IF THE SECOND AMENDMENT FALLS, THE NATION FALLS, AND NEW YORK IS DOING ITS PART TO MAKE SURE THAT HAPPENS
POST-BRUEN—WHAT IT ALL MEANS AND WHAT ITS IMPACT IS BOTH FOR THOSE WHO SUPPORT AND CHERISH THE RIGHT OF THE PEOPLE TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS AND THOSE WHO DO NOT; THOSE WHO SEEK TO UNDERMINE AND EVENTUALLY DESTROY THE EXERCISE OF THE RIGHT AND THOSE WHO SEEK TO PRESERVE AND STRENGTHEN THE RIGHT BOTH FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR DESCENDANTS
SUBPART ONE OF PART NINETEEN
A NATION ON THE PRECIPICE OF RUINATION
As one more year draws rapidly to a close in these first three decades of the 21st Century, the United States stands precariously at the edge of an abyss.
One Branch of the Federal Government, the U.S Supreme Court, at least, recognizes the danger, and has prevented the Country from falling over the precipice.
After a century of sidestepping the issue, the U.S. Supreme Court established, in three precedential case law decisions, what had been visibly plain in the language of the Second Amendment itself all along, if one would only look.
All three cases were handed down in the first three decades of the 21st Century. They include:
District of Columbia vs. Heller in 2008, McDonald vs. City of Chicago in 2010 and New York State Rifle & Pistol Association vs. Bruen in 2022.
These three cases, together, stand for the following propositions, now black letter law:
- The right of armed self-defense is an individual right unconnected with one’s service in a militia
- The right of armed self-defense is a universal right, applicable to both the States and the Federal Government.
- The right of armed self-defense applies wherever a person is, inside the home or outside it.
These three legal axioms are, together, the singular Law of the Land.
But for this Law, the Republic would have fallen into ruin, this Century.
There would be nothing to rein in a rogue Congress, a rogue Biden Administration, or rogue jurisdictions like those around the Country: New York, Illinois, California, Washington State, Washington D.C., Oregon, Hawaii, and several others.
The rot from those State jurisdictions and from the Federal Government would eventually infect many other States.
Forces inside the Government and outside it, both here and abroad—wealthy and powerful, malevolent and malignant—machinate constantly to destroy the right to armed self-defense.
These forces will not tolerate an armed citizenry.
The existence of an armed citizenry contradicts their end goal of a neo-feudalistic world government. The armed citizenry precept deviates from their plan of world conquest.
Their goal for the 21st Century is a return to the political, social, and economic feudalistic construct operating in the world of the 5th through 15th Centuries—the Middle Ages.
These ruthless elements have declared——
- The United States can no longer continue as a free Constitutional Republic;
- The American people must be subjugated; and
- Any thought of an armed citizenry must be erased from the collective memory of the American people.
The ashes of a once powerful, respected, sovereign, independent United States are to be commingled with the ashes of other western nations.
The EU and the British Commonwealth Nations are a step in the direction of that world empire.
The neoliberal democratic world order is conceived as——
- One devoid of defined geographical borders,
- One absent national governments; and
- One bereft of any defining history, heritage, culture, ethos, or Judeo-Christian ethic by which the people of one nation may easily distinguish themselves from any other.
Will the U.S. fall victim to totalitarianism as have the nations of the EU and British Commonwealth; as have India and China; and as have most all countries in the Middle East? Let us hope not.
The U.S. need not fall victim.
The U.S. has something all other nations lack: a true Bill of Rights.
Our Bill of Rights consists of a set of natural laws: fundamental, unalienable, unmodifiable, immutable, illimitable, and eternal.
Within this Country’s Bill of Rights rests a Cardinal Truth. And, of this Truth——
- The Founders were aware of it.
- The Republic they founded is grounded on it.
- The strength and power of our Country and the staying power of our Constitution is a testament to it.
All Americans should imprint this Truth on their collective memory:
“What isn’t created by man cannot lawfully be taken from man by other men, nor by any temporal artifice of man: Government, for the sanctity, inviolability of man’s Selfhood, his Soul, and his Spirit do not belong to the Government; they cannot be bestowed on man by Government; and they cannot be severed from man by Government.
Government is a dangerous enterprise.
Our Federal Government is no longer reliable. It has gone rogue. It has forgotten the people whose interests it was created to serve. It serves special interests that fill campaign coffers and it serves wealthy, powerful foreign agencies of whom the public has no inkling.
- With this Federal Government, the American people have got “a tiger by the tail.” It is difficult to hold onto, but one daren’t let it go, lest it bite the people. Best to destroy it if we can no longer hold onto it.
- That “Tiger,” our Federal Government, is a creation of the American people and exists only to serve the people—the true and sole sovereign over the Federal Government.
- The presence of an armed citizenry serves as both evidence of its sovereignty over the Government, and the mechanism by which it may lawfully constrain it contain it, or curtail it if the Government loses its way and turns against the people.
- The Right to Armed Self-Defense is Natural Law, a God-given right, bestowed on man by the Divine Creator.
- Government cannot lawfully modify Natural Law, Ignore it, Rescind it, or formally Repeal it.
- Since armed self-defense is a Natural Law Right, the U.S. Supreme Court—in Heller, McDonald, and Bruen—didn’t make new law. The rulings of the three seminal High Court cases simply make explicit what is tacit in the language of the Second Amendment.
Unfortunately, many jurisdictions have failed to recognize, or otherwise have failed to acknowledge and accept, the strictures of the Second Amendment.
That necessitated the intervention of the High Court. In one Second Amendment case after another—from Heller to McDonald, and then to Bruen—the Court has ordered States to uphold the strictures of the Second Amendment. Yet, many refuse to do so.
