COVID-19, Supply Chains, and Firearms Manufacturers

I received an email yesterday afternoon from Kimber. It was detailing the impact of COVID-19 on their operations. Kimber has plants in both Yonkers, New York and Troy, Alabama. If you have spent any time watching the talking heads on TV, you know that New York has overtaken Washington State in the number of coronavirus cases.

Here is part of what was in the email:

Due to the New York state decision to shutter non-essential businesses as part of the COVID-19 response plan, Kimber Mfg. Inc. has stopped production at its New York facilities. 

Production continues at Kimber’s new, state-of-the-art Troy, Alabama manufacturing facility, with the entire line of handguns and long guns being assembled. Due to the large number of parts manufactured in Yonkers and the state mandated closure in New York, the Troy facility will suspend production on March 31st . “This situation is unfortunate as we were off to an incredible start in gun shipments in 2020 and were running our factories seven days a week. We would like to thank our dealers and consumers for their overwhelmingly positive response to our 2020 new products,” said Greg Grogan, Kimber president. With that said, if you are in the market for a Kimber firearm, now is the time to make that purchase.”

Kimber’s Alabama based customer service and repair services remain open to help customers with any questions they may have. In addition, the Alabama based Kimber online store is open and products are shipping as long as inventory lasts. Montana based dealer sales and customer service departments also remain open.

The bottom line is that even though your assembly plant is in an area which only has a relatively small number of coronavirus cases, you are still impacted adversely. Alabama has 531 cases as of today versus New York State with 39,140 cases according to the Johns Hopkins University compilation. Indeed, Westchester County, NY where Yonkers is located has over 10 times as many infections as the entire state of Alabama.

Then there is the whole issue of essential versus non-essential businesses. Some states have said firearms manufacturing would be considered an essential business because it provides tools to the defense industry or to law enforcement. Other states do not consider it essential. Even if you are in a state that considers your production essential, if your subcontractor making critical parts is located in a place that takes the opposite view, you are screwed.

The firearms industry is composed of primarily small businesses. Even the largest companies like Ruger and Smith & Wesson are considered small by comparison to other manufacturers. While the products are flying out the doors now, a mid to long period of enforced closure due to the pandemic is going to hurt.

Know The Enemy – Letitia James

Letitia James is the Attorney General of New York. She recently published her 2019 Year in Review. Reading through this 62 page report gives you some indication of her attitudes and intentions towards gun owners and gun rights groups.

Michael Bane often says on his podcast that if someone says they plan to do you harm, take them at their word. James said in her campaign platform she intended to investigate the charitable status of the NRA. Indeed, that was the number one item on her bullet list dealing with “gun violence” (sic).

As we know, her office has followed through on that threat. The letter that prefaces her 2019 Year in Review noted that she had “opened an investigation into the NRA’s charitable practices “.

Pages 43 and 44 deal with her plans regarding firearms.

Gun violence is a public health epidemic in New York and across the nation. Every loss of life and injury from gun violence is a devastating reminder of our shared responsibility to face this crisis head on and to support the communities that have suffered from its effects. Attorney General James is committed to catching criminals who traffic illegal weapons onto our streets, and holding them accountable. She has taken legal action to protect states’ rights to enact common sense gun safety regulations, including leading a multistate coalition to protect New York’s right to implement these critical measures, which is currently being heard by the United States Supreme Court. She has also partnered with law enforcement agencies across the state to host gun buyback programs and get illegal guns out of our communities. She will continue to pursue every avenue available to reduce gun violence in New York.

By stating that the criminal misuse of a firearm is a “public health epidemic”, James conveniently sidesteps criminal justice steps targeted at the violent criminal actors. Criminal justice is actually not high on her radar if you read the highlights of her annual report. It appears she is more interested in abortion rights, climate change, and protecting New Yorkers “regressive Federal policies” of the Trump Administration than even “gun violence” (sic).

