New Senate leadership and agenda

Andrea Stewart-Cousins has been elected as the new Senate Majority Leader for the 2019-20 session.

Her agenda:

“… Stewart-Cousins said among the top priorities for the Senate Democrats will be enacting the Reproductive Health Act, which would codify the abortion rights in the U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade into New York law, strengthening gun control laws and instituting early voting in New York …”

It is reasonable to assume that the gun control agenda will include the laundry list of items the Assembly approved in years past including Gov. Cuomo’s ‘red flag’ proposal, mandatory storage, strict dealer liability, heavy triggers and microstamping.


Tuesday’s Newsbits:




Lawmakers propose including social media in gun background check


Thursday’s Newsbits:





Proposal requiring gun owners open up social media and online searches

Current bill was introduced as S-9191, but it will have to be reintroduced with a new number in January at the start of the 2019-20 session.

Erie County to drop 23 SAFE Act charges


Monday’s Newsbits:




Have not learned a thing

If there was any doubt as to whether or not the Republicans learned anything from the last election, the answer is No, they haven’t.

Promises, promises

The Washington Post reports:

“Newly ascendant Democrats are promising congressional action on gun control amid a rash of mass shootings … Pelosi vowed to push for a range of actions to stem gun violence, including restrictions on high-capacity magazines and a measure allowing temporary removal of guns from people deemed an imminent risk to themselves or others …”

I doubt that.  I expect a bunch of noise with little action.

Pelosi knows even if the House passes something the Senate won’t take it up.  The gun control agenda has been waning for years because the fringe advocates have never been able to deliver a political payoff to electeds who promote the agenda.  That has not changed.

Another shakedown

There have been some attempts, most recently with Ruger, to impose backdoor gun control regulations through company shareholders of both firearms manufacturers and sporting good retailers like Walmart.

That tactic is getting traction with antigun politicians:

“As part of an effort to address gun safety issues and reduce investment risk, a coalition of institutional and private investors with combined assets of more than $4.83 trillion has created a framework for engaging with companies that manufacture, distribute, sell, or regulate products within the civilian firearms industry …”

What sort of investors?

“… Signatories include CalSTRS, the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS), Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds, Florida State Board of Administration, Maine Public Employees Retirement System, Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, TIAA’s Nuveen, OIP Investment Trust, Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund, Rockefeller Asset Management, San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System, State Street Global Advisors, and Wespath Investment Management. …”

State pension funds and companies which manage them and are beholden to (antigun) politicians.

“… [Christopher Ailman, chief investment officer at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)] insists that working to help reduce gun violence is part of their business. “This is part of the holistic picture of being an asset owner. It’s absolutely within our fiduciary duty to engage and try to bring about change,” said Ailman …”

No, your fiduciary duty is to provide maximum return to investors with minimum risk.

What exactly do they want?

At the heart of the framework are five main principles to guide institutional investors’ approach to affecting change within the firearms industry:

Principle 1: Manufacturers should support, advance, and integrate the development of technology designed to make civilian firearms safer, more secure, and easier to trace.

They mean things like microstamping and “smart guns” neither of which work.

Principle 2: Manufacturers should adopt and follow responsible business practices that establish and enforce responsible dealer standards, and promote training and education programs for owners designed around firearms safety.

NSSF and NRA already do this, but I guarantee that isn’t what these guys are looking for.

Principle 3: Civilian firearms distributors, dealers, and retailers should establish, promote, and follow best practices to ensure that no firearm is sold without a completed background check in order to prevent sales to persons prohibited from buying firearms or those too dangerous to possess firearms.

Universal background checks and gun owner databases.

Principle 4: Civilian firearms distributors, dealers, and retailers should educate and train their employees to better recognize and effectively monitor irregularities at the point of sale, to record all firearm sales, to audit firearms inventory on a regular basis, and to proactively assist law enforcement.

Hold dealers responsible for 3rd party misuse, strict liability.

Principle 5: Participants in the civilian firearms industry should work collaboratively, communicate, and engage with the signatories of these principles to design, adopt, and disclose measures and metrics demonstrating both best practices and their commitment to promoting these principles.

Basically show they have adopted the current gun control agenda.

“… Ailman emphasized that the group of investors isn’t looking to be an antagonist to the companies involved in the firearms supply chain, but to work with them to improve their product, similar to the way safety advocates in the 1980s successfully lobbied for nationwide seatbelt laws …”

Baloney.  This is what nearly bankrupted Smith & Wesson and antigun advocates know it.

Essentially these largely unaccountable pension funds want to throw their fiduciary responsibility out the window and devalue their investments by forcing companies to engage in practices that hurt their business.  There are some “socially conscience” firms which engage in this sort of behavior, but individuals can choose whether or not to put money in them.  Government pension funds by and large do not give retirees that option.  This is the perfect example of why public pensions should be converted over to private Roth IRA accounts which individuals manage themselves.

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