Indeed, many jurisdictions reject Heller, McDonald, and Bruen outright. But no jurisdiction does so more emphatically, and contemptuously, and openly, than New York. We turn to a look at the status of recent litigation in New York.
SUBPART TWO OF PART NINETEEN
NEW YORK’S GUN LAW: STATUS OF THE ANTONYUK CASE GOING FORWARD*
The New York Government, under Governor Kathy Hochul and the Democrat Party-led Legislature in Albany, have declared outright war on the precepts of Individuality upon which the U.S. Constitution rests.
Hochul’s Government crafted a comprehensive set of amendments to New York’s Gun Law, the Sullivan Act.
These amendments specifically and negatively affect N.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(2)(f). That’s the concealed handgun carry license section of the State’s Sullivan Act.
The amendments are referred to collectively as the “CCIA.”
Hochul signed the amendments into law on July 1, 2022. This was scarcely a week after the High Court published the Bruen decision, on June 23, 2022.
A flurry of lawsuits followed. Plaintiff gun owners filed the first one, Antonyuk vs. Bruen (Antonyuk I), on July 11.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York dismissed that case without prejudice on August 23.
The Court ruled one of the Plaintiffs, Gun Owners of America and its affiliates, lacked standing to sue.
Ivan Antonyuk, the captioned Plaintiff individual of Antonyuk I, refiled his lawsuit against Defendant Kevin Bruen, Superintendent of State Police, on September 20.
Five additional Party Plaintiffs, all individuals, joined him in the lawsuit. The Plaintiffs added eight additional Defendants. Governor Kathy Hochul was one of those Defendants. The Defendants were all State, County, or City Government Officials. All of them were sued in their official capacities. The New York Courts refer to this second case as Antonyuk II. The case was formally recaptioned, Antonyuk vs. Hochul.
On September 22, the Plaintiffs filed their Emergency Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order, and on September 28, they added a Motion for Preliminary Injunction (“PI”).
The Oral Hearing was held on September 29.
On October 6, the U.S. District Court issued its order, granting the TRO in part, and denying it in part.
One month later, on November 7, the District Court ruled on the Plaintiffs’ Preliminary Injunction, granting it in part, and denying it in part.
The Court also dismissed out Governor Hochul as a Party Defendant, ruling that, “Plaintiffs have not alleged or shown how Defendant Hochul could be properly found to have the specific legal duty to enforce the CCIA.”
In addition, Steven Nigrelli was named the new Superintendent of the State Police, replacing Kevin Bruen, as Party Defendant.
With both Hochul and Bruen out of the picture, the case, Antonyuk II, was recaptioned, Antonyuk vs. Nigrelli.
With the granting of the Preliminary Injunction, the TRO was mooted, and the Parties jointly agreed to dismiss the TRO.
On November 8, 2022, the New York Gubernatorial race was held. On that same date, the Government appealed, to the Second Circuit, the District Court’s granting of the PI in Antonyuk II.
On November 15, 2022, the Second Circuit issued a terse stay of the PI, pending its ruling on the Government’s Motion requesting relief from the District Court’s granting of the PI.
The Second Circuit November 15 Order reads:
“Defendants-Appellants, seek a stay pending appeal, and an emergency interim stay, of the Preliminary Injunction issued by the District Court on November 7, 2022.
It is hereby ordered that a temporary stay is granted, pending the panel’s consideration of the motion.”
The Second Circuit obliged the Government, overturning the U.S. District Court’s grant of the PI stay.
This means Hochul’s Government can enforce the CCIA during the Second Circuit’s review of the PI.
Time is therefore on the side of the Government.
Hochul Government now has what it wants—the ability to enforce the CCIA against New York’s Gun Law during the Second Circuit’s review of the PI.
Plaintiffs and all other holders of valid concealed handgun carry licenses as well as those who wish to obtain a New York concealed handgun carry license must now contend with the CCIA.
Present holders of a valid New York concealed handgun carry license like the Plaintiffs in Antonyuk II, are particularly negatively affected by this Order.
Plaintiffs understandably were not happy about the Second Circuit’s November 15 Order, lifting the stay of the CCIA imposed by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.
So, four days after the issuance of the Second Circuit’s November 15 Order, the Plaintiffs, on November 19, filed their response to the Government’s stay of the PI pending the Circuit Court’s review of it.
The Plaintiffs took the Government to task, stating,
“In their Motion, Appellants generally malign the district court’s preliminary injunction, but fail to note that the CCIA is no ordinary law–breathtaking in both its scope and its blatant unconstitutionality. The district court was correct to enjoin enforcement of many of the CCIA’s patently unconstitutional provisions, and this Court should (i) decline Appellants’ invitation to be the first circuit court to bless a statute specifically enacted to defy Bruen, (ii) vacate its improvidently granted administrative stay, and (iii) deny Appellants’ Motion.”
Whether to enforce the operation of the CCIA during litigation or stay its enforcement turns on a four-factor test created by the Second Circuit.
The Plaintiffs addressed the four-factor test in their Opposition to the Government’s Motion, stating—
“The relevant factors to be considered are ‘[i] the applicant’s strong showing that [they are] likely to succeed on the merits, [ii] irreparable injury to the applicant in the absence of a stay, [iii] substantial injury to the nonmoving party if a stay is issued, and [iv] the public interest.’ A stay ‘is not a matter of right, even if irreparable injury might otherwise result;’ rather ‘it is an exercise of judicial discretion, and [t]he party requesting a stay bears the burden of showing that the circumstances justify an exercise of that discretion.” Finally, where (as here) an applicant is ‘totally lacking’ a strong showing of likelihood of success, ‘the aggregate assessment of the factors bearing on issuance of a stay pending appeal cannot possibly support a stay.’ Appellants fail all four factors. . . .