I find it interesting that she resorts to “states’ rights” to defend the repressive gun control laws in her state which leave the poorest at the mercy of criminals. John C. Calhoun would be proud of her use of states’ right to defend the indefensible. He used it to defend slavery and she uses it to defend the denigration of the right to keep and bear arms.

With regard to so-called “ghost guns”, she devotes a whole paragraph to them

The New York Attorney General’s Office was the first law enforcement agency in the nation to charge people for selling so-called ghost guns, or guns that are manufactured from parts sold over the Internet. These guns do not have serial numbers, so they are untraceable by law enforcement. Continuing on these enforcement efforts, in September 2019, Attorney General James directed 16 websites to cease and desist selling nearly complete assault weapons to consumers in New York. Attorney General James will continue to go after those that skirt the law to manufacture illegal and deadly assault weapons.

She then goes on to tout her support for gun buybacks.

Our neighborhoods are safer when unwanted firearms are off our streets and out of our homes. Attorney General James’ Gun Buyback Program provides a safe option for New Yorkers to get rid of guns they do not want, on a “no questions asked” basis. In 2019, Attorney General James partnered with local law enforcement agencies to host 24 gun buyback events at houses of worship and community centers all across the state. As a result of these events, the office recovered over 2,700 guns.

So in one paragraph she opines that “ghost guns” are unserialized making them untraceable by law enforcement. Then she proudly states she provided a safe option to get rid of guns people didn’t want on a no questions asked basis. I can’t be the only one to see the contradiction here. She is against guns being untraceable but is OK with guns actually used in violent crimes not being able to be traced to the violent criminal.

Finally, for some reason, she lumps police body cameras in with her section of “gun violence” (sic).

I guess when New Yorkers elected James they felt they were electing someone who wouldn’t engage in domestic violence like her predecessor nor hire prostitutes like her penultimate predecessor. That was kind of a low bar that even Tish James could hurdle.

A Heavy Artillery Salvo Has Been Fired On The NRA

Much of what has been said by politicians about the NRA and everything negative that has appeared recently in the media of any sort should be considered the equivalent of sniping. It might take out one or two people but not the whole organization. That was then.

The office of New York Attorney General Letitia James (D-NY) has now fired what I would consider the preparatory barrage in the effort to dissolve the NRA. As someone noted to me, James is under pressure to act and she did on Friday.

From NPR reporting on the NRA Annual Meeting:

Even as the NRA struggled to handle its internal divisions, an external threat emerged this weekend in the form of a new investigation by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

“The Office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James has launched an investigation related to the National Rifle Association (NRA),” a spokesperson for the attorney general told NPR. “As part of this investigation, the Attorney General has issued subpoenas. We will not have further comment at this time.”

The NRA has received a document preservation notice in connection with the investigation being undertaken by the New York attorney general, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The NRA responded to the announcement of the investigation by pledging its cooperation.

“The NRA will fully cooperate with any inquiry into its finances,” said William A. Brewer III, an outside lawyer for the NRA. “The NRA is prepared for this, and has full confidence in its accounting practices and commitment to good governance.”

 This is serious.

It is even more serious because as evidenced by the NRA Meeting of the Members today too many people think just ignoring it will make it go away. The matter is NOT going away.

Compounding this is the NRA’s outside counsel who has a checkered past in terms of legal ethics. He was sanctioned in Texas and his appeal of it was upheld by the Texas Appeals Court last year.

If the NRA is going to use an outside counsel, I might suggest getting the very best – and cleanest – New York non-profit law specialist and let him or her handle it. However, given Brewer’s apparent hold on the attention of certain NRA executives, I doubt this will happen.

Knife Rights Will Appeal NY “Gravity Knife” Case To SCOTUS

Knife Rights has announced that they will appeal their long-running case against New York over the definition of gravity knives to the Supreme Court. The case centers around common folding knives that have been the target of enforcement by the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney. The victims of this unjust definition have usually been trades people and minorities.

