Monday, January 9, 2017

- Federal CCR In NYC

The likely passing of a Concealed Carry Reciprocity act at the Federal level raises some very interesting questions for places like New York and New Jersey, where concealed carry for the local citizens has been all but illegal for over a generation.

In New York City for instance, Concealed Carry is really only allowed for law enforcement officers and for the rich and connected. Even a ‘premises permit’ which allows a New Yorker to only keep a gun in their home or business, involves a 6 month long application process, and comes with an almost overwhelming amount of application paperwork that almost always requires the assistance of a lawyer. And once obtained it’s still illegal for a New Yorker to carry a loaded firearm, concealed or otherwise.

In New Jersey, though the restrictions for ownership of a handgun are much reduced compared to New York City, even fewer exceptions are made for concealed carry. The total number of permits issued by the state in the last 30 years, excluding law enforcement, can be counted on your hands and feet.

But there is a hiccup in that restriction, that will soon be exposed if the new Federal CCR law is passed.

Say for instance you are a New Yorker with a home in Florida, where you have a firearm and a Florida carry permit. Technically you would be allowed to carry a firearm in New York under CCR using your Florida concealed carry permit, even though you can’t already legally do so in New York.

Or even further, suppose you don’t reside anywhere but in New York, but you have a non-resident carry permit from one of the many states that offer them to people from out of state. Virginia, Nevada, Arizona and Utah have all issued concealed carry permits to exclusive residents of New York so that New Yorkers can carry while in those states.

Under the current law it ‘might’ be possible (I’m sure the courts will tell us) for you to legally carry a firearm in New York City under that ‘out of state resident permit’, even though you can’t legally own a firearm in New York City because of the restrictive local laws.

Taken to it’s most ridiculous extreme, it might be legal for you to be in possession of the firearm so long as you ARE carrying it concealed. The minute you go home and put the firearm down, you’ll be in violation of New York’s local handgun regulations, because at that point your activity with the firearm will no longer be covered by the federal Concealed carry law.

This kind of hyperbolic contradiction in the law doesn’t usually last very long. In short order someone will sue someone, and the whole thing will get worked out. Either New York will create it’s own less onerous restrictions that can be reconciled with the rest of the country, or the country will grant places like New Jersey and New York city a special exemption so they don’t have to comply.

There is also the issue of prosecutorial discretion. The devoutly anti-gun New York City may decide to prosecute anyone who tries to carry concealed under the new Federal law and force the Federal government to sue in order to stop them. Our major cities are already ignoring federal immigration law under the ‘sanctuary city’ concept, so there is a precedent.

Or, they might simply decide that the whole thing isn’t worth the trouble, and not prosecute anyone who carries concealed, resident or non-resident, so long as there is some validation of the Concealed Carry permit process from some state, somewhere. This is less likely I think, but still conceivably possible.

Much more likely is some vague and discretionary prosecutorial application of the law. Either way, for residents of the other states which allow their citizens to carry concealed, a federal reciprocity act solves a problem. But for the residents of New York and New Jersey who would like to make the most of the new law, it’s really only going to add questions. And you might not want to bet your freedom on whether the deeply anti-gun local governments will respect the national law.


Stephen Paul Foster said...

When it comes to guns, the left is crazy. See:

Muzzlethemuz said...

When it comes to anything, the Left is crazy.