The district court’s order will cause no harm to Appellants, as many of the CCIA’s provisions – which have been in effect barely over two months – are entirely novel in New York law, as well as lacking any historical analogue. . . . The sky did not fall prior to the CCIA’s enactment, and the sky is not falling now. Rather, the PI merely returns the state of the law to what it was just over two months ago.”
Responding to the Plaintiffs’ Opposition to the stay of enforcement of the CCIA, the Second Circuit issued an amended Order on December 7, 2022.
The new Order reads:
“Appellants request a stay pending appeal of the district court’s order dated November 7, 2022 (N.D.N.Y. 22-cv-986, doc. 78), enjoining Appellants from enforcing certain aspects of New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (‘CCIA’). Having weighed the applicable factors, see In re World Trade Ctr. Disaster Site Litig., 503 F.3d 167, 170 (2d Cir. 2007), we conclude that a stay pending appeal is warranted. Accordingly, upon due consideration, it is hereby Ordered that the motion for a stay pending appeal is Granted and the district court’s Nove1nber 7 order is Stayed pending the resolution of this appeal. To the extent that the district court’s order bars enforcement of the CCIA’s provisions related to persons who have been tasked with the duty to keep the peace at places of worship, airports, and private buses, such categories are excepted from this order. Appellees’ motion to expedite the resolution of the matter is Granted.”
What this new Order means is this:
The Second Circuit allows the Government to enforce the amendments to the State’s Gun Law during its review of the Preliminary Injunction, subject to a minor exception.
The Second Circuit said the stay does not affect the “Sensitive Location” prohibitions to airports, places of worship, and private buses.
This is hardly a concession to the Plaintiffs.
Airports fall under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, not the State.
No civilian may carry a firearm in airports, anyway.
And houses of worship and private buses are the only private entities, that the Second Circuit says can devise their own rules for the carrying of firearms.
All other CCIA “Sensitive Location” provisions remain operative during the Second Circuit’s review of the PI.
But the Second Circuit’s treatment of the “four-factor test,” in the recent Order is both curious and disturbing. Recall the lower District Court had meticulously applied the Four-Factor test as it is required to do when first granting the Plaintiffs’ TRO, and subsequently granting the Plaintiffs’ PI. But why did the Second Circuit reject the findings of the District Court?
In lifting the PI stay, the Second Circuit never explained its reasoning for doing so.
The Court cites a case that is inapposite. And it is one that neither the Plaintiffs nor Defendants cite in any of their filings. The Court merely says it has weighed the factors and tacitly finds for the Government.
This is all contrary to the findings and cogent reasoning of the lower District Court.
It suggests the Court will overturn the PI, thus jeopardizing the attack on the constitutionality of the CCIA and further reducing the chance of eventually securing a Permanent Injunction against enforcement of the CCIA.
This all suggests what New Yorkers have lost in failing to seat Zeldin in the Governor’s mansion.
Had Lee Zeldin prevailed in the Gubernatorial race against Kathy Hochul, Plaintiffs and all other New York gun owners holding valid New York restricted or unrestricted handgun carry licenses would likely be in a different and better place.
As Governor, Lee Zeldin could request the dismissal of Antonyuk. All other pending challenges to the CCIA would be mooted. The CCIA would have no effect.
This would entail reverting to the originalN.Y. Penal Law § 400.00(2)(F). That would benefit those present holders of New York concealed handgun carry licenses who had complied with the “proper cause” requirement of the older Gun Law.
Eventually, Zeldin, as New York Governor, could work with the State Legislature in Albany to rescind the entire licensing structure. Alas, that will never be. Four years of Hochul in Office will mean further restrictions on the Second Amendment, as the CCIA and other New York Gun laws clamp down ever tighter on a citizen’s exercise of his or her Second Amendment right to armed self-defense.
SUBPART TWO OF PART NINETEEN
AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT THE APPLICATION OF THE FOUR-FACTOR TEST IN ANTONYUK VS. NIGRELLI
A perusal of the Four-Factor test demonstrates why the lower U.S. District Court for the Northern District Court of New York was correct in granting the Plaintiffs’ PI, and why the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was wrong in staying the PI, during the Court’s resolution of it.
- The likelihood that Plaintiffs would prevail on the merits.
The District Court, in its opinions, both in Antonyuk I and Antonyuk II laid out a comprehensive argument supporting a finding that the CCIA is unconstitutional and that Plaintiffs would likely prevail in their suit on the merits against the Government.
This first factor, therefore, works to the benefit of the Plaintiffs, supporting the granting of the PI.
- Irreparable injury to the Plaintiffs in absence of a stay of enforcement of the CCIA.
The District Court pointed out that, by carrying their handgun in public, the Plaintiffs would engage in behavior lawful under the original NY Gun Law but, under the “Sensitive Location” clause of the CCIA, now unlawful in many locations in New York.
Thus, the CCIA operates perversely to restrict an already restrictive Gun Law the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled unconstitutional on the “proper cause” issue in Bruen.
If current holders of a valid NY handgun carry license continue to carry under the CCIA, they will have committed a crime if they carry that handgun in a “Sensitive Location.”
If arrested while carrying a handgun in public, in a “Sensitive Location,” they will lose their license to carry because the valid New York concealed handgun license they presently have is invalid if carrying a firearm in a “Sensitive Location.” The CCIA overrides the concealed handgun carry license in those locations.
If arrested, the licensee will also be forced to surrender their handgun to the appropriate police authority, along with any other firearms they may have possession of in New York.