From Knife Rights on their plan to appeal:

Knife Rights’ NYC Gravity Knife Case Appeal Headed To U.S. Supreme Court

Knife
Rights is going forward with an appeal to the Supreme Court of the
United States of the Second Circuit’s decision in favor of New York City
and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. in our long running civil rights
lawsuit over their persecution of pocket knife owners.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg last week granted us a 60-day extension
until January 13th, 2019, for submission of our petition for a writ of
certiorari asking the Court to hear our appeal.

While our
lawsuit against New York City and DA Vance centers on their abusive
enforcement of New York State’s gravity knife ban against owners of
common pocket knives, the focus changes somewhat as it moves to the
Supreme Court. Keep in mind that the Supreme Court does not generally
agree to hear a case just because any particular decision in a case is
unjust, irrational or just plain terrible, all of which describe this
ruling in spades.

Beyond settling major constitutional issues,
the Court will sometimes choose to resolve differences in the
application of Federal law among different Federal circuit courts when
its decisions are not applied the same throughout the U.S. The Second
Circuit panel’s ruling regarding our constitutional vagueness claim in
this case opens up that possibility with starkly split decisions between
it and other circuits, as well as splits between a number of state
courts. The writ explains why this case is important and worthy of the
Court’s limited time.

A Supreme Court decision to hear the case
could affect the implementation and enforcement of a wide spectrum of
laws to persons throughout the U.S. It is no longer just about these
common folding knives. New York City’s enforcement of the state’s
gravity knife law against common folding knives is now the vehicle to
answer the bigger constitutional question at issue. Only if the Supreme
Court accepts the case do we get to argue the merits of our particular
case as it reflects this bigger issue.

It’s always long odds for
any case to be accepted by the Supreme Court. However, not making the
attempt ensures we lose. And, that would allow very bad precedent to be
set in stone.

Taking a case to Supreme Court is an expensive
proposition, more so for a small organization like Knife Rights. We
still need to raise significant funds for this effort if we don’t want
to hand a victory to New York Governor Cuomo, DA Vance andr New York
City Mayor de Blasio

Please consider a year-end TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation to Knife Rights to support our efforts at the Supreme Court.  Donate at:  www.kniferights.org/donate/foundation

Democrat State Party Platforms – New Mexico To Ohio

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I’m pushing to finish this series before early voting starts in most states. In North Carolina, it starts on October 17th. This group of platforms will include those of the Democrat Parties of New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Ohio. It is an interesting mix composed of three top-10 in population states along with two rather small states.

New Mexico

The 2018 platform of the New Mexico Democratic Party is interesting in that it is upfront about the influence that progressive and leftist groups and politicians have had on it. Of the 31 state platforms I’ve examined so far, it is the only one that has something like this in it. In a beginning section called “Representation”, the platform states:

While this 2018 Platform as a whole is new and original, reflecting New Mexico’s uniqueness and a fresh step
forward for the party, it is inspired by language from the 2014 and 2016 New Mexico State Platforms, the 2016
DNC platform, the Santa Fe and Eddy county platforms, Progressive Democrats of America- Central NM
Chapter, the Unity Reform Commission, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Campaign promises, and several
Obama era Executive Orders. The 2018 Platform borrows language that aligns with the priorities of
organizations who are unaffiliated with the Party but who share similar values and goals including: 350.org,
New Energy Economy, Food and Water Watch, Common Cause, Frack Free New Mexico, Taos Pueblo, Public
Citizen, Move to Amend, Sierra Club…

 Given this background, it is not surprising to see a whole litany of gun control proposals in this platform under “Public Safety”.

  • We must expand and strengthen background checks for firearm purchases and close dangerous loopholes in
    our current laws
  • Oppose the sale of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines by reinstating and
    strengthening the assault weapons ban
  • Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that revokes dangerous legal immunity
    protections for firearm manufacturers and sellers
  • Support the enactment and enforcement of aggressive laws against illegal gun trafficking

As a side-note, this section also has quite a bit about nuclear arms contained within it including challenging the unilateral authority of the President to use nuclear weapons.

