GUN RIGHTS ARE NOT SIMPLY EMBODIED IN THE SACRED SECOND AMENDMENT. AMERICANS HAVE A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO THE PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF GUNS TOO.
GUN RIGHTS ACTUALLY TRANSCEND THE SECOND AMENDMENT; AN AMERICAN’S FIREARMS ARE HIS SACRED PRIVATE PROPERTY. AND ONE’S RIGHT IN ONE’S SACRED PRIVATE PROPERTY SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED EITHER.
Gun collections are private property. This may seem obvious to you. After all the concept of a private property right is deeply embedded in American culture. It is deeply embedded in America’s economic traditions. And it is deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of Americans. The right to own and possess private property is as fundamental a right in this Country as is the freedom of speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and as the freedom to keep and bear arms is under the Second Amendment.
Unfortunately, New York law doesn’t really treat guns as private property. But, then, New York law views gun possession as a privilege rather than as an inalienable right. So, it should come as no surprise that guns are treated less as private property and more like rental property. We say this because strict limitations are placed on New York residents’ ability to transfer their firearms, especially apropos of transfers of guns or gun collections to heirs. If one’s right of enjoyment in and to one’s private property were truly honored as a right, then no express or tacit limitation would be placed on one’s full enjoyment of that private property. That enjoyment includes the right to dispose of the private property as one wishes, to those whom one wishes to give that property, assuming one wishes to dispose of his or her firearms at all. A person should not be required to dispose of his firearms or firearms’ collection if those firearms or collection of firearms are truly private property. Nonetheless, New York Statute tells a person not only when or that he or she must dispose of a gun or collection of guns, but also how a disposal of guns or of an entire gun collection must take place. And the language of gun transfers is laid out not at all succinctly, clearly, and plainly, as one might reasonably expect, but in lengthy, agonizing, and often incoherent detail.
THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS ENTAILS THE RIGHT TO OWN FIREARMS AS ONE’S SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE PRIVATE PROPERTY.
The concept of private property rights underlies and precedes the imperative of the Second Amendment: “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Further, the fundamental right of Americans to own, possess, and enjoy their private property is embraced in the language of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, as specifically applied to the States under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Further, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution secure for American gun owners the right to enjoy the liberties the Founders of our Republic intended for them as for all Americans. Present New York law denigrates the rights and protections and liberties of New York gun owners.
Many New York residents have firearms’ collections worth many tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars – perhaps millions of dollars. The fair market value of these firearms’ collections is placed in jeopardy by specific language of the NY Safe Act, and in the language of the Penal Code of New York, and, by implication, in other Rules and Regulations of New York.
In that regard it is not sound to argue that New York law provides firearms owners with mechanisms through which they can freely transfer, or sell, or otherwise dispose of their firearms to appropriate parties within the State or outside it. For the language of New York law is coercive. New York law often requires a gun owner to sell, transfer, or dispose of a particular gun or an entire gun collection when he doesn’t want to and prohibits him from bequeathing his gun collection to those whom he does want to bequeath his gun collection to. And he obtains little or no monetary compensation for that gun collection. Such coercion is antithetical to free market practices and turns the very notion of a free market on its head.
Oddly, Governor Cuomo doesn’t address how a property interest in a firearms’ collection might be secured. We know this to be true as we have checked out the Governor’s website. You can check it out for yourself. This is the link: http://programs.governor.ny.gov/nysafeact/gun-owners.
The Governor’s website provides absolutely no information or guidance for New York gun owners who seek to bequeath a gun collection to their next of kin. Doesn’t Governor Cuomo believe this matter to be important? If that is the case, clearly, tens of thousands of law-abiding New York gun owners would disagree with the Governor. They believe this to be a matter of utmost importance. Many of our readers have expressed considerable bewilderment over the matter of transferring gun collections to their heirs, and they have expressed substantial confusion as to the specific manner of transferring gun collections to their heirs.
The testator owner of an expensive gun collection who wishes to bequeath a gun collection to his heirs should not be subject to impediments. But he is. New York law takes his expensive gun collection away from him. It takes his private property away from him without justly compensating him for it. And it deprives the New York gun owner of his expensive firearms collection, his private property, in complete derogation of the precepts laid out in the United States Constitution.
In fact the taking of a New York resident’s gun collection without just compensation is not only in contradistinction to the United States Constitution; such taking is in derogation of the New York State Constitution, too.
NY CLS Const Art I, § 7(a) says, “Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation.” A person’s gun collection is his private property and the State essentially takes it from the owner and prospective heirs without just compensation. And, what public use is attendant to this “taking” of the firearms’ collection? Is the public use merely that a police department may, unbeknownst to the gun owner’s heirs, and, in fact, contrary even to the laws of New York, make use of the gun collection sans compensation to the owner’s heirs? Is the public use merely and incoherently that some of the firearms or the entirety of it will be destroyed by the police official and, so, the decedent’s heirs wind up with zero compensation for the firearms?
The taking of private property without just compensation is also inconsistent with NY CLS Const Art I, § 11 which sets forth in pertinent part, “No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws of this state or any subdivision thereof. By failing to safeguard the monetary value of a New York resident’s gun collection, through the taking of it without just compensation, New York clearly and categorically denies to gun owners the equal protection of the laws to which they are entitled.
The Bottom line:
New York Statute altogether ignores the precepts implicit in the United States Constitution and in New York’s own State Constitution. New York’s governments operate in complete derogation of and, in fact, in unconscionable defiance to the dictates of both. Whether New York residents own firearms or not, they must wake up to the monstrous destruction of sacred rights and liberties, lest they lose all rights and liberties.[separator type=”medium” style=”normal” align=”left”margin-bottom=”25″ margin_top=”5″] Copyright © 2015 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour) and Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.