Further, they will now have a criminal record on file, jeopardizing their acquisition of a license anew in New York. This will also jeopardize their ability to exercise their Second Amendment right in many other jurisdictions they may happen to work in or relocate to, thereafter.
To avoid the possibility of arrest, these licensees must voluntarily relinquish carrying a handgun in public for self-defense. But doing so endangers their life, which was the reason these licensees applied for a concealed handgun carry license, in the first place.
Remember, licensing officers had determined these license holders do face extraordinary risk, thus warranting issuance of a license under the original “proper cause” standard that the respective New York licensing authorities established, consistent with the original New York Gun Law.
Plaintiffs are therefore in a bind.
If they carry a handgun in a “Sensitive Location”, they risk arrest, loss of their license, loss of their handgun, and a criminal record to boot.
If they do not carry a handgun for self-defense, they endanger their life.
That is a Hobson’s choice; the idea that present holders of valid New York concealed handgun carry licenses have here; no acceptable choice, and evidence of irreparable harm to the Plaintiffs.
To give Hochul’s blatant refusal to abide by the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court in NYSRPA vs. Bruen a leg to stand on, she attempts to give the public a sense that she cares deeply about the safety concerns of New Yorkers; that her amendments to the State’s Gun Law are designed to effectuate that end. What she delivers to the public is nothing more than an elaborate promo, an infomercial proffered to sell a product. The product she is selling is simply a more tortuous, and torturous version of the Sullivan Act enacted over one hundred years ago. And, like all promos and infomercials, it is meant to make a profit off a person’s gullibility. In the instant case, the Sullivan Act, a noose around the necks of free citizens, squeezed ever tighter.
The Sullivan Act endangers the life of New Yorkers under the guise of securing life. It is all charade and theater.
This second factor, therefore, works to the Plaintiffs’ advantage, supporting the PI.
- Substantial injury to the nonmoving party.
This is the mirror image of the previous factor.
This is where the Government, the “non-moving” party, must demonstrate that the New York public faces irreparable injury if the Government is enjoined from enforcing the CCIA and that the harm to the public outweighs the harm to the Plaintiffs.
That is what the Government says. The assertion is patently ridiculous.
If the public was under no grave threat before the enactment of the CCIA, with stringent restrictive gun measures already in place, then it follows logically the public cannot be under a graver threat of injury now if the Second Circuit affirms the stay of enforcement of the CCIA, pending resolution of the PI. But that’s what the Government wants. It wants the Second Circuit to lift the stay of the PI.
This means the Government wants the Second Circuit to deny giving effect to the PI during the Second Circuit’s resolution of the merits of it, thereby authorizing the Hochul Government to enforce the CCIA.
The New York Attorney General Letitia James, arguing the case for the Government, asserted, in the Government’s Opposition to the PI, that “Exposing eighteen million New Yorkers to a heightened risk of gunfire severely outweighs any prejudice to plaintiffs here from a stay.”
This is ludicrous. It is nothing more than a snapshot of the imbecilic remarks of Hochul delivered to “CBS This Morning” on Friday, June 24, 2022, one day after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in NYSRPA vs. Bruen, setting up what would come shortly after; the awful amendments to New York’s Gun Law.
The Daily Caller recites Hochul’s tirade against the High Court, in its article, titled, “NY Gov. Hochul Says Law-Abiding Gun Owners Make People Feel Very Unsafe”:
“Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Friday morning law abiding gun owners make people feel ‘unsafe’ just one day after the Supreme Court overturned a more than century old gun law.
Speaking on CBS This Morning, Hochul said the right to carry outside the home makes individuals feel ‘unsafe’ and seemed to insinuate it should not be allowed.
‘Everybody in America recognizes that there is a problem with gun violence and the people who cheer this, what they say, what they see is, ‘Look there is a problem with gun violence and I, as a law-abiding citizen, want to be able to hold a gun on my person so that I feel safer.’ What do you say to that individual?” the host asked Hochul.
‘I say that makes everyone else feel very unsafe. We don’t know if you’re provoked, you know, you’re in a bar and someone looks at your girlfriend or your boyfriend the wrong way. There are so many triggers. If someone wants to have a legal gun, licensed protection in their home, that is their domain, they can do that, we’ve always allowed that, or for hunting and other purposes,’ Hochul said.’
‘But to think someone would be able to do this on a subway, in a crowded, tense situation during rush hour? No, we have a right to protect our citizens, not take away your right to own, that’s fine, but where you take it and the ability to conceal it, that’s just going to make things so much more complicated for law enforcement and others.’”
CIVILIANS DO NOT CARRY HANDGUNS OPENLY IN NEW YORK. THERE IS NO “OPEN CARRY”
First, it bears mentioning, but, apparently, only to morons like Hochul, that a holder of concealed handgun carry license does not ever carry his or her handgun openly, in New York, for all the world to see. The Gun Law itself recites the lawful carrying of a handgun, “concealed,” i.e., not openly by those issued concealed handgun carry licenses.
In fact, no one in New York is permitted to carry a handgun openly apart from uniformed New York police officers, or other uniformed personnel who fall under specific provisions of the State’s Gun Law.
How, then, can any law-abiding member of the public honestly feel a sense of foreboding that another law-abiding member of the public who happens to possess a concealed handgun carry license is someone to be feared? The only creature that could realistically understandably “feel unsafe” is a psychopathic criminal who would dare to threaten an innocent member of the public. More than a few criminals and lunatics have met their untimely demise by threatening harm to an undercover police officer or off-duty officer, or to a holder of a valid concealed handgun license. In fact, for a career criminal—who isn’t otherwise a psychotic maniac who wouldn’t care whether a target of his lunacy is armed or not, as his reasoning organ is shot—he would never know for certain who is lawfully carrying a handgun concealed and who is not, if many more members of the New York public were to begin carrying, concealed, a handgun, as is their natural law right. And, he would think twice before targeting, at random, an innocent victim who is merely going about his business. Hence, it is reasonable to infer that the garden variety criminal, who has some sense of self-preservation would be less inclined to take the chance to attack a member of the public who may very well be armed. This fact would result in a precipitous drop in violent crimes of opportunity.