New York

New York is home to the NY SAFE Act which was rammed through the legislature in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown murders. Thus, the platform of the New York State Democratic Committee is more of a patting on the back for what they’ve done than a what we intend to do in the future. The state’s gun control laws are already draconian so there is little more that could be added.

In the section of their webpage entitled What We Stand For devoted to firearms they say:

Reducing Gun Violence


When the Sandy Hook tragedy happened, New York Democrats took common-sense action, requiring universal background checks on gun purchases, increasing penalties for people who use illegal guns, setting a penalty of life in prison without parole for anyone who murders a first responder, and establishing the toughest assault weapons ban in the country.

North Carolina

As a lifelong North Carolinian and former Democrat, I’m not surprised by what I’ve read in the North Carolina Democratic Party’s platform. The party that was composed of moderate and conservative Democrats has been fully taken over by the left wing. That trend started in 1972 with the McGovern campaign and went into high gear in the 90s and early 2000s. Some of this was indigenous and a good bit was due to in-migration from the Northeast.

In the section entitled Security and Law Enforcement, it states with regard to firearms:

GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION As Democrats we recognize that there
is a serious issue with gun violence in our country, yet we also
respect the Constitution’s Second Amendment. We believe the
promotion of standards to curtail gun violence is not inconsistent
with the Second Amendment. Among the measures we support are
strengthening background checks, closing loopholes such as the
well-known “gun show loophole,” holding gun manufacturers
accountable through repeal of their special immunity status, and
keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. We believe
that responsible gun owners should not be punished for the
wrongdoing of those who seek to do harm, but that we must also
take proactive measures to slow and eventually eliminate this
epidemic in our country.

Given that the General Assembly no longer really has any pro-gun Democrats, I look at their “respect” for the Second Amendment as a joke. In an earlier section of the platform they state:

We support the fundamental rights to freedom of
speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association and assembly
2016 North Carolina Democratic Party Platform  and the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property without
due process of law
. We oppose efforts to limit or eliminate these
fundamental constitutional rights.

 They are big on the freedom of speech and assembly parts as evidenced by the “Moral Monday” protests but are paying lipservice to the taking of property without due process of law. The red flag law proposed by Rep. Marcia Morey (D-Durham) provides for ex parte orders taking a person’s firearms. This means a judge issues an order based upon what a family or household member or LEO says without the person whose guns are being taken being involved in the hearing. It is only days later that the person who is the subject of the order gets to have their day in court.

North Dakota

North Dakota Democrats are moving right along with the rest of the national Democrats in their support of gun control including age discrimination, training requirements for a first time purchase, waiting periods, and universal background checks. The NPL in the name of the North Dakota party is the Non Partisan League which merged with the Democrats back in the 1950s.

From their platform adopted March 17. 2018:

Firearm Safety – The Dem-NPL Party supports common sense regulations regarding the safe use of firearms for North Dakotans.

  1. The Dem-NPL supports legislation to close the loophole stating that it’s legal to sell and buy modification kits that can convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic ones.
  2. The Dem-NPL supports requiring North Dakota unlicensed gun sellers at gun shows, and private gun dealers to conduct the same instant background checks that licensed dealers need to conduct, using the National Criminal Instant Background Check System.
  3. The Dem-NPL Supports school Resource Officers who are trained in law enforcement, and in adolescent behavior.
  4. The Dem-NPL supports secure processes for students and adults to anonymously report suspected gun violence behavior, along with organized community forums where groups can share ideas, parents and kids can learn where to turn for help, and training is provided in the community to learn the signs of potential danger, and provides information on how to seek out interventions.
  5. The Dem-NPL supports a mandatory Certified Firearm safety training for any first time purchaser of a firearm.
  6. The Dem-NPL supports increasing the age to purchase a semi-automatic weapon from 18 to 21, and require a 3-day waiting period to purchase.

