There is an interesting article in the Times, “Design of AR-15 Could Derail Charges Tied to Popular Rifle“, which could impact Gov. Cuomo’s “ghost guns” crap:
“A subtle design feature of the AR-15 rifle has raised a technical legal question that is derailing cases against people who are charged with illegally buying and selling the gun’s parts or building the weapon. At issue is whether a key piece of one of America’s most popular firearms meets the definition of a gun that prosecutors have long relied on. For decades, the federal government has treated a mechanism called the lower receiver as the essential piece of the semiautomatic rifle … But some defense attorneys have recently argued that the part alone does not meet the definition in the law. Federal law enforcement officials … are increasingly worried that it could hinder some criminal prosecutions and undermine firearms regulations nationwide … Cases involving lower receivers represent a small fraction of the thousands of federal gun charges filed each year. But the loophole has allowed some people accused of illegally selling or possessing the parts, including convicted felons, to escape prosecution. The issue also complicates efforts to address so-called ghost guns, which are largely untraceable because they are assembled from parts …”
I can see how the NYC prohibition law passed last fall could be subject to legal challenge based upon this article. Not just black rifles, but Glock clones as well.
Nevertheless I’m not so naive as to think the Governor really cares about things like this. He just wants to get his name and face before the camera signing some more gun control legislation. If it gets knocked out by the courts sometime down the road, so what?
Attorney General Tish James released a self-aggrandizing 2019 Year in Review report highlighting how wonderful she is. It’s 61 pages long and lists “accomplishments” such as “Combating Gun Violence”:
Gun violence is a public health epidemic in New York and across the nation. Every loss of life and injury from gun violence is a devastating reminder of our shared responsibility to face this crisis head on and to support the communities that have suffered from its effects. Attorney General James is committed to catching criminals who traffic illegal weapons onto our streets, and holding them accountable. She has taken legal action to protect states’ rights to enact common sense gun safety regulations, including leading a multistate coalition to protect New York’s right to implement these critical measures, which is currently being heard by the United States Supreme Court. She has also partnered with law enforcement agencies across the state to host gun buyback programs and get illegal guns out of our communities. She will continue to pursue every avenue available to reduce gun violence in New York.
And “Stopping the Sale of Ghost Guns”:
The New York Attorney General’s Office was the first law enforcement agency in the nation to charge people for selling so-called ghost guns, or guns that are manufactured from parts sold over the Internet. These guns do not have serial numbers, so they are untraceable by law enforcement. Continuing on these enforcement efforts, in September 2019, Attorney General James directed 16 websites to cease and desist selling nearly complete assault weapons to consumers in New York. Attorney General James will continue to go after those that skirt the law to manufacture illegal and deadly assault weapons.
All of this is a set up for a future run either for Governor or Senate some time down the road.
Unfortunately I suspect next year’s report will include successful legal action taken against the NRA.
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments yesterday in the case of NYSRPA v. City of New York.
Here is the transcript.
This is what I believe the court will do:
On the question of mootness, I believe they will agree with plaintiffs that the case isn’t. After all, if the case were dropped nothing would prevent the legislature from changing the law back to the way it was before.
On the case itself, I believe they will issue a narrow ruling rule in favor of the plaintiffs, either 5-4 or 5-3 if RBG takes a dirt nap, and it will come near the end of the session next June. It will be something along the lines of you can transport your legal firearms from point A to point B.
On the level of scrutiny, the decision will not address the issue, although Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Alito may go to town on it in their written opinions.
As for both the clown council and state legislature they simply don’t care. Albany politicians have made it clear they intend to move forward with even more gun control when the legislature returns to session next month. If any law is struck down as unconstitutional they will simply rewrite it to do the same thing as before.