An Modern Interpretation of the Words of the Second Amendment

The Second Amendment says with zero ambiguity, in the English grammar of 1787, that Americans have an absolute right (“shall not be infringed”) to keep (own) and bear (carry) arms because they as individuals may be summoned to become a ‘well-regulated militia’. In the grammar of the 18th century, it’s the militia that is ‘well-regulated’ – orderly, in a clear chain of command, not a chaotic mob — and not the guns.

From Dr. Naomi Wolf

From S.C.O.P.E. Here is a list of gun control bills which were passed in New York State during the 2022 legislative session.

06/05/2022

List of gun control bills which passed in 2022.

  • A-1023A/S-4970A, Requires the creation and imposition of restrictive commercial practices and stringent recordkeeping and reporting to prevent gun and ammunition sales to individuals with a criminal record.
  • A-3998/S-687, Clarifies the definition of imitation weapon.
  • A-7926A/S-4116A, Requires semiautomatic pistols manufactured or delivered to any licensed dealer in this state to be capable of microstamping ammunition.
  • A-8102A/S-6363A, Requires the court to order the search for and immediate seizure of certain firearms when a defendant willfully refuses to surrender such firearms.
  • A-8735/S-7760, Requires the Division of Criminal Justice Services to publish quarterly reports providing information related to firearms, rifles and shotguns used in the commission of crimes in the state of New York.
  • A-8736/S-7796, Amends the definition of a “disguised gun” to include any firearms designed and intended to appear to be a toy gun.
  • A-8741/S-7736, Amends the “Scott J. Beigel Unfinished Receiver Act” relating to unserialized frames or receivers.
  • A-8786/S-7705, Criminalizes the sale of ghost guns; requires any person licensed as a gunsmith or a dealer in firearms to register with the Division of Criminal Justice Services any unserialized firearm, rifle or shotgun, finished frame or receiver, or unfinished frame or receiver.
  • A-8846/S-7716, Relates to the Firearm Violence Research Institute; makes technical changes to the institute’s procedures, goals and activities.
  • A-10428A/S-9229A, Relates to the definition of large capacity ammunition feeding device for purposes of the offense of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree; and repeals section 265.36 of the penal law.
  • A-10497/S-9407B, Relates to the unlawful purchase and the unlawful sale or delivery of a body vest.
  • A-10502/S-9113A, Authorizes certain health care providers to file an application for an Extreme Risk Protection Order against a person examined by such health care provider in certain circumstances.
  • A-10503/S-9458, Relates to the purchase or taking possession of a semiautomatic rifle; requires a license to purchase or take possession of a semiautomatic rifle; establishes the crimes of criminal purchase of a semiautomatic rifle and criminal sale of a semiautomatic rifle; requires recertification of licenses to purchase or take possession of a semiautomatic rifle every five years.
  • A-10504/S-9456, Relates to defining firearm; provides that the term firearm shall also include any other weapon that is not otherwise defined containing any component that provides housing or a structure designed to hold or integrate any fire control component that is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by action of explosive

‘S.A.F.E. Act’: Violating the Second Amendment and obstructing mental health care

From GATDAILY and DRGO

[Ed: This piece first ran in SCOPE-NY’s Briefings on April 18. This experience of Sandra Richardson, a Masters level Registered Nurse, exemplifies the damage that Red Flag Laws do (as included in New York’s misleadingly name MHL § 9.46the S.A.F.E. Act).]

It all began when I sought guidance on managing stress from a healthcare provider. After I did so, a report was filed against me under the New York SAFE Act’s Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) § 9.46, “reports of substantial risk or threat of harm by mental health professionals.

Under this law, when a mental health provider determines, “in the exercise of reasonable professional judgment,” that a patient is “likely to engage in conduct that would result in serious harm to self or others,” that provider “shall” be required to report this.  In turn, that information can be used to revoke any pistol license, confiscate all of a person’s guns and make that person ineligible to possess any guns of any kind in this state.

As a result of and five weeks after that report, the Sheriff’s office demanded any guns that I possessed.  That demand was the first notice I received of the report against me.  An order to show cause came in the mail shortly after that, directing me to appear in court to plead my case.

I hired an attorney, prepared my defense, and fought for my rights.  Four months after the report, the court ruled in my favor and my pistol permit was “restored immediately.”  The court’s conclusion of law deemed the MLH § 9.46 report to be “arbitrary, capricious or an abuse of discretion.”  A victory, but at a cost of both $4,000 in legal fees and, ironically, magnified stress.