I presume that Item 1 refers to bump fire stocks as any other kit or sear would come under the National Firearms Act. Likewise, there is no such thing as a private gun dealer. You either are a licensed dealer or you are a private individual selling or trading your personally owned firearms on occasion but not as a business. This is an indication to me that whoever wrote this was unfamiliar with federal firearms law.

Ohio

The Ohio Democrats have adopted the national DNC platform as their own and have not written a separate Ohio-specific platform. Therefore, to get an idea of what Ohio Democrats will do let’s look at the platforms or issue statements of Richard Cordray who is their candidate for governor and of Steve Dettelbach who is their candidate for attorney general. These seem to me to be the two major offices impacting firearms rights in the Buckeye State.

Cordray says his administration (if elected) would do the following:

  1. Require universal background checks
  2. Ban the sale of “high-capacity” magazines and bump stocks
  3. Raise the age to purchase any firearm to 21
  4. Extreme violence protection orders
  5. Appoint a “gun violence protection czar”
  6. Create “gun violence task forces”

Bear in mind that Cordray was Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s handpicked choice to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which should show where he aligns politically.

Dettelbach doesn’t mention firearms, gun control, or even “gun safety” on his campaign website. However, in an interview with WOSU Public Media, he says he is for the following:

  • Taking guns away from domestic violence offenders
  • Restricting guns for people who have an established record of serious mental health problems
  • Reinstating the assault-style weapons ban
  • Universal background checks

Moreover, in the state where the FASTER program began, he says he is against arming teachers and administrators regardless of whether they were former military or law enforcement officers. He says, “I think this is a politician’s plan quite frankly I mean it doesn’t protect people in any meaningful way it’s more than a day late and much more than a dollar short.” I guess he is ignorant of the studies that have shown the speed of response is key to saving and protecting students.

ACLU Finally Stepping Up In NY And California

The state branches of the American Civil Liberties Union in New York and California appear to be stepping up to oppose measures aimed at the gun culture.

First, in California. The ACLU is joining with groups like the Firearms Policy Coalition to oppose AB 1968 which mandates a lifetime ban on firearm ownership by anyone who has been involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility more than once in one year.

In a letter to Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) who is the author of the bill, they said:

“This bill stigmatizes people with a history of mental health issues, and perpetuates the harmful and false stereotype that such people are inherently violent and dangerous.”

As AWR Hawkins notes in an article in Breitbart, the bill’s approach is essentially the same as that was used to deny Social Security recipients that needed help managing their monies. That is, it didn’t differentiate between non-violent and violent behavior and lumped them all together.

Duke University psychiatrist and behavior health professor Jeffrey Swanson had an op-ed in the Washington Post at the time criticizing this lumping together. He said then, ““the vast majority of mentally ill individuals pose no threat to themselves nor to others. Yet the ban stigmatized a broad swath of the mentally ill by treating them as a threat.

Now on to New York where the ACLU filed an amicus brief supporting the NRA in their lawsuit against Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). To me, this is the more important of the two because the ACLU’s defense of the NRA rightly points out the danger of using the administrative state against any organization that is out of favor at the time with a politician.

Reason.com describes the efforts of the Cuomo administration to deny the NRA the ability to obtain banking and insurance coverages.

A timeline prepared by the NRA suggests the intimidation campaign began last fall. The anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety met with New York officials in September 2017; a month later the Department of Financial Services began an investigation that started with a company called Lockton, which administered the NRA-branded personal liability insurance program known as Carry Guard. Despite a 20-year relationship, Lockton responded by abruptly ditching the NRA as a customer in February; so did Chubb and Lloyd’s.