Second, The notion that a person would go off half-cocked is a “Fever Dream” of the Anti-Second Amendment crowd. They would like to believe this myth. The Government thrusts all sorts of horrors on the public to rationalize ending the fundamental, unalienable right to armed self-defense. But their wax museum of horrors coming to life is just entertainment, nothing more. It isn’t grounded in truth. It’s merely a fabrication, it’s propagandist; a fictional horror film designed like many such films, i.e., to create a jump scare. Only the gullible and ignorant Americans would fall for it.
If New York holders of handgun carry licenses were such a threat to public safety and order, how is it that we never hear Governor Hochul talking about instances of criminal acts of violence committed by these licensees? She can’t talk about this because there is no instance of this that she can drum up. All such talk of an armed New York citizenry posing a threat to the Government’s notion of public safety and public order in their well-ordered society is sheer unadulterated speculation, bordering on delirium.
“IF SOMEONE WANTS TO HAVE A LEGAL GUN, LICENSED PROTECTION IN THEIR HOME, THAT IS THEIR DOMAIN, THEY CAN DO THAT, WE’VE ALWAYS ALLOWED THAT.” ISN’T HOCHUL NICE?
Third, Hochul says, the Government has always allowed someone “a legal gun in their home.” But wait a minute? Is keeping and bearing arms a Government bestowed privilege or a God-Given Right? And didn’t the U.S. Supreme Court rule that the right to armed self-defense extends beyond the domain of one’s house, consistent with the meaning of the fundamental, unalienable right to armed self-defense? Does New York law take precedence over the Second Amendment and the rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court? Hochul demonstrates incredible arrogance.
How did she get elected to Office anyway?
If New York holders of handgun carry licenses were such a threat to public safety and order, how is it that we never hear Governor Hochul talking about instances of criminal acts of violence committed by these licensees? She can’t talk about this because there is no instance of this that she can drum up. All such talk of an armed New York citizenry posing a threat to their notion of public safety and public order in their well-ordered society is sheer unadulterated speculation, bordering on delirium.
The “why” of the attack on the armed citizenry is as pressing as the “how”—the strategies devised and employed to undermine the right of the people to keep and bear arms. And it all goes back to Government’s lust for “power” and “control” over the common people.
And, the fear of the Tyrant is always that the common people will revolt against the Tyrant’s Tyranny.
The Neoliberal Globalists and their puppets in Government treat people like random bits of energy that require a firm hand lest common people get “out of hand.” The fear of the Tyrant is always the common people. Government exists primarily to control the populace.
Our Federal Government, though, was constructed to serve the people. Everything in our Constitution points to that fact. The people are sovereign, not Government. But, like all Governments, our Federal Government has succumbed to tyranny. That tyranny is mirrored and multiplied in the Governments of many States. New York is one of those States.
The “sticky wicket” for the Globalists is the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It serves, one, as evidence of the sovereignty of the American people over their Government, Federal, State, or local, and serves, two, as a mechanism to thwart the rise of tyranny. The Second Amendment, unlike the First, or any other Amendment in the Bill of Rights has a tenacity that, when unleashed, a ferocity, that scares the dickens of the proponents of a world empire and world domination.
In this second half of the Biden Administration regime, we are seeing more and more emphasis placed on reining in the armed citizenry. And State Governments under Democrat Party leadership, such as that of New York, are fully on board with this. Expect to see more of this, much more, in the weeks and months ahead.
“A HEIGHTENED RISK OF GUNFIRE”?
“Exposing eighteen million New Yorkers to a heightened risk of gunfire severely outweighs any prejudice to plaintiffs here from a stay.” ~ Letitia James
Fourth, apropos of Letitia James’ argument, on behalf of Defendant-Appellant New York Government officials, appealing the U.S. District Court’s granting of Plaintiff-Appellees’ Preliminary Injunction, where is this “heightened risk of gunfire” supposed to come from?
The argument presented by Attorney General Letitia James and by Governor Kathy Hochul in support of the CCIA boils down to these two propositions:
- People are afraid of guns and of average law-abiding, rational, responsible gun owners who keep and bear them.
- Average law-abiding, rational, responsible gun owners pose an imminent threat to public safety and order.
The reader will note that nothing is said about career criminals, murderous gangbangers, and drug-addled lunatics who may happen to get hold of a firearm. The reason is that the Hochul Government, and other Governments like hers—reflecting the beliefs and aims of the present Federal Government, aren’t concerned about the behavior of the dregs of society. Government is concerned only over the rational responsible American who will not suffer tyranny. And it is tyranny that these Governments, local, regional, State, and Federal are selling.
Criminals and lunatics serve their end. The breakdown of law and order is what these Governments want so that they can institute their own brand of crime on a national/industrial scale.
The aim is the destruction of the mind, the Soul, and the Spirit.
The sanctity and inviolability of the individual were once important to our Nation, worth preserving, things to be cherished. And the idea was threaded through our Nation’s Constitution, and, especially, through our Nation’s Bill of rights. That once was so, but no longer.
The Federal Government makes a mockery of our Country now and of our sacred precepts and principles. We see it in the weakening of our economy, and our military. We see it in incredible profligate spending at a time when we must hold onto the monetary reserves and ascertain that our Nation’s monies are spent carefully and wisely for purposes that benefit our Nation and its people, and not squandered on foreign escapades or lavishly squandered on special interests that benefit the few, including foreign entities and individuals that hate us.
