Shooters' Committee On Political Education
PATAKI BETRAYED NEW YORK GUN OWNERS!
It has come to my attention that many gun owners are still confused or unaware of exactly what Governor Patakis gun package is all about. So, I thought a little review of this law might be helpful.
The "assault weapon" ban portion of this law seems to get the most attention and misinterpretation. Governor Pataki and almost any of our legislators you ask will insist that the assault weapon ban is an exact mirror of the federal law and there is no need worry about it. In fact, there are three distinct differences between the federal law and New York law.
There is no "sunset" provision in our New York law, which means that if we are lucky enough to prevent the renewal of the federal law in 2004 then we in New York will be stuck with a very enforceable assault weapon ban.
Secondly there has been added to the description of an assault weapon this phrase "or functioning frames or receivers of such weapons". What this addition does is still a bit unclear but it certainly muddies the waters and makes the law open to broader interpretation by law enforcement and the courts.
Lastly the federal law discriminates between pre ban and post ban guns by date of manufacture. What this means is that any gun made before the ban went into effect, September 1994, can still be possessed and sold or traded.
The New York law has changed this to date of possession. Possession under the law means to have "dominion and control" over something. So, if you possessed one of these pre ban guns prior to the 1994 cutoff date the law seems to put you in the clear to own it. The problem with this possessed date comes when you want to transfer that gun to another person. Since that person cannot possibly have possessed that gun prior to 1994, can he legally possess it now? The law did nothing to clarify that issue but by the definition of the word possessed it appears that you would not be able to legally possess that pre ban gun in New York if you purchased it after the 1994 cutoff date.
If Governor Pataki had wanted a true mirror of the federal law, why didn't they just copy it word for word? Curiously, the large capacity magazine portion of the assault weapon ban is word for word with the federal law!
Next Governor Pataki's law raised the age to get a pistol permit to age 21 under the premise that we shouldnt allow those under 21 to buy handguns. A New York pistol permit does not give you free reign to purchase a handgun, you still must pass a background check and under federal law you must be 21 to purchase a handgun. Additionally, there is zero evidence of under 21 permit holders being involved in gun crimes. No legitimate law enforcement need was satisfied by this change it is just another way to discourage our youth from getting involved in shooting sports.
The Combined Ballistics Identification System or CoBIS was created by the governors package for the purpose of creating a database of fired shell casings from new handguns to aid law enforcement in tracing crime guns. The biggest problem with this system is that handguns are machines and over time, with use, the characteristics of that gun will change and after a certain number of rounds through the gun the shell casing marks will no longer match the markings of when the gun was new. In addition, someone with criminal intent can change the markings the gun leaves with a simple nail file.
We understand from forensic experts, this system would also pollute the crime gun database with thousands of non-crime guns, making it more difficult for the police to get a proper match.
In an effort to close the so-called gun show "loophole", Governor Patakis law also included new regulations governing gun shows. All gun sales at gun shows now are required to undergo background checks before the sale can be concluded. This includes any sales between private parties that takes place at a gun show or if the sale was started at a gun show.
This statement is such a clear violation of our 1st Amendment rights to free speech and peaceable assembly that I am shocked that an attorney would write put it in writing!
This definition is so broad that our monthly SCOPE meetings can be considered a gun show!
With the addition of "or assault weapon" Pataki's Law has changed the definition of a firearm, until this change firearm meant handgun or certain shortened rifles and shotguns. Laws that were intended to target illegal handguns could now be used against law-abiding citizens who just happen to have a gun collection that includes some of these "assault weapons".
There's more in this law but the rest is inconsequential compared to what is outlined above.
Rest assured that there will be more anti gun legislation coming as we get closer to the election. Governor Pataki will undoubtedly once again employ more lies and distortions to attack gun ownership in his bid for re-election. We must not sit back and let this happen. Individual activism is the only hope we have to stop further erosion of our rights. Each of you must get involved, must get others involved, only through numbers can we hope to defeat those who would rape our Constitution.
Following passage of the governors extensive gun control package last year, the SCOPE Board of Directors appointed a committee to investigate the feasibility of a lawsuit seeking to overturn the most restrictive gun control law in New York history.
The Governors package includes:
The committee after careful consideration and consultation with legal counsel issued a recommendation to the Board of Directors of SCOPE that many key provisions to the governors new law were suspect and vulnerable to challenge in the courts.
Just one example, now coming to fruition, the provision raising pistol licenses to 21 years of age. Reports are coming in from around the state that pistol license holders under 21 years of age who have gone through the application process and have a legally issued license are being ordered to turn in their licenses. They committed no crime they submitted finger prints, photos and passed extensive background checks and now they are being told turn in their guns. So much for the claim by Senator Bruno and Governor Pataki that law abiding gun owners would not be hurt by this law.
The SCOPE Board of Directors based on the findings of the committee has retained legal counsel and is now in the early stages of filing suit. Detailed arguments are now being formulated addressing key points of the new law and filing will take place in early 2001. More details will be forthcoming as this case moves along.
Not surprising to anyone, litigating a case like this will be quite costly, adding insult to injury we will be arguing against state attorneys paid for by your tax dollars. In other words your tax dollars will be used to convince a court that your Second Amendment rights should be severely restricted.
Make no mistake about it, this will be a costly but necessary venture. The Board of Directors of SCOPE fully appreciates the magnitude of the task we are undertaking. SCOPE has prided itself as being fiscally prudent, keeping our membership dues low, and limiting the number of times we approach our members for additional funds.
This is one of those times when we must appeal for your help. Whether as an individual, a club or your company we need your financial support to pursue this lawsuit. We are asking you for the most generous contribution you can make. The full weight of state government is what we are up against, we can fight it with your help but we must have your help!
Please be as generous as you can. Make your checks payable to:
SCOPE Legal Defense Fund
SCOPE's 5 point plan to fight the Governor's unconstitutional attack on your rights
Gun owners and all who would defend the rights of citizens to be citizens not
subjects- must respond with SCOPE's 5 Point Plan. Now! No one can sit by and
let another do it.
Spread the word!
"Gun control? It's the best thing you can do for crooks and gangsters. I want you to have nothing. If I'm a bad guy, I'm always gonna have a gun. Safety locks? You will pull the trigger with a lock on, and I'll pull the trigger. We'll see who wins." - Sammy "the Bull" Gravano, Mafia informant, Vanity Fair magazine interview, August 1999