Emboldened by this initial success, Maria Vullo, head of the state’s Department of Financial Services, sent a pair of ominous letters to all banks, financial institutions, and insurers licensed to do business in New York. Vullo warned companies to sever ties with pro-Second Amendment groups that “promote guns and lead to senseless violence” and instead heed “the voices of the passionate, courageous, and articulate young people” calling for more restrictions on firearms. All companies receiving the letter, she advised, should “review any relationships they have with the NRA or similar gun promotion organizations, and to take prompt actions to managing these risks and promote public health and safety.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo underlined the regulatory threat in a tweet the next day: “The NRA is an extremist organization. I urge companies in New York State to revisit any ties they have to the NRA and consider their reputations, and responsibility to the public.'”

As a result of those not-very-veiled threats, the NRA says, multiple banks withdrew bids to provide basic depository services. The NRA is also worried about being able to continue producing its NRA TV channel, with hosts including Dana Loesch and Cam Edwards, unless it can obtain normal media liability insurance.

David Cole, the ACLU Legal Director, explained in a blog post why they filed their amicus brief even though they still cling to a collective right view of the Second Amendment.

In the ACLU’s view, targeting a nonprofit advocacy group and seeking to deny it financial services because it promotes a lawful activity (the use of guns) violates the First Amendment. Because we believe the governor’s actions, as alleged, threaten the First Amendment rights of all advocacy organizations, the ACLU on Friday filed a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the NRA’s right to have its day in court.

His blog post points out that while it may be the NRA that is targeted today, it could be a liberal group that is being targeted tomorrow for “disapproved speech” and that violates the First Amendment.

The amicus brief opposes NY’s motion to dismiss the NRA’s case. Their argument centers on two major points. First, that the court must consider all circumstances to determine whether or not Cuomo and company threatened adverse actions against the NRA’s banks and insurers. In essence, it urges the court to look beyond the “wink-wink, nudge-nudge” wording of the press releases and guidance letters and look to the substance of what was being communicated. That is, if you do business with the NRA we will consider it a reputational risk and make it hard for you to do any business in New York State.

The second argument in the amicus brief is that Cuomo and the other defendants misstated the requirements for a First Amendment claim. The ACLU says the requirements to make a First Amendment claim are rather straightforward and the NRA met the standard. However, the defendants (Cuomo and company) have tried to add some “non-existent requirements on to the test.” The brief then takes these apart one after another and finds they have no merit. They conclude that the NRA’s lawsuit should not be dismissed and that the case should go forward.

While I don’t agree with the ACLU on a lot of things and certainly not their incorrect interpretation of the Second Amendment, I do applaud their efforts in both California and New York State. It isn the latter case where I think they’ve really stepped up in their protection of constitutional rights.

Knife Law Reform In New York Must Wait Another Year

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) ignored the overwhelming support in both houses of the New York Assembly for reform of New York’s gravity knife law and vetoed the bill today. The bill had the support of groups such as the NAACP and the ACLU who normally would not support a pro-2A bill. In this case, they saw the harm that the existing law caused for the average New Yorker.

I guess I could make a joke about Cuomo getting confused on what he was supposed to do after indulging in one too many of girlfriend Sandra Lee’s cocktails but what he did was give the average New Yorker the finger.

Knife Rights has the full story below.

Cuomo Sides with NYC Pols – Gives Finger to the People 




Waiting until the last possible moment, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has vetoed Knife Rights’ Gravity Knife and Switchblade Reform Bill,
effectively giving the finger to New York’s legislature that
overwhelmingly passed the bill and the large coalition of organizations,
many part of his own constituency, which supported the bill. Despite
the thousands who called and emailed the Governor to sign the bill, and
thanks very much for those who did so, he sided with the disingenuous
arguments made by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYPD Commissioner
James O’Neill and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., virtually the only
ones who opposed the bill. In vetoing this bill he has potentially
doomed thousands more to arrest and prosecution for carrying common
pocket knives that won’t get someone arrested virtually anywhere except
in New York City.

