New York Gun Control Proposals

Reading the gun control measures specifically cited in NY Governor Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State report, it reminds me so much of what happened to Massachusetts gun owners in the late `90s. If you were a legal gun owner who had your state-issued firearms identification card, it was good for life unless you were convicted of a disqualifying offense and it was revoked. Then, one day, the legislature told gun owners that “valid for life” really meant “valid until we want more money from you.”

In New York’s case, it’s the same for grandfathering. One day, gun owners were told that they could keep the regular capacity magazines they already owned for their guns. Now, they are being told that those magazines will no longer be legal:

Because magazines are not generally stamped with a serial number or other mark that would identify the date of manufacture, it is virtually impossible for law enforcement to determine whether a large capacity magazine was manufactured prior to 1994, and, as aresult, we effectively have no ban in New York State. In order to fix this problem, Governor Cuomo will propose tightening our assault weapons ban and eliminating large capacity magazines regardless of date of manufacture.

The same is being said for pistol licenses. “Good for life” will no longer mean what you think it means. It means constant renewal, even when you’re not convicted, arrested, or even accused of any disqualifying offense, which presumably also means more money for the government.

Currently, licenses for handguns are issued by the county in which the gun owner lives. With few exceptions, licenses are valid for life. As a result, while certain checks—for example, checks against criminal convictions, involuntary commitment records,convictions for crimes of domestic violence, open orders of protection—are run at the time a license is issued, once a license is obtained, there is no subsequent check to determine whether the holder is still eligible to own a gun. Governor Cuomo will propose a single standard across the state to ensure that appropriate checks can be run to bar convicted felons and other prohibited people from possessing firearms.

There are other issues mentioned, but none in quite as much detail as the two above. I’ll let the folks who specialize in NY gun laws break down what the rest of the big push from the Governor will mean in practical terms.

Oh, and I should mention as a warning to New York gun owners: When Massachusetts converted their firearms identification cards from “good for life” to renewable, the state admits that they didn’t bother to tell thousands of gun owners. Even years after it changed, the state pro-gun group would get phone calls from guys who were just stopped with rounds of shotgun ammunition in the car or coming in from a day of hunting, and they were promptly charged with having an expired FID card – even though the card they held said it was good for life. Oh yes, innocent people who think they are following the law will be hurt by these changes if they go through.

So, New Yorkers, get involved with your state groups and try to get a repeat of Illinois.

30 thoughts on “New York Gun Control Proposals”

    1. The handgun license in NYC is $442 with fingerprint fee. For a renewal check, the license fee will be repeated.

      1. Yep. A first-time application for a handgun license costs $340 plus $91.50 for fingerprinting. Currently, you have to pay $340 every 3 years to renew. I think there’s a proposal to change this to every 2 years (to discourage people from lawfully possessing handguns, of course). The SAF is currently challenging NYC’s fee in Kwong v. Bloomberg. Oral arguments are before the Second Circuit on 1/30.

        Under the current law, though, outside NYC & Nassau County, $10 is the maximum fee that can be charged in the rest of the state. I haven’t seen any proposals to raise that fee–yet.

  1. “As a result, while certain checks—for example, checks against criminal convictions, involuntary commitment records,convictions for crimes of domestic violence, open orders of protection—are run at the time a license is issued, once a license is obtained, there is no subsequent check to determine whether the holder is still eligible to own a gun. ”

    What a dipshit. Even the very pro-gun, very free state of Kentucky runs a NICS checks its CCW holders regularly. You have your list of permit holders, run a NICS check on that list, and bam problem solved. No new laws or confiscations from non-criminal non-prohibited persons required.

    1. Actually, the easiest thing would be to check for a pistol license at the time of a disqualifying offense. If they were truly in this for public safety, that would be the case. If some pistol permit holder becomes a convicted felon, why is public safety not best served by simply revoking the license at that point in time instead of waiting until their license is up for renewal? This is about making lawful gun ownership as expensive as possible.

