Anti-gun Legislation Infringes on 2nd Amendment Rights

Legislative column by Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush (R,C-Black River)

Here in Northern New York, hunting is a way of life. North Country residents are law-abiding citizens who jump through the state’s hoops to lawfully own a gun, either for personal protection or for sporting.

However, each year, members of the Assembly’s downstate delegation seek to limit our 2nd Amendment rights and punish those of us who follow the law and respect guns. This year is no different. There are several bills already introduced in the Assembly that would place even more restrictions on our constitutional right to bear arms.

For example, A6108 would add more guns to the definition of “assault weapons”, many of which sportsmen here in the North Country use for hunting. This bill is just another example of how some downstate legislators are out of touch with the way of life here in upstate and northern New York. Residents of the North Country are not using shotguns to assault their neighbors, but instead for lawfully hunting deer and other wild game. Furthermore, sportsmen take the necessary steps to obtain guns legally, while criminals, on the other hand, do not usually purchase their guns legally; instead, obtaining them on the streets.

Another bill that goes against our 2nd Amendment rights is A1157, which would require new pistols sold in New York state to be capable of “micro-stamping” the fired case. Supporters of micro-stamping say it could be a valuable forensic tool, but this technology remains unproven for the intended purpose, as it has only been tested in closely controlled, almost laboratory environments, and not in real world situations. Furthermore, micro-stamping would place a large economic burden on manufacturers, which would ultimately be passed onto consumers. Finally, given that this measure would only apply to guns legally purchased in New York state, the effectiveness of this legislation would be limited. Legal firearms represent only a fraction of the identified guns used in crimes, and it is rare that the firearms are in possession of a lawful gun owner at the time. A1157 is another example of government instituting regulations without evaluating its impact on the economy or society.

Finally, A380 would require a five-year renewal for all pistol licenses outside of New York City. Currently, New York City, Nassau and Suffolk counties have such a measure in place, and Westchester County requires a five-year recertification. The sponsor of this legislation claims that this measure is necessary to ensure that “handguns do not fall into the wrong hands.” This statement is not only a broad generalization, but insulting to the thousands of lawful pistol owners and sportsmen in upstate New York and the North Country.

As a strong supporter of sportsmen, I am adamantly opposed to any legislation that seeks to limit our 2nd Amendment rights, and I will vote no on any anti-gun legislation.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with your questions or concerns. My new district office is located at 15 Bridge St., Carthage, 315-493-3909.