The executive director of New Yorkers Against Gun Violence was quoted Monday morning by the Daily Gazette declaring, “I think the nation, particularly New York, is coming around to the idea that gun laws are needed.”
But New Yorker Rebecca Fischer just might get an argument or two about that theory, especially from rights activists way out in Washington, where beleaguered gun owners are encouraged by pronouncements from more than a dozen county sheriffs that they will not actively enforce provisions of an extremist gun control measure passed by voters last fall. Initiative 1639 is a restrictive gun measure passed by about 60 percent of Evergreen State voters in November, but several lawmen believe parts of the law are unconstitutional.
Empire State lawmakers in Albany just passed a half-dozen “ambitious gun control” bills, the Daily Gazette reported. Those measures are headed to the desk of vehemently anti-gun Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who told a group of gun prohibitionists, “I don’t want you to think that the job is over today because it is unfolding.”
This comes as the Daily Caller is reporting that a new federal gun control measure ostensibly written to create a “universal background check” mandate will be considered this week by the Democrat-controlled U.S. House Judiciary Committee. H.R. 8 has a companion bill in the Senate, S. 42.
But will they, if passed, really accomplish anything except to make gun ownership a little more cumbersome for law-abiding citizens? Proponents say yes. Experience and data from a Bureau of Justice Statistics report released last month say otherwise.
According to the BJS report, titled “Source and Use of Firearms Involved in Crimes: Survey of Prison Inmates, 2016,” only “about 1.3% of prisoners obtained a gun from a retail source and used it during their offense.” The report then noted that, “Among prisoners who possessed a firearm during their offense, 0.8% obtained it at a gun show.”
Further discrediting the argument that gun control laws like the ones just passed in New York and the one under consideration in the U.S. House is this finding:
“An estimated 287,400 prisoners had possessed a firearm during their offense. Among these, more than half (56%) had either stolen it (6%), found it at the scene of the crime (7%), or obtained it of the street or from the underground market (43%). Most of the remainder (25%) had obtained it from a family member or friend, or as a gif. Seven percent had purchased it under their own name from a licensed firearm dealer.”—Bureau of Justice Statistics
There is a single uniformity in all of this gun control, and it is not that the laws work. The common denominator is that all of these laws are championed by one political party. Democrats, occasionally with the aid of “Republican-In-Name-Only” colleagues – those who are fond of saying they “support the Second Amendment…but” – push this gun control legislation, rights activists remind one another, and anyone else who will listen.
One of the measures passed in New York would “set up a gun-buyback program,” the Daily Gazette reported. But that creates the false notion that the government at one time owned those guns, and that’s false. Government never had a claim on any privately-owned firearm, but calling these questionable programs “buyback” leaves one with the impression that those firearms are somehow properly surrendered to government, which alarms many in the Second Amendment community. It helps relegate the right to keep and bear arms to the level of a government-regulated privilege.
What if that same logic was applied to any of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights?
The National Rifle Association has created a web page “to dispel many of the myths being circulated by proponents of these gun control bills.”
“This legislation won’t stop criminals,” the NRA says, “but it does create many traps for law-abiding gun owners to unwittingly violate the law.”
Meanwhile, other gun rights groups such as the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms are either involved directly or are supporting legal challenges to existing gun control laws. NRA is backing a case out of New York that has been accepted for review by the Supreme Court, while SAF and CCRKBA both are involved in cases that have been submitted to the high court.