      1. Good point Bitter.

        Of course your solution would require the state to actually lock up dangerous criminals…. /snark

      2. That’s how Virginia and Missouri handle concealed carry licenses; when someone has a disqualifying event having a CCW license is checked for and they have to surrender it.

        In the time my county’s Sheriff’s Deputy has been handling then (perhaps since the beginning in 2004), out of 2400 or 2700 outstanding Missouri licenses (any state’s will do and there are cheaper ones), they’ve only had to pull about 10, and all but 2 of those were temporary, for restraining orders.

      3. Not only expensive, but adding criminal liability. There is nothing I do in life that has be so close to being arrested and having my life ruining as owning guns in California. They want people to think twice about owning guns. Re-registration is part of that plan. So many times I address the gun issue in terms of freedom. I am not just talking about freedom as in freedom to own whatever weapon I choose- I mean FREEDOM freedom. Like not being imprisoned.

        1. And the anti-gunners insist that police will use good judgement and not arrest you if you make an honest mistake (no harm, no foul) when reality has proven otherwise.

  2. I’m reminded of an old proverb. Get comfortable, kids, Noob is going to read you a story…

    One cold night, as an Arab sat in his tent, a camel gently thrust his nose under the flap and looked in. “Master,” he said, “let me put my nose in your tent. It’s cold and stormy out here.” “By all means,” said the Arab, “and welcome” as he turned over and went to sleep.

    A little later the Arab awoke to find that the camel had not only put his nose in the tent but his head and neck also. The camel, who had been turning his head from side to side, said, “I will take but little more room if I place my forelegs within the tent. It is difficult standing out here.” “Yes, you may put your forelegs within,” said the Arab, moving a little to make room, for the tent was small.

    Finally, the camel said, “May I not stand wholly inside? I keep the tent open by standing as I do.” “Yes, yes,” said the Arab. “Come wholly inside. Perhaps it will be better for both of us.” So the camel crowded in. The Arab with difficulty in the crowded quarters again went to sleep. When he woke up the next time, he was outside in the cold and the camel had the tent to himself.

    Once the legislation get in, no matter how innocuous, there is nothing stopping it from growing beyond control.

    You see, the legislation is the camel’s nose? It’s a metaphor.

  3. Wow , I guess the manufacturers date stamps in my mags is an optical illusion . Btw , if the cops in N.Y. State know you have a pistol permit as soon as they run your drivers license ( if you doubt this go through a D.O.T. station sometime when your bored ) then why can’t the court do the same thing if someone is deemed unfit for possession ? Morons in charge don’t even know laws & systems already in place , but want more.

  4. So far I’m hearing mixed reports. Many were surprised that Cuomo didn’t spend more time in his speech on guns. It was also expected that he would be announcing a deal that had been reached in the legislature, but he only announced upcoming proposals. SCOPE NY is taking that to mean that we’ve bought some time, even posting “No Deal. We win!” on their home page. But local media is reporting that a deal in the legislature is 95% done, which sounds to me like we’re getting thrown under the bus.

    1. Padre , Lets hope it’s just another case of the media “mis” reporting the truth so that it suits their agenda & ups viewer #’s , par for the course.

  5. even the stupid government doesnt know the laws. Every 4 years another background check is done on you if you have a pistol permit in NY. The Brady
    check. I just had to sign for my 3rd since I got my permit. Government changing laws on new sales is one thing. Taking guns is another.

    1. Nick , never heard of that . Maybe thats something required by your county? Only time I sign anything is when doing an amendment.

  6. Note that now possession of more than three firearms could be a felony. Possession of 10 or more gets you 5-25 years of prison.

    Possession of “too many firearms” is criminalized if this law passes, without anything else being done.

