New York City Mayor Eric Adams rode a wave of fear into office. Gothamites concerned about petty and serious crime alike voted overwhelmingly for the ex-cop to return some sanity to the Big Apple. So what did Adams just announce he would do to combat the lawlessness plaguing his city? Crack down on law-abiding Americans.
Although it’s no secret that New York City is already unfriendly to lawful gun owners, the steps Mayor Adams laid out will make the metropolis competitive with the Soviet Union for history’s most intrusive surveillance state.
New York’s gun control laws have abjectly failed to prevent criminal abuse of firearms. Even the progressive champion President Biden conceded that gun control laws did nothing to prevent the recent synagogue hostage crisis in Texas.
Yet the newest push to disarm lawful gun owners is even more severe than previous crackdowns. Why do politicians like Mayor Adams continue to push for laws that do virtually nothing to prevent crime?
Because gun control is not about public safety—it’s about public control.
To tackle so-called “gun trafficking,” Mayor Adams declared there will be spot checks for firearms at every point of entry, including “port authority and other bus and train stations,” in addition to the implementation of facial recognition technology. He also vowed to increase the penalties for, again, “gun trafficking.”
Consider what “gun trafficking” really means here: the transportation of guns. Merely moving a firearm from one place to another could result in an innocent and unaware citizen receiving jail time. New York City and New York State are infamous for violating 18 US Code § 926A, which is the federal law protecting the right of people to transport unloaded guns interstate.
For example, let’s say you’re a law-abiding gun owner. You live in a gun-friendly state and you’re traveling to another gun-friendly state with your firearm stowed in accordance with federal regulations. But you take a wrong turn onto a highway leading into New York City. When you arrive at one of the proposed checkpoints, a warrantless search is executed. Because you don’t possess the unconstitutional licensing and registration required for New York City residents, you could very well end up in jail for gun trafficking.
Before you know it, you’re trying to raise bail and spending a fortune in legal fees to avoid additional prison time. Does this sound farfetched?
Between 2014 and 2019, 483 gun owners were arrested at JFK and LaGuardia for transporting a firearm. In about 80% of those cases, the unsuspecting gun owners were either forced into a plea deal for disorderly conduct or had their cases dismissed by the District Attorney. Bottom line: this means that 384 people needed to endure the embarrassment of being arrested and spend thousands of dollars in legal fees before their Second Amendment rights were restored.
Proponents of Mayor Adams’ proposal may counter by saying there will be exceptions or methods of appeal for lawful gun owners. Even if this turns out to be true, that’s only—as suggested above—after your firearm is taken, you spend a night in jail, pay bail, dish out thousands of dollars on an attorney, and spend dozens of hours in a courtroom. Only then, and just only, might you be able to clear your name.
New York City’s gun laws violate the Second Amendment, leaving law-abiding citizens disarmed and defenseless in the face of its soaring crime rate. Leaders cannot continue trying the same failed gun control in response.
How many citizens are otherwise law-abiding people who need a means of self-defense in a city that cannot protect them? Infamously, Bernhard Goetz was found not guilty of any crime other than carrying a self-defense gun in NYC.
Criminals aren’t getting guns into NYC because they’re exploiting some legal loophole, it’s because they have no regard for the law.
When politicians punish people who are trying to abide by the law and want a means of self-protection, they’re only imposing tyranny on their constituents. In the case of Mayor Adams and his new gun-control regime, he’s imposing tyranny also on people who don’t even live in his city.
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