allowing for six or seven felonies before the perpetrator faces additional punishment.

    Lightfoot is right. If you want to reduce crime, criminals must be afraid of being caught and punished. 

    It isn’t rocket science understanding why crime is increasing, and it isn’t the fault of gun owners. Many parts of the country are in dire need of basic law enforcement. But, given how poorly public health researchers have done with their recommendations over the last couple of years, you would hope people would be skeptical of their advice on guns.

    John R. Lott, Jr., “As Gun Sales Soared, the Number of Violent Crimes Committed with Guns Plummeted,” Townhall, January 14, 2022.

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