Despite Cuomo’s avowed commitment to criminal justice reform in New York, this veto clearly shows the lie to that claim.
Next year’s session of the New York Legislature is almost
upon us and we’ll be back again working to fix the state’s Gravity Knife
law to prevent these arrests and prosecutions. This bill passed with
such large majorities in both houses of the legislature that an override
of a veto is theoretically possible.

Meanwhile, our five-year-old Federal civil rights lawsuit over the constitutionality of New York City’s “wrist flick” test awaits a decision which could settle the issue for certain.

Knife Rights Needs Our Help In New York

New York City is not only one of the most anti-gun jurisdictions in the country but also one of the most anti-knife. Their prosecutions of honest citizens for “gravity” knives is over the top. There is a bill in the New York Senate that would correct many of these abuses by clearly defining both switchblades and gravity knives. A correct definition would eliminate prosecutions for having your average lock-blade knife.

Knife Rights is urging that anyone who lives, works, or merely visits New York to contact Sen. John Flanagan who chairs the Senate Rules Committee and ask him to schedule a vote on S6483A.

Their alert is below:

New York URGENT ACTION ALERT 
CALL or EMAIL TODAY to Schedule S6483A for a Vote

 

The next hurdle to getting Knife Rights’ New York Knife Law Reform bill (S6483A)
passed to end the widespread persecution of those carrying pocket
knives in New York City is to get the Senate Rules Committee to pass the
bill so it can be voted on by the full Senate.

If you live, work or travel in New York and New York City, please CALL or EMAIL the Chairman of the Rules Committee, Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, TODAY
and simply deliver the message that you are “calling/writing to
respectfully request that Leader Flanagan please schedule S6483A for a
vote” and then thank him. Please be POLITE and RESPECTFUL. 

CALL Majority Leader Flanagan TODAY at: 
518-455-2071

EMAIL Majority Leader Flanagan TODAY at: flanagan@nysenate.gov

Again, please be POLITE and RESPECTFUL, just deliver the message: “I am calling/writing
to respectfully request that Leader Flanagan please schedule S6483A for
a vote,” and then thank him. That’s it, keep it short and simple and above all BE POLITE and RESPECTFUL.

If Emailing, use the SUBJECT: Please Schedule S6483A for Senate Vote

If
you call, they may ask you the city and state where you live, for their
call record. If you email, include your city and state. In either case, if you live out-of-state, explain how you work in, or travel to, New York / New York City.
S6483A
adds clarifying bias-towards closure exclusions to the state
switchblade and gravity knife definitions, similar to that included in
the revision to the Federal Switchblade Act that Knife Rights helped
pass in 2009. This clarifying exclusion should prevent the bogus Gravity
Knife arrests and prosecutions of honest law-abiding individuals in New
York City who are carrying common folding knives, tools that are legal
to carry everywhere else in t
NYC Donate Buttonhe U.S.

Neither
Gravity Knives nor Switchblades have a bias towards closure found in
common folding knives to keep the blade safely closed in the pocket.
Only in New York Cit
y has the NYPD and
District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. abused the state’s gravity knife law
to prosecute those carrying simple pocket knives by claiming they are
illegal Gravity Knives.

The City’s Village Voice newspaper found two years ago that there had been as many as 60,000 gravity-knife prosecutions over the past decade! You can read the Village Voice article at: http://bit.ly/1MiJbvv

Hundreds of innocent pocket knife carriers are being arrested every week!

Meanwhile, our Federal Civil Rights lawsuit against New York City and District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr.
over these unconstitutional arrests and prosecutions continues with a
trial date now scheduled for June 16, which will be just over five years
since the lawsuit was filed. The quicker solution is to get S6483A passed.

We Aren’t The Suppliers; Thieves Are The Suppliers

Willie Dixie, Jr. is the Special Agent in Charge of the BATFE’s Charlotte Field Division. He was interviewed earlier this week by WCNC – NBC Charlotte regarding gun thefts in North and South Carolina.