    Also included in this bill (and this is where it gets really scary) is new definitions for criminal possession of a weapon in the third and first degrees:

    A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree when:
    (1) Such person commits the crime of criminal possession of a weapon
    in the fourth degree as defined in subdivision one, two, three or five
    of section 265.01, and has been previously convicted of any crime; or
    (2) Such person possesses any explosive or incendiary bomb, bombshell,
    firearm silencer, machine-gun or any other firearm or weapon simulating
    a machine-gun and which is adaptable for such use; or
    (3) Such person knowingly possesses a machine-gun, firearm, rifle or
    shotgun which has been defaced for the purpose of concealment or
    prevention of the detection of a crime or misrepresenting the identity
    of such machine-gun, firearm, rifle or shotgun; or
    (5) (i) Such person possesses three or more firearms; or (ii) such
    person possesses a firearm and has been previously convicted of a felony
    or a class A misdemeanor defined in this chapter within the five years
    immediately preceding the commission of the offense and such possession
    did not take place in the person’s home or place of business; or
    (6) Such person knowingly possesses any disguised gun[; or
    (7) Such person possesses an assault weapon; or
    (8) Such person possesses a large capacity ammunition feeding device].
    Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree is a class D felony.

    This a class D violent felony and carries a penalty of 2-7 years in a state prison

    A person is guilty of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree when such person:
    (1) possesses any explosive substance with intent to use the same
    unlawfully against the person or property of another; or
    (2) possesses ten or more firearms; OR
    Criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree is a class B felony.

    This is a class B Violent Felony and carries a penalty of 5-25 years in a state prison

  7. Calls and emails to local Long Island republicans don’t seem to be having much effect – local media still reporting that the Senate and their quasi-Republican majority are on board with this. Attempts to get friends and family – even those who own firearms – to contact legislators falling flat.
    Unsure where to go from here.

    1. I hate to be flippant, but “Escape from New York”?

      I wouldn’t even bring this up except that’s exactly what I did with Massachusetts in the early ’90s after living there for a dozen years. One factor was I was certain nasty new legislation was coming, and let us say it exceeded expectations.

      1. For various reasons, mostly professional, escape is not an option for myself or my wife-to-be in the near to medium term.

        I suppose I will have to be content in the knowledge that Kachalsky is destined for the Supreme Court in the next term, and pray for Justice Scalia’s health in the interim.

    2. This is the exact problem. Chuck Schumer and Kristen Gillibrand? Carolyn McCarthy? Peter King? Cuomo?

      I feel like all I’m doing is indentifying myself for an enemies list.

      1. Don’t worry, I’m sure you’re already on it. ( 1/2 :-).

        (Seriously, any of us who don’t think we are or won’t be are deluding ourselves. We generate a lot of data, especially if we’re on the net, and of course “Are you now, or have you ever been a member of the National Rifle Association?” Or subscribed to a gun magazine? Paid for gun stuff with a credit card? Etc.

        1. Absolutely. I follow the tech sites reigiously for the newer things and I can put 2+2 together and it equals 1984 on Charlie Sheen’s blood.

    1. Possession of 3 or more assault weapons, which are included in the 265.00 definition of ‘firearm’. Rifles with barrels longer than 16″, shotguns with barrels longer than 18″, and pistols are not included in the count.


      1. Had a friendly attorney parse the language (This is not advice or anything other than opinion.) and it seems to read 3 firearms total. Can you point me to where you see Assault rifles?

        Thanks, I appreciate the responses.

        1. S 265.00 Definitions.
          As used in this article and in article four hundred, the following
          terms shall mean and include:

          3. “Firearm” means (a) any pistol or revolver; or (b) a shotgun havingone or more barrels less than eighteen inches in length; or (c) a rifle having one or more barrels less than sixteen inches in length; or (d) any weapon made from a shotgun or rifle whether by alteration, modification, or otherwise if such weapon as altered, modified, or otherwise has an overall length of less than twenty-six inches; or (e) an assault weapon. For the purpose of this subdivision the length of the barrel on a shotgun or rifle shall be determined by measuring the distance between the muzzle and the face of the bolt, breech, or breechlock when closed and when the shotgun or rifle is cocked; the overall length of a weapon made from a shotgun or rifle is the distance between the extreme ends of the weapon measured along a line parallel to the center line of the bore. Firearm does not include an antique firearm.

          Apologies – pistols and revolvers are included. So you are probably well and truly fucked.

          1. Thanks. We spent last sleeping horribly. This is going to destroy two generations of our family.

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