Not only did this process cost me thousands and magnify my stress level, it made me want to share my story to raise awareness.  I also wanted to help providers understand the impact of and their responsibility under this law.  This unfortunate experience should not happen to anyone because they sought care.

Although unfortunate, this experience piqued my curiosity.  I wanted to understand more about the impact of MHL § 9.46 on the citizens of New York.  There are very few people who have shared their story publicly, but I could not be the only person to whom this happened.

I learned that beyond the provider who files a report, the relevant information goes to at least four entities:  the State Office of Mental Health (OMH); the County Director of Community Services; the State Department of Criminal Justice Services (DJCS), and if the reported person has a handgun permit or registered assault weapon, the County Sheriff’s office.

Based on information obtained from a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request, OMH has all of the reports ever filed.  Based on another FOIL request, the DCJS has only the past five years of the reports.  The Director of Community Services to whom I spoke told me that he does not retain the information.  It is reasonable to assume that the county Sheriff’s Office retains records of the confiscation of personal property and the cause of such action.

Meanwhile, the subject of the report is not permitted to see it and the reporter is not obligated to make the person aware of the report.  Based on the DCJS FOIL request, only one percent of those reported are notified of the report and that is because they have a handgun permit or registered assault weapon in the state database.  That one percent get a day in court to challenge the allegations and retain their rights.  The remaining ninety-nine percent may never be told that they were reported and may have had multiple Constitutional rights violated, including deprivation of rights and property without due process; specifically, the right to keep and bear arms.  This may be a violation of United States Code Title 18 § 242 (Deprivation of rights under color of law).

An additional issue is that there is little recourse against the provider who made the report, even if it is found to be false.  Under the law, “the decision of a mental health professional to disclose or not to disclose in accordance with this section, when made reasonably and in good faith, shall not be the basis for any civil or criminal liability of such mental health professional.”  However, what constitutes “good faith” and “reasonably” are not defined in the law, leaving it open to interpretation … or misinterpretation.

Furthermore, it has been recognized that the law itself is not intended to protect any one from harm. In reviewing MHL § 9.46, the New York State Psychiatric Association stated that “…following discussions with OMH staff, it has become clear that the SAFE Act reporting requirement is solely to limit access to legal firearms and not to protect individuals from imminent risk of harm to self and others.”

In addition to these flaws, MHL § 9.46 has created a massive barrier to mental health care. That in itself is counterintuitive to the stated purpose of this law.

In August 2020, Psychiatric Quarterly published an original paper, “The Influence of New York’s SAFE Act on Individuals Seeking Mental Health Treatment.”  The paper reported on a study conducted to determine if the NY SAFE Act impacts mental health treatment-seeking and symptom-reporting behaviors.  According to the study, about 18% of respondents were concerned about being reported to the government, 9% were less likely to seek mental health care, and about 23% were less willing to report mental health symptoms/behaviors to a mental health provider because of the New York State SAFE Act.

Society’s common goal should be to create a space where everyone feels comfortable seeking mental health care when needed.  Getting there will involve reducing bias and stigma surrounding guns and gun owners, and removing barriers to care such as MHL § 9.46 of the New York State SAFE Act. Original Article here: https://gatdaily.com/s-a-f-e-act-violating-the-second-amendment-and-obstructing-mental-health-care/

CRITICAL UPDATE ON 80% LOWERS IN NEW YORK

December 28, 2021| Peter Howard Tilem Content by: Tilem & Associates, PC link here

In October we wrote an extensive blog about the legality of 80% Lowers in New York and indicated at that time that the law in New York could be changing on eighty percent lowers because legislation was pending in Albany. Well later the same day that we here at Tilem & Associates posted that blog, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of new legislation which changed the legality of 80 percent lowers in New York.

Among the changes are the fact that that it will be illegal to possess an unfinished receiver or an unfinished frame often referred to as an eighty percent lower. It becomes illegal to possess these unfinished frames or receivers from six months after the date the law becomes effective. Unfinished frames and unfinished receivers are defined very broadly under the law and include any material that doesn’t constitute a receiver or frame but which has been formed and/or shaped to allow it to become a frame or receiver for a shotgun, rifle or pistol and which can be “readily” made into a receiver or frame that is functioning. What readily made means is not defined so it is unknown if a receiver that is 70% finished, 60% finished or only 20% finished would be legal.

