There were two recent separate incidents in New York wherein the defendants were charged with carrying a firearm without the proper permissions (although they believed that, in fact, they were in compliance with the insanely convoluted NYS gun laws).
In the first case, a man visiting from California was boarding a plane at LaGuardia and traveling with a legally-licensed gun that was being transported according to federal aviation law. When he declared the gun that was in his checked baggage, he was arrested for illegally carrying a firearm in NYC.
A week later, a woman visiting from Tennessee, with a legal carry permit from her home state, was arrested while visiting the 9/11 memorial. Upon seeing a sign that said “no guns allowed” she approached a police officer to inquire where she could check the .32 caliber pistol she carried in her purse.
Granted, as a NYer, I would probably (probably) not carry anywhere near presumed checkpoints (airports, tourist sites, clubs catering to Plaxo-clumsy athletes…). But it is well past time for a review of not only NYS’ arcane yet oddly post-progressive maze-like gun laws but the federal sale, possession, registration and use of firearms.
44 states have a provision in their state constitutions similar to the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The exceptions are California, Iowa, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York. In New York, however, the civil rights laws contain a provision virtually identical to the Second Amendment.
The argument for me isn’t states rights v. federal regulation of firearms. It is a simple review of the latest 2010 census. People are migrating towards exurbs (areas outside of urban and suburban locales) in record numbers. 59% of the population now lives outside of urban areas. These are areas wherein neighbors homes are farther apart, police response is obviously not going to be as speedy as that of urban areas and, there is the real danger of wild animals (now adjusted to humans in their environments) approaching homes and humans. I have yet to hear of a coyote come a callin’ with a pie in hand to welcome a new neighbor into Granny’s forest. And the danger of living in a rural location does not come only from the four-legged variety of animal as we all learned when 18 y.o. mother, Sarah McKinley, holding her 3 month old son, was forced to shoot and kill an intruder. Mrs. McKinley (whose husband had just passed) was on the phone with 911 throughout this horrifying experience, 20 minutes of sheer terror, during which she heard the intruder and his buddy in crime trying to break into her home. They did; she shot. This is a case of self-defense and the safety of her infant.
Fast forward to the Trayvon Martin case from Florida.
Martin, an unarmed teenager, was shot to death by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman on Feb. 26, 2012. The teen was walking inside a gated community where his father and stepmother lived. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and was not arrested or charged. The law that allowed Zimmerman to walk away free is known as a “Stand Your Ground” law, which gives citizens a right not to retreat and to meet force with force if attacked in any place they have a right to be.
(For the record and in my opinion, President Obama, as a lawyer and law professor, leave alone the most high-profile person on Earth, should not have commented on an ongoing investigation. Should this matter go to trial, the only acceptable venue, with an untainted jury pool, will be somewhere in the Fiji Islands.)
Having meandered somewhat, my point is that our state laws have become multiple hydra-like labyrinths that allow for zero clarity on the possession and use of firearms and federal laws relating to such are equally as confusing to the average law-abiding citizen. (The criminals don’t appear to be too compliance-concerned.)
Our state and federal legislators need to coordinate some sort of common sense application of the Second Amendment right to bear arms. And it must be an effort conducted from the bottom up. Referring back to the current trend of the movement of the populace from urban to exurban areas, each law enforcement and prosecution jurisdiction must weigh in on the needs for their specific communities, and so on, up the chain to the federal level regarding gun commerce, registration and carry permissions. Face it, the more people are living outside of the big cities, the more likely they are to possess firearms.
Our Operatives: A step ahead.
As always, stay safe.
- Gun sales explode as election looms (blogginghounds.wordpress.com)
- Courts Split on Right to Carry Firearms Outside the Home | nraila.org/ (gloucestercitynews.net)
Filed under: Guns | Tagged: gun carry, gun possession, president obama, Second Amendment, Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, self-defense, Traymore Martin, Zimmerman | Leave a Comment »