ARBALEST GROUP’S OPEN LETTER TO EACH AND EVERY MEMBER OF THE NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE, AND TO THE GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, AND TO THE NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
POSTED BY THE FOUNDERS OF ARBALEST GROUP, LLC., CREATORS OF THE ARBALEST QUARREL WEBSITE
February 9, 2015
____Legislative Office Building
Albany, New York 12247
We are writing to you on our own behalf and on behalf of tens of thousands of concerned New York gun owners and visitors to our website, the Arbalest Quarrel.
You may not be aware of this but a major flaw exists in the New York Safe Act and in the Penal Code of New York that has not been previously addressed. The existence of this flaw, involving bequests of gun collections, undercuts the fundamental right a New York resident and citizen has in his private property.
Many New York residents have extraordinarily valuable firearms collections that fall under the Safe Act. These collections are worth tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars. The owners of these valuable gun collections may wish to pass the collections to their heirs who live in New York State. They cannot do so. We urge you to change New York law to permit the transfer of a decedent’s gun collection to the decedent’s heir or heirs, who reside in the State of New York, and to allow the transfer to proceed quickly, free of obstacles.
Consider how present New York law operates to denigrate private property rights.
The executor of a decedent’s estate seeks to fulfill the terms of the decedent’s will. The will specifies that an expensive gun collection is to go to the decedent’s spouse or to one or more of decedent’s adult children. Present New York law doesn’t permit the executor or administrator of the decedent’s estate simply to turn the gun collection directly over to the decedent’s heirs who reside in New York; nor can the lawful possessor of such property of a decedent continue to hold onto the property so long as the possessor of that property remains in New York.
NY CLS Penal § 265.20a(1)(f) says, “A person who possesses any such weapon, instrument, appliance or substance as an executor or administrator or any other lawful posessor of such property of a decedent may continue to possess such property for a period not over fifteen days. If such property is not lawfully disposed of within such period the possessor shall deliver it to an appropriate official described in this paragraph or such property may be delivered to the superintendent of state police. Such officer shall hold it and shall thereafter deliver it on the written request of such executor, administrator or other lawful possessor of such property to a named person, provided such named person is licensed to or is otherwise lawfully permitted to possess the same. If no request to deliver the property is received by such official within one year of the delivery of such property, such official shall dispose of it in accordance with the provisions of section 400.05 of this chapter.”
And the difficulties for the executor or administrator of a decedent’s estate, or for the lawful possessor of and heir to that valuable gun collection who resides in New York, do not end there.
Under Section 37(A) through (F) of the Safe Act, codified in NY CLS Penal § 265.00(22) (a) through (f), many firearms are defined as assault weapons. A gun that is defined as an ‘assault weapon’ is a banned weapon. The Safe Act prohibits the sale or exchange of assault weapons between New York residents unless the sale or exchange is to an authorized New York purchaser, namely a licensed New York gun dealer. Otherwise, the sale or exchange must be to an individual or entity residing outside of New York. So, an heir to a valuable collection of assault weapons, who resides in New York, cannot keep those weapons even if that heir is duly licensed to possess firearms unless that heir holds a valid New York gun dealer or gunsmith license issued pursuant to NY CLS Penal § 400.00(2).
Section 37(H) of the NY Safe Act, codified in NY CLS Penal § 265.00(22)(h), says, inter alia,“ Any weapon defined in paragraph (e) or (f) of this subdivision . . . that was legally possessed by an individual prior to the enactment of the chapter of the laws of two thousand thirteen which added this paragraph, may only be sold to, exchanged with or disposed of to a purchaser authorized to possess such weapons or to an individual or entity outside of the state. . . .”
Now suppose the heir to a decedent’s expensive gun collection, who resides in New York, doesn’t want to dispose of the gun collection but wishes to keep it, in accordance with the decedent’s express wishes. That heir has no choice if he or she wishes to remain in New York. New York law is coercive. It severely limits a person’s enjoyment in one’s own private property. Moreover, to compel disposal of a gun collection almost certainly will substantially diminish the dollar value of that property. A New York resident and heir to an expensive gun collection may not – probably will not – be able to find a buyer, out-of-state, willing or able to purchase the gun collection at a fair market price.
A New York resident and his or her family who have lived their entire lives in New York are faced, then, with an intractable problem. If the heir to a valuable firearms’ collection wishes to remain in New York, as the heir would, the heir must give up possession of the gun collection, which he or she definitely would not wish to do. Present New York law does not permit the heir to both remain in New York and hold onto the decedent’s entire bequest. Present New York law places the heir to a valuable gun collection in extremity. This is an intolerable situation. It’s a situation that need not exist and will not continue to exist if appropriate changes to New York law are made. And changes to New York law must be made to honor a decedent’s wishes. These changes to the law are necessary if the idea of the sanctity of one’s private property is to be credible in New York.
Please give the matter discussed here your urgent attention. Tens of thousands of New York residents and gun owners are negatively impacted by the language of New York law, as shown in this letter. They are bewildered by and frustrated by provisions of the NY Safe Act and the Penal Code of New York that operate to take their private property from them without due process of law and without just compensation.
Be advised, we share our information and our views with many distinguished individuals, other major websites, and several noteworthy organizations with whom and with which we have a close business and professional relationship.
A prompt reply is requested so we can respond to the thousands of New York residents who are seeking an effective resolution to the critical private property rights issue discussed in this letter.
Stephen L. D’Andrilli, President, Arbalest Group, LLC.Copyright © 2015 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) and Vincent L. Pacifico (Orca) All Rights Reserved.