Arsenals Behind Enemy Lines

An alternative title might be your tax dollars at work if you live in New York City.

In an effort to curb “gun violence” (sic) in Gotham City, a joint firearms task force that included BATFE, the NYPD, and, believe it or not, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General recovered this enormous arsenal in a raid.

The streets of DeBlasio’s New York have never been safer.

NYC Blinks. Unfortunately

When the Supreme Court surprised us by granting certiorari in NY State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York et al, those of us in the pro-rights community rejoiced. This would be the first major Second Amendment case involving firearms accepted for cert since McDonald v. Chicago. A number of states as well as a number of gun rights organizations filed amicus briefs urging the Court to accept the case. As issue in the case was a New York City law that forbid those with handgun licenses from traveling outside the city limits with their handguns. They were only allowed to transport their handgun to one of seven licensed ranges within the city.

It was felt that this case might be used to establish both the right to carry outside the home and to set the standard that should be used in Second Amendment cases. David Kopel said the case offered the opportunity to “to begin reining in lower court nullification of the Supreme Court’s precedents in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago.” Brian Doherty writing in Reason noted that the Second Circuit “believed that the constitutional right to keep and bear arms pretty much only counts in the home, and thus these transport laws do not harm its core purpose.” He went on to say the many American believe their right to self defense does not end when they step out the door of their home.

At the end of March I noted an op-ed by Ladd Everitt, Director of George Takai’s gun control organization One Pulse for America, which urged the City of New York and the NYPD to change the law forbidding transport. I postulated that the gun control lobby was getting a bit nervous by this case and wanted the city to do what it took to moot the case. While I don’t think Everitt’s op-ed would case the City of New York to reevaluate its law, I’m sure some heavy hitters among the gun prohibitionists getting on-board this bandwagon would.

Michael Bloomberg’s wholly funded mouthpiece, The Trace, ran a story on Monday on the case and by Friday the City of New York had filed a motion with the Supreme Court advising them that the NYPD was engaging in a proposed rulemaking that would moot the case.

From the city’s attorney:

The Court granted the petition for a
writ of certiorari in this case on January 22, 2019, and petitioners’ merits brief is
currently due on May 7, 2019.



I write to advise the Court of a proposed rulemaking. If adopted in
accordance with established procedures, the proposed rule would render this case
moot before the parties complete the merits briefing in this case. For this reason, I
also write to request that the Court stay the current briefing schedule pending final
action on the proposed rule.

The proposed rule would allow residents with a premises permit for their handgun to transport them, unloaded, in a locked container, with the ammo in a separate container to:

  • Another premises of the licensee where the licensee is authorized to
    have and possess a handgun;
  • A small-arms range/shooting club authorized by law to operate as
    such, whether located within or outside New York City; and
  • A shooting competition at which the licensee may possess the handgun
    consistent with the law applicable at the place of the competition.

The NRA-ILA released a statement calling the move, in essence, a sham.

“The City of New York clearly knows that its current restrictions on the carrying and transportation of lawfully owned firearms are unconstitutional and will fail under any standard of constitutional review, as the NRA has been saying for years. Today, it asked the U.S. Supreme Court to ignore the Constitution and allow the City to slow walk a narrow expansion of its current policy through a lengthy bureaucratic process — the result of which, even if adopted, would still unduly infringe upon the fundamental, individual right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. That is not how things work in the Supreme Court; the Court does not put its review on hold while the government embarks on a journey that at best might fix only a limited part of the constitutional defect. This is nothing more than a naked attempt by New York City to resist Supreme Court review of policies that even New York must recognize as inconsistent with the holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago. The City of New York did not respect its citizens’ Second Amendment rights before the Supreme Court granted review in this case and it will not respect them going forward. We are confident that the Court will reject New York’s desperate attempt to avoid review of its blatantly unconstitutional laws.”

 I’m not sure the NRA is correct in being confident that the Supreme Court will reject New York City’s request to hold off on briefing the case. Given the chance to avoid the issue, I think the Supreme Court as led by Chief Justice Roberts may do just that. They have had many other opportunities to take another Second Amendment case and have punted.

But Only Ones…

David Codrea often refers to law enforcement officers as “only ones”. It is a riff on the claim by many gun prohibitionists that the only ones who should have guns are law enforcement (and military) as they are the “only ones” properly trained and responsible enough to have guns.

Given the recent shooting at the Empire State Building in New York City where all the wounded were caused by errant shots fired by NYPD officers, the shooting skills of many police officers was exposed to be less than optimal. Indeed, most non-only ones shoot more on a regular basis than they do.

Joe Huffman and his local gun club decided to do an objective test. They ran a USPSA club shoot using the Los Angles Police Department qualification test. However, to meet USPSA rules they actually had to make it a bit harder. Nonetheless, they had a 79% pass rate on a tougher course of fire.

Barron Barnett of The-Minuteman blog provides a video explanation below:

H/T Sebastian

Quote Of The Day

The quote of the day comes from Tam and her discussion of the abysmally poor marksmanship of New York’s Finest on Friday.

That’s gotta suck for Bloomie. What appeared to be an ideal soapbox for a little blood-dancing national conversation on how America’s lax gun laws are hurting Mike’s fat-free, sugar-free, low sodium gun-free paradise turns into a national conversation on why the hell can’t Mike’s cops shoot?

Annie Oakley Does Not Exist

The New York Times ran an article this week contrasting real life police work with TV police work. After police-involved shootings, cops are often asked why they didn’t just shoot the weapon-wielding perpetrator in the hand or leg. Indeed, New York State Assembly Members Annette Robinson (D-Brooklyn) and Darryl Towns (D-Brooklyn) actually sponsored a bill earlier this year requiring police to shoot to wound if possible.
Two recent police shootings in New York City actually did result in shots to the legs which stopped a deranged man with a knife and a guy shooting at police respectively. However, as the article notes, this was more by accident than by design.

In fact, in the Thursday case at Pennsylvania Station, a second bullet fired by the officer missed the knife-wielding man and went flying into the pavement near the shooting scene.

Police officers, the article notes, are trained to shoot to stop the criminal by going for center of mass.

John C. Cerar, a retired deputy inspector who was the commander of the Police Department’s firearms training section, said officers are taught to shoot at center mass — which means the “head and torso” of a suspect like a man armed with a gun.

“You can’t just shoot to aim for a leg or an arm; it just doesn’t work,” Mr. Cerar said. “You are trying to hit the biggest part to the target, to stop the actions of the person using, or attempting, deadly physical force.”

He paused and added, “Annie Oakley does not exist.”

It is interesting to see the difference in reporting in the Times. The guy who covers the police beat recognizes the reality of the confusion, fear, and excitement inherent in violent encounters. Those who usually pen the editorials which involve firearms don’t have a clue. At least somebody at the Times gets it.