Human Events Blog

Goofball New York legislators forget to exempt the police from tough new gun laws

Call me crazy, but the new system of government we’ve been testing out for the past few years – legislation written by opportunistic charlatans and passed in a panicked rush by goofball legislators who don’t bother to read it – doesn’t seem to be working very well.  It only took about a month for New York’s gun-grabbing, grandstanding governor, Democrat Andrew Cuomo, to cobble together his tough new gun laws and shove them through the system, with little opportunity for either legislative or public review.  There’s a lot of stuff packed into that bill… but somewhere along the way, they forgot to exempt the police from most of it.

The Daily Caller reports the grimly amusing results:

A New York lawmaker says that the state’s recently passed gun control law stunningly fails to include any exemptions for law enforcement officers, and technically prohibits police from ever bringing guns on school grounds or possessing extended ammo magazines.

The NY SAFE Act, which was championed and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, bans all magazines that hold more than seven bullets and pre-1994 high capacity magazines, and prohibits the carrying of guns on school grounds.

But because no loophole for law enforcement was included in the law, every police officer in the state is technically in violation of the statute even though the prohibition is unlikely to be enforced, according to New York Assemblyman Al Graf.

Among other things, the weapons used by the police have 15-round magazines, so they exceed the new 7-round limit.  Retired cops will be obliged to surrender a mass of weapons that have been safely in their possession for a number of years.  Of course, criminals will feel no such obligation.  ”What they did was disarm the good guys and make sure the bad guys outgun them.”

But worst of all, it looks like the police won’t be able to bring their weapons into those ultra-gun-free school zones:

Graf — a former New York City police officer and the ranking Republican member of the assembly’s powerful Codes Committee — says that the ban could even impede the efforts of officers to respond to a school shooting.

“The language is unclear, and to go further, a cop cannot go on school property with a gun,” Graf told The Daily Caller. “They weren’t exempted from that, either.”

“There was actually a story that was relayed to me the other day about a New York City police officer who went to a school the other day to pick up his kid, and the security guard told him that if he came to the school with his off-duty gun he would be arrested,” Graf continued.

The prohibition on carrying a gun into a school could even extend to on-duty police officers responding to an emergency such as a shooting.

“I guess they would have to sit there and take their gun belts off before they came in” to the school, Graf said.

I guess they had to “pass the bill to find out what was in it,” as the philosophical guru of the Democrat Party, Nancy Pelosi, famously put it.

Of course, the almighty State will never allow itself to be seriously inconvenienced by the laws and procedures it enforces on the rest of us, so these police problems will be fixed with a flurry of band-aid amendments, passed in an even greater panic.  But the embarrassing incident highlights the very dangerous through-the-looking-glass nature of the gun control debate: the people leading the battle against the Second Amendment, almost to a man and woman, have no idea what they’re doing.  They are proudly ignorant of how the weapons they seek to regulate actually work, how gun rights affect crime, or even what most of the terminology means.  They happily cite bogus studies and phony statistics, all the way up to the office of the President, pursuing media-friendly sound bites instead of hard data.  They don’t even really understand how the very system of government they inhabit works, or what the great Constitutional law that was mean to serve as an iron barrier against the government’s thirst for power actually says.

Another problem with New York’s blind gun-control rush might prove more difficult to fix with a few hastily-written amendments.  USA Today reports concerns from mental-health experts that it will actually discourage troubled people from seeking help, which could dramatically increase the danger to the public:

The law would require therapists, doctors, nurses and social workers to tell government authorities if they believe a patient is likely to harm himself or others. That could lead to revoking the patient’s gun permit and seizing any guns.

In interviews Tuesday, one expert called the new law meaningless and said he expects mental health providers to ignore it, while others said they worry about its impact on patients.

Dr. Paul Appelbaum at Columbia University said the prospect of being reported to local mental health authorities and maybe the police might discourage people from revealing thoughts of harm to a therapist, or even from seeking treatment at all.

“The people who arguably most need to be in treatment and most need to feel free to talk about these disturbing impulses, may be the ones we make least likely to do so,” said the director of law, ethics and psychiatry at Columbia. “They will either simply not come, or not report the thoughts that they have.”

“If people with suicidal or homicidal impulses avoid treatment for fear of being reported in this way, they may be more likely to act on those impulses,” he said.

So don’t worry, New Yorkers!  The laws your White House-seeking governor just scribbled in crayon and dumped on your heads might just get more of you killed, but there’s a decent chance they’ll just be useless instead.

Sign Up
DISQUS COMMENTS

FACEBOOK COMMENTS

Comment with Facebook