We see the weakening of our Country in the Government’s obsequious behavior toward China and Brussels. And, we see it in the debauched, and degenerate, and mentally unbalanced individuals placed in high Government Office.
Most Americans are appalled at these spectacles. And Government knows this and worries about it. Government is afraid of Americans who keep and bear arms, who clutch them ever tighter, for many of us there are who see well enough the mindless absurdity of a rogue, and dangerous, and patently deranged Government that threatens to engulf the Nation and its citizenry in horrific destruction.
And, so, Government turns on Americans; sets one American against the other so as to short-circuit organization against a Government that no longer serves the Nation’s best interests and, in fact, no longer goes through the pretense of doing so.
The Biden Administration and the Hochul Government don’t talk of their own fear of the armed citizenry. Instead, they project that fear on the populace at large both as a defense mechanism and as a strategy to divert attention away from themselves rather than upon themselves, where attention should be directed. The idea is that eviscerating the fundamental right of the people to keep and bear arms is done, not as a contemptuous assault on natural law that they have no lawful right to attack, but ostensibly as an act of mercy on behalf of the people who, as they argue, would benefit from a purgation only possible through the confiscation of guns in the hands of tens of millions of Americans.
The Tyrant says——
People are afraid of guns and of average law-abiding, rational, responsible gun owners who keep and bear them.
Concerning this proposition, propounded by Kathy Hochul, if many Americans should happen to fear guns and fear those who exercise their fundamental, unalienable right to armed self-defense—indeed, if any American should happen to register such fears—those fears aren’t the product of something innate in a person, but, rather, are the result of an elaborate, concerted well-coordinated, and executed plan, at once deceitful and horrendous, to instill in the American citizen a phobic reaction to firearms and a phobic reaction to those Americans who choose to keep and bear them.
The question of why such psychologically damaging programs would be initiated by and ceaselessly and vigorously propagated by the Government against the entire civilian population has nothing to do with a desire on the part of the Government to secure the life, health, safety, and well-being of Americans. Rather, it has everything to do with the carrying out of a secret plot focused on the demise of a free Constitutional Republic, the only one like it in existence; the dissolution of our Constitution; and the subjugation of our people to the dictates of a new order of reality: the rise of a neo-feudalistic global empire. AQ has written extensively on this. In fact, it is a theme that runs through the depth and breadth of our articles. Nothing else, to our knowledge, comes close to explaining well the dogged, and consistent, and insistent effort on the part of so many heterogenous agents and agencies both inside and outside this Country to destroy our Nation’s Bill of Rights; to destroy our history, heritage, culture, our Nation’s ethos, our Judeo-Christian ethic; and to launch a psychopathological reaction upon the citizenry the manner of which and the extent of which has no precedent in our Nation’s history or, for that matter, in all of recorded history.
The Hochul Government’s attack on the U.S. Supreme Court Bruen case is really a component part of a much larger mosaic, as evidenced by a concerted effort to undermine the Second Amendment.
And so confident is Hochul in her own power, that she does this brazenly and contemptuously, attacking not just the Second Amendment but also the Justices of the Highest Court in the Land, whose sin, in her mind, is that they give a fundamental natural law right the respect it is due. Hochul intends to shred it and she is doing just that.
Thus, it isn’t that New Yorkers or any American has an innate fear of firearms or those who keep and bear them. It is that the Government in New York and the Governments of several other States, and the Federal Government under the Biden Administration, have induced fear where none before existed, all in support of aims that are antithetical to our most sacred precepts and values and antithetical to the common good.
Thus, Americans aren’t afraid of firearms or those who possess them, but Hochul and others, beholden to the same ruthless, Globalist, and Marxist interests, create the illusion that this IS something inherent in people. IT ISN’T. It is only something inserted into the unwary mind: a meme, a mental virus, damaging to the psyche no less than a physical viral pathogen is damaging to the body.
The Tyrant also says——
Average law-abiding, rational, responsible gun owners pose an imminent threat to public safety and order.
Concerning this second proposition, propounded by Kathy Hochul, as manifest in her statements to the Press and in the Government’s legal documents—that average law-abiding, rational, responsible gun owners pose an imminent threat to public safety and order—this is a naked assumption cast as a self-evident truth, presented in lieu of any supporting evidence, for the purpose, one, to buttress amendments to the State’s Gun Law that are inherently unconstitutional as the District Court had made poignantly clear through cogent argument, both in Antonyuk I and in Antonyuk II, and, two, to urge the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to stay the lower Court’s granting of Plaintiff-Appellees Motion for Preliminary Injunction against the enforcement of Hochul’s CCIA.
Meanwhile, the law-abiding New York taxpayer daily faces rampant violent crime because of the abject failure of the New York Justice system to deal effectively with criminals and raving lunatics that constantly prey on the public.
And the police are contemporaneously prevented from engaging in effective policing activities that protect the community. In addition, the police are leaving New York in droves. Who will replace them?
And, even if the Hochul Government provided the public with a modicum of community policing and a justice system that didn’t kowtow to lunatics and criminals, the fact remains that the New York police departments have no obligation to guarantee the life and safety of individual members of the public.
The police never had that obligation. And the New York public is under a misconception to think otherwise. Yet, the Government continues to keep the public in the dark about this, never troubling itself to inform the public that self-defense against threats of violence rests on each member of the public, not on the State. See, e.g., the AQ article posted here, on this site, on November 21, 2019. See also AQ article posted on Ammoland Shooting Sports News on August 6, 2020.