The new law makes it a crime to possess unfinished receivers or frames and makes it a separate crime to sell unfinished receivers or frames. This would seemingly make it illegal for internet sellers of firearms parts to sell polymer 80 or other 80% lowers and ship them into New York State.

In addition, the new law appears to create a new crime for possession of a “major component” of a rifle, shotgun or firearm. The new law makes it a crime for a prohibited person to possess a “major component” of any type of gun. This would be a person prohibited under New York or Federal law including those who have been convicted of serious offenses, who have had an Extreme Risk Protection Order issued against them or are prohibited or are prohibited under the Safe Act. Major components include a barrel, slide, cylinder, receiver or frame for a firearm, rifle or shotgun. So under the new law it is illegal for a prohibited person to possess even a non-functioning, inert piece of a gun.

The new legislation, goes further in New York’s quest to punish and throw up road blocks for law abiding gun owners and hobbyists who enjoy hunting, firearms and the shooting sports. It is very unclear how the new laws will do anything to lessen the scourge of violent crimes that are plaguing the streets of our cities. Any hope that Governor Hochul who incidentally was endorsed by the NRA when she ran for Congress years ago would redirect the energies of the State from the anti gun policies of her predecessor Governor Cuomo are certainly shattered.

New York gun owners who have unfinished and unserialized receivers and frames should take the next few months to surrender them, serialize them or sell them out of state. In addition retailers who regularly ship gun parts and 80 percent receivers into New York should take the next several months to put procedures in place to ensure that they do not ship those items to New York State addresses.

Catskill / Greene County Man Bursts into Flames From Taser

Non-Leathal tasers can set you on fire… under certain circumstances. In this case a former high school track and baseball star from Catskill entered the Main Street Catskill police station, reportedly intoxicated, and got into a scuffle with police officers, but not before he “reportedly doused himself” with hand sanitizer. They used a non-lethal taser or stun gun on him and he burst into flames. He is being treated at Albany Medical Center for severe burns.

I have heard of this before when sunscreen caused a man to burst into flames from a taser or stun gun.

More here:
https://www.hudsonvalley360.com/news/greenecounty/stun-gun-fire-probe-leads-investigators-to-video/article_246656c2-ba7a-54c0-903b-5a0659e2de4c.html
And here:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10171065/Man-burst-flames-Taser-used-police-say.html

Tannerite – I Did Not Know This

From SCOPE:

Tannerite has been used for explosive targets for years. These targets can be bought on-line or home-made.

A SCOPE member pointed out something that members should be aware of:

In 2019, Governor Cuomo signed bill S5276a which: “…would prohibit the storage, use or purchase of the explosive Tannerite or similar product sold under a different name without the proper license or other authorization to do so under the provisions of law”.

Kathy Hochul’s evolving stance on gun control

Excerpt From NPR, WBFO-FM 88.71, Ryan Finnerty, August 23, 2021

One of the first choices Hochul will face as governor is whether or not to continue her predecessor’s state of emergency on gun violence. Outgoing Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose resignation takes effect at midnight, issued an emergency declaration in July over gun violence. “We went from an epidemic of COVID to an epidemic of gun violence,” Cuomo said on July 6 at a press event at John Jay College.

In the past, Hochul has been a supporter of gun rights, even earning a favorable rating from the National Rifle Association while representing Western New York in Congress in 2012. But after a break following a losing bid for re-election, Hochul returned to the political scene to run for lieutenant governor with a far more liberal agenda….

Read More of the Article Here: https://www.wrvo.org/politics-and-government/2021-08-23/kathy-hochuls-evolving-stance-on-gun-control

DEC Announces Opening of Saratoga Archery Range

From a June 17, 2021 Press Release

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the opening of the Saratoga Sand Plains Archery Range in the town of Wilton, Saratoga County. The public archery range, formally known as Parcel 45 Wildlife Management Area, is the first of its kind in New York State and will provide a unique recreational opportunity for both novice and expert bow hunters and archers.

The 50-yard archery range has 16 targets, eight adult lanes ranging from 15 to 50 yards, four youth lanes ranging from five to 20 yards, and four lanes accessed by an elevated platform ranging up to 40 yards. The elevated platform simulates shots from a tree stand when deer hunting and allows archers to practice shots from known yardages and angles, promoting safer shot placements for both urban and rural settings. The archery range is open and maintained year-round for public use.

More Here: https://www.dec.ny.gov/press/123238.html