“We are the supplier of those firearms that end up in the northern cities,” Wayne Dixie, Jr. said.

Last year there were 256 guns stolen in South Carolina that ended up in just New York. Another 279 from North Carolina ended up there. And those numbers have been pretty steady over the last five years.

It’s not just stolen guns from here that make their way up North, others are bought here legally and make the same trek.

“North and South Carolina are source states…a lot of times people from the North will come down here and purchase firearms here because of lax gun laws.”

Sorry SAC Dixie, “we” aren’t the suppliers. Thieves and criminal organizations are the suppliers. When examining the BATFE’s own gun trace data for New York for 2014, North and South Carolina are not even the top source states. That honor goes to New York itself with five times as many traced guns as either North or South Carolina.

Also, what the hell do you mean by “lax gun laws”? Do you mean that because North Carolina has a greater appreciation for the Constitution (to which you took an oath) that we are “lax”?

Straw purchases are illegal whether done in downtown Charlotte or downtown Manhattan. Moreover, even private sales of handguns in North Carolina require either a pistol purchase permit or a concealed handgun permit to be legal. That pistol purchase permit system, by the way, was instituted by Democrats to keep African-Americans like yourself disarmed.

Your office conveniently proclaims when they have been involved in a conviction of any sort. Despite your so-called surge of FFL inspections started in 2014, I see only one reported set of convictions for either firearms theft or trafficking in the last two years. Indeed, more people were convicted of smuggling cigarettes than firearms if your releases are any indication.

No dealer ever wants to see firearms from his or her store used in a crime. Furthermore, none of them want to see firearms stolen from their store. Gun stores go to great lengths to protect their inventory and, unless I am mistaken, this is part of your inspection process.

You can see SAC Dixie’s statements below in his interview with Michelee Boudin of WCNC.

Does Senator Avella Think New Yorkers Are Going To Go All Hutu Or Something?

I read the most ridiculous story in the New York Daily News yesterday. New York State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Queens) wants to ban the sale and possession of machetes in New York. The move is in response to a murder in July in which a machete was used as the murder weapon.

The sale of machetes should be outlawed after several recent attacks, a Queens pol said Wednesday.

State Sen. Tony Avella plans to introduce a bill to ban the possession of the scary blades in New York.

“The fact that anyone can easily purchase this potentially lethal tool is just crazy,” he said.

Smaller knives such as switchblades and gravity knives are already banned and listed as deadly weapons under state law, but machetes are considered the same as butcher knives.

Avella’s bill, Senate Bill 3199-2015,  would add machetes to the list of deadly weapons. This puts them in the same category as firearms, switchblades, gravity knives, brass knuckles, and the “pilum ballistic knife”. He claims in the justification that it will allow those who use a machete as a weapon will be charged appropriately. Does it really make that much difference if a person uses a “deadly weapon” as opposed to a “dangerous weapon” when they commit a crime?

According to the Daily News this legislation would mean mere possession of a machete could land you in prison for a year.

It is obvious that Sen. Avella is a nanny stater playing to the media with this proposal. Given New York State’s ethnic diversity I’m a bit surprised that he didn’t make reference to Rwanda and the desire to avoid a genocide as machetes were the weapon of choice of the Hutu against the Tutsi. Or, better yet, to give this a New York context, the Sharks versus the Jets a’la West Side Story. Just substitute machete for switchblade.

Machetes are a tool. I have many of them in various forms, shapes, and sizes. My favorite is one that I inherited from my dad. It is a bolo style machete that I think he picked up in the Caribbean during WWII when he served in the Caribbean Defense Command. The sheath is nicely tooled leather with a pistol belt hook attachment.

This bill is a joke just like its sponsor. Both should be consigned to the dustbin of history. Whether that happens or not only time and public disgust will tell.