A well-trained, responsible, rational, law-abiding adult need not rely on the police, and cannot legally place that burden on the police. The responsibility for preserving one’s life and well-being rests solely on the individual.
This was the salient point of Heller, McDonald, and Bruen.
Armed self-defense is ultimately the responsibility and prerogative of the individual.
The Hochul Government knows or should know that armed self-defense is the best defense against aggressive armed assault. The failure to acknowledge this or even attempt to proffer evidence to refute this is a fatal weakness in the Government’s argument against Plaintiff-Appellees PI.
The Government simply erroneously assumes the well-armed citizen threatens the community.
This is a central theme pervasive in the New York Government, and it is a thread woven into the very fabric of New York’s draconian gun measures that go back over one hundred years when the licensing of handguns was first enacted.
Yet the Government takes this bald assumption as a self-evident truth. It isn’t. But it serves the narrative, and their end goal is to disarm the public.
The Government’s remark begs the very question at issue:
Does the rational, responsible, law-abiding citizen who wishes to exercise his natural law right of armed self-defense pose a risk to the public?
There is something off in the sheer idea incessantly and vociferously proselytized to the public that the armed citizen poses a threat to public safety.
This notion is contrary to fact. It is also contrary to the import of the Second Amendment:
It is the natural law right of the American citizen to arm him or herself against assault by predatory man, predatory creature, and predatory Government.
Heller, McDonald, and Bruen reiterate this point constantly:
The individual has the right to armed self-defense.
The corollary to that proposition is this:
The armed citizen enhances public safety. This is the antithesis of the Hochul Government’s position that the armed citizen endangers public safety.
In their response to the Government’s Motion for a stay of the Preliminary Injunction, pending appeal, the Plaintiffs said this apropos of public safety:
“Even if Appellants had demonstrated some actual public safety benefit, it would come at the cost of disarmament of law-abiding gun owners, an unacceptably high cost, as “[t]he right to keep and bear arms . . . is not the only constitutional right that has controversial public safety implications.” McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U. S. 742, 783 (2010). Such enumerated rights cannot be balanced away by legislators, or judges, because “the Second Amendment is . . . the very product of an interest balancing by the people . . . it  elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense. . . .” D.C. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008).
Nor can Appellants plausibly claim irreparable harm from temporarily halting enforcement of an unconstitutional law: ‘the public consequences in employing the extraordinary remedy of [injunctive relief]’ are not just the vindication of constitutional rights but also the prevention of their egregious curtailment. Indeed, it is always in the public interest to enjoin an unconstitutional law. The government has no ‘interest in the enforcement of an unconstitutional law.’”
This third factor, harm to the non-moving party, does not outweigh the harm to the Plaintiffs. Thus, this third factor in support of the PI works to the Plaintiffs’ advantage.
- The Public Interest. The last factor a Court must consider in determining whether to issue a PI is whether the public is best served by its issuance.
The Plaintiff-Appellees assert: “The public interest is best served by ensuring the constitutional rights of persons within the United States are upheld.”
We are dealing here after all with a natural law right.
That the public is better served by curtailing a right the founders felt imperative to the Security of a free State and to ensure the sanctity and inviolability of one’s Selfhood, goes against the Judeo-Christian ethic upon which our free Constitutional Republic was founded, and without which a sovereign people and a free Constitutional Republic cannot continue to survive.
The New York State Government’s philosophy of the relationship of Government to the people is a distortion of all this Country holds dear and holy.
This fourth factor also works to the Plaintiff-Appellees’ advantage, supporting maintaining the PI during the Second Circuit’s resolution of the merits of it.
The New York Government places itself above the sovereign authority of the American people.
This notion unfortunately is reflected in several other jurisdictions across the Country, and it is also present in the thinking of the Biden Administration and in the thinking of Democrats in Congress and by more than a few Republicans.
Let us hope and pray the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, ultimately, doesn’t betray the U.S. Constitution too.
Unfortunately, the recent December 7, 2022, Second Circuit order doesn’t give New York gun owners much reason for hope, much less jubilation—nothing more, really, than a wing and a prayer of success.
If such is the case, Antonyuk vs. Nigrelli is destined for resolution by the High Court.
Justices Thomas and Alito would see that the case is heard, as the CCIA is a direct affront to the Second Amendment and to the rulings of Heller, McDonald, and Bruen.
In the immortal words of that late, great comic, Arte Johnson (a.k.a. the “German Soldier” routine), the Antonyuk case, and a slew of other post-Bruen cases wending their way through the Courts in New York and elsewhere in the Country are becoming “Very Interesting.” _______________________________
*For those readers interested, a comprehensive (complete) discussion of the history of the date of filings of Court documents in the second Antonyuk case, (Antonyuk II), as recited by Plaintiff-Appellees (holders of valid New York concealed handgun carry licenses) against Defendant-Appellants (New York Government officials) in Plaintiff-Appellees “Response In Opposition To Defendants-Appellants’ Motion For A Stay Pending Appeal And An Administrative Stay Pending Resolution Of The Motion,” filed on November 19, 2022, appears below:
This case involves a challenge to New York’s most recent attempt to infringe the Second Amendment rights of its residents. In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent vindication of the right to keep and bear arms in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen, 142 S. Ct. 2111 (2022), the state hastily enacted a poorly named and ineptly drafted statute called the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” (“CCIA”). Rather than following Bruen and respecting the Second Amendment’s mandate, the CCIA defied the Supreme Court, making concealed carry of firearms far more restrictive, and the licensing process far more onerous, than before the Supreme Court’s decision.
Plaintiffs-Appellees (“Appellees”) filed suit seeking to enjoin many of the CCIA’s patently unconstitutional provisions, seeking both a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction. Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (“Complaint”), ECF #1 (Sept. 20, 2022); Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Temporary Restraining Order (“Motion for TRO”), ECF #6 (Sept. 22, 2022). After providing Defendants-Appellants (“Appellants”) the opportunity to submit briefing and to participate in oral argument, the district court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining certain parts of the CCIA, while allowing others to remain in effect, and granting Appellants’ request for a three-business-day stay to seek review by this Court. Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, ECF #18 (Sept. 28, 2022); Transcript of Proceedings, ECF #23 (Sept. 29, 2022); Decision and Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”), ECF #27 (Oct. 6, 2022). Appellants sought from this Court (1) a stay pending appeal of the district court’s decision, along with (2) what they styled an “emergency . . . interim . . . administrative stay” while the Court considered their motion. Docket No. 22-2379, Motion for a Stay, Doc. #16 at 1. On October 11, 2022, Appellees filed a Response explaining, inter alia, that appeal of a TRO is improper, and the district court’s forthcoming decision on Plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction would render the appeal moot. Opposition to Motion, Doc. #22. On October 12, 2022, Judge Lee granted Appellants’ request for “an interim stay of the Temporary Restraining Order pending decision by the motions panel.” Order, Doc. #39.
The case continued in district court, with Appellants filing their Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for a Preliminary Injunction on October 13, 2022. Response in Opposition, ECF #48. On October 22, 2022, Appellees filed their Reply. Reply to Response, ECF #69. On October 25, 2022, the district court heard oral argument on Appellees’ Motion. Transcript of Proceedings, ECF #72. On November 7, 2022, the district court issued a limited preliminary injunction (“PI”), supported by a 184-page opinion. Decision and Preliminary Injunction, ECF #78 (“Op.”). The district court’s opinion denied Appellants’ request for a three-day stay, and the PI took effect immediately. Their TRO appeal mooted, Appellants, with Appellees’ consent, withdrew that appeal on November 9, 2022. Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal, Doc. #74 (Docket No. 22-2379).
On November 8, 2022, Appellants appealed the district court’s grant of the PI, and on November 12, 2022, filed a similar motion in this Court, seeking a stay pending appeal and an “administrative stay” pending resolution of their Motion. Docket No. 22-2908, Motion to Stay (“Motion”), Doc. #18. Although having requested three days in which to seek a stay from this Court, Appellants waited five days to file this Motion.
While the cover sheet (Form T-1080) describes Appellants’ filing as a “motion for emergency interim stay,” their motion is not captioned as an “Emergency Motion,” nor does it use the word “emergency” at all. Nor does it comply with this Court’s rule requiring that it “state the date by which the movant believes the court must act.” See L.R. 27.1(d)(2) and (4). Cf. Appellants’ filing in Docket No. 22-2379, Motion for a Stay, ECF #16, cover sheet (“request that an interim administrative stay be granted by the end of the day on Tuesday (10/11).”). Nor does Appellants’ motion provide any explanation of “the nature of the emergency and the harm that the movant will suffer if the motion is not granted” (L.R. 27.1(d)(3)), alleging only that the district court’s order “risks substantial harm.” Motion at 15. Cf. Docket 22-2379, Motion for a Stay at 2, 3, 20 (alleging “serious risk of irreparable harm,” “substantial risks to public safety,” and “imminent risk to public safety.”).
Despite those deficiencies, a three-judge panel of this Court – without response from or notice to Appellees – granted a “temporary stay” on November 15, 2022. Doc. #32. Problematically, that Order provides Appellants broader relief than they sought, granting a “temporary stay … of the preliminary injunction issued by the district court.” Id. In contrast, Appellants’ Motion made clear that they are not seeking to stay every part of the district court’s injunction. See Motion at 13 n.5 (seeking a stay for churches “except as to persons who have been tasked with the duty to keep the peace,” “Appellants do not seek a stay as to airports” and “private buses.”) (emphasis added).
This Court’s administrative stay was issued notwithstanding that undersigned counsel inquired on November 14, 2022 as to whether the Court would be treating Appellants’ Motion as an “emergency” motion, and notwithstanding the fact that there was no mention of any emergency in the body of Appellant’s actual Motion. Contrast treatment of this motion with the prior “emergency” request from Appellees (22-2379) where, within hours of filing, the Clerk’s office contacted undersigned counsel on a federal holiday (October 10, 2022) and requested that Appellees file a response by noon that next day (October 11, 2022), so the Court would have Appellees’ response prior to deciding the administrative stay. No such instruction was given to Appellees in this appeal, and undersigned’s voicemail was not returned.
Rather than waiting to hear from Appellees, the Court sua sponte stayed injunctive relief even as to matters where no stay was requested. Moreover, in issuing this broad administrative stay, this Court altered the status quo in New York (see Motion at 14), allowing non-appealed provisions of the CCIA back into effect thereby causing the very harm of which Appellants complain. See id. at 2 (alleging “confusion . . . resulting from the frequent changes in the applicable provisions of law. . . .”).
Appellees oppose both stays sought by Appellants (including the administrative stay already issued), and ask this Court to deny Appellants’ Motion in its entirety. In their Motion, Appellants generally malign the district court’s preliminary injunction, but fail to note that the CCIA is no ordinary law – breathtaking in both its scope and its blatant unconstitutionality. The district court was correct to enjoin enforcement of many of the CCIA’s patently unconstitutional provisions, and this Court should (i) decline Appellants’ invitation to be the first circuit court to bless a statute specifically enacted to defy Bruen, (ii) vacate its improvidently granted administrative stay, and (iii) deny Appellants’ Motion.
Copyright © 2022 Roger J. Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.