Our website is new. The website is a weblog called ‘The Arbalest Quarrel.’ The date of launch:
September 16, 2013.
Our purpose here – the primary purpose here – is to provide you with information on recently passed firearms control legislation. Our treatment of recent restrictive firearms legislation is comprehensive and detailed, unlike that of other websites. And we looked at several. In this issue and in many more to follow we address the NYSAFE Act of 2013. Once completed, we address the restrictive firearms legislation of Connecticut and Colorado.
As ‘The Arbalest Quarrel’ matures and evolves, we may address other portions of the Bill of Rights. We see subtle attacks on the First Amendment right of freedom of speech and the First Amendment right to assemble and, of late, not so subtle attacks on the Fourth Amendment right to privacy. Still, the main focus and thrust of our weblog remains our Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
The three creators of ‘The Arbalest Quarrel,’ individually or together, write the Articles posted to our ‘BLOG.’ We do not yet have a set publication date for Articles, but you may expect one Article each week. We push for two.
Other writers will contribute Articles to our site. We post those Articles to the ‘GUEST SUBMISSIONS’ web page. We do not now entertain unsolicited Articles. We contact individuals and invite them to submit Articles. If this policy changes, you will receive notice. See our ‘POLICIES AND NOTICES’ web page.
We use pseudonyms – pen names. But we haven’t disguised our identities. We post our birth names and biographical sketches in the ‘ABOUT US’ web page. Take a look. We do not hide and we are not hard to find. Our pseudonyms are quirks – affectations perhaps – nothing more. Read into them what you will.
PART 1 OF THE
In the ‘First Featured Article’ I discuss the NYSAFE Act of 2013. I will publish the Article in 19 Parts. Part 1 of the Article is on our ‘BLOG’ web page now. Please read it.
NYSAFE is the first of a new wave of restrictive firearms control measures to hit the public. This restrictive firearms legislation impacts civilian possession of ‘assault weapons’ in a major way. NYSAFE was almost certainly the model for restrictive firearms legislation that passed in Connecticut and Colorado. And NYSAFE was clearly the model for restrictive federal firearms legislation that failed spectacularly in the U.S. Senate.
In Part 1 of the First Featured Article I discuss what NYSAFE is. I then discuss the notion of ‘assault weapon.’ Publication of successive Parts of the First Featured Article will follow in short order. We invite you to read Part 1 of our First Featured Article. I have posted Part 1 of the Article to our “BLOG’ web page. Please read it. Thank you.
We dedicate the first issue of our Newsletter, our Anniversary Issue, to law-abiding New York firearms’ owners. We reviewed Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s NYSAFE Act. Will NYSAFE deter violent crime? No. Will NYSAFE prevent mentally unstable individuals from getting weapons? Unlikely. But does NYSAFE pave the way for firearms confiscation? Yes. The New York Legislature designed NYSAFE to take firearms from law-abiding New York residents.
Firearms owners who live in States without restrictive firearms legislation may see NYSAFE as an anomaly. But, suppose NYSAFE isn’t an anomaly? New Yorkers who lawfully had firearms before NYSAFE are in shock. Before NYSAFE, New York already had among the strictest firearms statutes in the Nation. Suppose the public had weighed in. Would we have NYSAFE? Not likely. Consider how the Legislature enacted NYSAFE: under cloak of darkness, in a closed-door session, in total secrecy, without legal notice, warning, discussion, or public debate. The Legislature enacted NYSAFE in violation of the State Constitution’s 3-day prevote waiting period. To my mind, legislators who voted for passage of NYSAFE violated their oath of office. They violated their oath to protect and uphold the New York Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. We deserve better from our elected State officials. Their actions are outrageous. And,
The New York Legislature failed to review NYSAFE carefully. NYSAFE limits the capacity of ammunition magazines. Police officers were not exempted. They were outraged.
The Legislature then hastily attached an exemption to NYSAFE. The exemption now allows police officers to carry high capacity magazines. But problems remain. One critic: Hollywood.
The New York Times reported, in a May 1, 2013 Article, a concern of the film and television studios. NYSAFE may prevent studios from using semiautomatic assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines in their productions.
The Legislature hasn’t, to our knowledge, addressed this concern.
What future draft legislation is on the horizon? I, too, live and work in New York. I grew up in New York and I live in the City. I, too, suffer the weight of New York’s restrictive firearms laws. These laws are in conflict with the United States Constitution. Under the U.S. Constitution my right to keep and bear arms is a personal right. The U.S. Supreme Court said so in Heller, a 2008 case. The Second Amendment protects arms that are in “common use.” Firearms’ possession is a privilege in New York, not a right. Firearms’ possession is a privilege in the same way that operation of a motor vehicle is a privilege. A person needs an operator’s license to lawfully operate a motor vehicle.
In New York a person needs a handgun license to lawfully possess a handgun. To operate a motor vehicle is a privilege. But, under the U.S. Constitution possession of firearms is a right. But, firearms’ possession in New York is a privilege. Does New York law trump the United States Constitution? I think not. I would hope not. But, you might think it does. In New York, if I want a handgun, I cannot simply go to a firearm’s dealer and buy one. I must complete a detailed license application. I must undergo a background records check and pay fees. And fees vary by County. And I must wait – and wait. In some Counties, I might wait six to nine months before I receive a response. And in New York City I need a permit to possess a rifle or shotgun. This is in addition to the requirement of a handgun license since a handgun license applies only to handguns. And I must register my handgun. And, I must register my rifle and shotgun. In New York City handgun filing and renewal license fees are $340.00. Rifle and shotgun renewal fees are $140.00. And a fingerprint fee costs $91.00. Fees go to the New York City Police Department. And fees are nonrefundable. Once I have a license, I must buy a handgun. Fine. I cannot buy a handgun without a license. But, I cannot have a handgun license unless I want a handgun. No license, no handgun; no handgun, no license. But, I cannot buy a handgun with a license alone. I need a “Purchase Authorization” form. I may wait months before I receive the form. Once I have the form, I must take the form to a firearms’ dealer. Then I can buy the handgun. The dealer must write the make, model and caliber of the firearm on the form. Are these requirements under NYSAFE? No. These obstacles to firearms ownership and possession existed before NYSAFE. NYSAFE adds its own wrinkles to preexistent Draconian firearms’ measures. NYSAFE is Governor Cuomo’s gift and the New York Legislature’s gift to the New York resident.
We welcome your comments and urge you to mention ‘The Arbalest Quarrel’ to others. Thank you.
Copyright © 2013 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour) and Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius)