New York Democrats give virtual middle finger to United States Supreme Court, go rogue on new gun law

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The following includes content which is editorial in nature and which reflects the opinion of the writer. 

ALBANY, NY- We often hear Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden talk about “protecting our democracy.” Yet, it seems they are more interested in protecting government power than protecting anything related to our precious constitutionally-protected freedoms.

Such is the case after the Supreme Court’s recent decision striking down New York’s unconstitutional gun law, a decision in the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen case.

As noted in American Thinker, the response by the New York State Legislature was “an act of breathtaking defiance and spitefulness not seen since Southern states engaged in ‘massive resistance’ to the Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board decision.”

Last week, New York’s legislators in essence voted to attempt a nullification of the Supreme Court’s decision.

You see, this shows the difference between Democrats and Republicans. When Republicans lose, as was done in the Obamacare case, they dutifully put their tail between their legs and surrender.

Democrats? When they lose, they “burn shit down,” hold their breath until they turn blue and act like petulant children. Such is the case in New York.

In this case, the New York State Legislature, called back into session by feckless Gov. Kathy Hochul passed Senate Bill S-51001, which was pushed through the legislature on a party-line vote by the Democrat’s supermajority in the senate, then passed the state Assembly and was signed into law by Hochul.

In striking down New York’s unconstitutional gun law, Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, called New York’s requirement that an applicant for a handgun must demonstrate a “special need” in order to carry for self-defense purposes.

This made New York’s firearms law the textbook definition of arbitrary and capricious. In a number of jurisdictions, licensing officials simply refused to issue permits for self-defense.

Nowhere was this more evident than in New York City, where the law clearly discriminated against the less fortunate, who often live in areas where crime runs rampant. In the Big Apple, the only ones who were able to get licenses to carry had to be either politically connected or “celebrities.”

For example, people such as former President Trump (when he was a civilian), Howard Stern and the late Don Imus were among those granted permits. The less fortunate? Not so much.

In other areas of the state, licensing officials made up reasons to grant (or not to grant) licenses, sometimes restricting the permits to “hunting and target shooting” but not for self-protection. Some simply denied them carte blanche.

In one case, an upstate judge in a rural county invented a requirement out of thin air that he wouldn’t allow more than five handguns to one permit holder unless they agreed to appear before him and give a “good reason” for wanting one. Talk about ego.

In the Supreme Court decision, Thomas wrote that such arbitrary restrictions were unconstitutional and were a clear violation of the Second Amendment, which says “the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Period.

New York’s restrictions clearly were an infringement on those rights. The high court ruled New York State and New York city must issue concealed carry permits to qualified applicants. Period.

In response Hochul, who at one time claimed to be a gun rights activist in order to get elected to Congress in a rural New York District came out and publicly said the state would restrict guns to the point where the state would “go back to muskets,” an absolutely absurd and vindictive statement.

Hochul demanded the legislature return from recess and presented the legislation, which will criminalize concealed carry as a felony offense in an estimated 98% of New York State. Unless you’re a criminal…then you apparently have free reign.

It is difficult to imagine that this new law will stand up to judicial scrutiny. The law actually attempts to use the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s words in District of Columbia v Heller in order to justify the draconian restrictions which could ostensibly leave the only ones being armed as police officers and criminals. This as New York City has seen an exodus of police officers.

Under the bill, it offers a wide range of so-called “sensitive areas” where a permit is forbidden to carry a concealed weapon. Those areas include:

All schools, hospitals, parks, zoos, libraries, churches, shelters, subways, trains, buses, airports, aircraft, terminals, stations, stadiums, places of entertainment, theaters, museums, concerts, banquet halls, “special events” (including parades), federal, state, county and municipal property, and places (including restaurants( that serve alcohol. In fact, Times Square is specifically named as a so-called “forbidden zone.”

Moreover, another clause says that “it becomes a felony to possess any handgun, rifle, or shotgun during ‘any gathering of individuals to collectively express their constitutional rights to protest [sic] or assemble.’”

So think about this. You get a protest of a bunch of antifa or Black Lives Matter goons and people in the area will be unable to carry to protect themselves. This law is truly Orwellian.

Unbelievably, it actually gets much worse. According to the bill, all private property (no distinction made between commercial and residential) is assumed to be a prohibited zone unless the owner specifically posts signage allowing guns on the premises.

If someone is found with a concealed weapon on such property, it will earn up to four years in prison and a felony conviction on your record.

What this law in essence does is make nearly 100% of New York State a forbidden zone with the exception of public roadways and sidewalks. If someone has a firearm inside their vehicle, they are required to lock it in a fireproof and impact-proof vehicle safe or end up with a misdemeanor charge and a year in jail.

Oh, there are exemptions—current, off-duty and retired police officers are exempt from the restrictions.

For people such as Howard Stern though, who previously had an “unrestricted” self-defense license, the new requirements basically gut those privileges. Previously, permit holders with “restricted” licenses were not subject to criminal penalties if they were caught carrying outside of those restrictions. They would only have faced suspension or revocation of the license.

Now? All violations of carry restrictions are felonies, which includes immediate confiscation of all firearms without benefit of due process (another violation of the Constitution). A conviction bars the owning of firearms for life.

The bill also requires the following:

  • disclosure of all social media accounts, a police investigation, fingerprints, character references, live-fire training and qualification for applicants (the licensing requirement doesn’t only apply to concealed carry but also merely owning one)
  • requires three-year renewal of licenses
  • requires a monthly police audit of every license holder to see if a reason to revoke a license exists
  • makes it a crime to purchase body armor
  • requires an identical license to purchase any semi-automatic rifle, including .22 cal.

This law is nothing but a virtual middle-finger to the Supreme Court and to the Constitution. New York state legislators apparently think they are above the law, as does Hochul (has she ever heard of Invisalign by the way?). After the Heller decision in 2008, New York lawmakers thumbed their nose and implemented all manner of draconian restrictions.

This is what happens when you get rogue Democrats who believe they know better than all. We’ve seen the same thing with the Biden administration, which has ignored all manner of judges, including the Supreme Court, in carrying out various parts of its agenda.

Conservatives and Second Amendment advocates have been referred to as “paranoid” about attempts to implement what Democrats call “common sense” gun laws. However as the New York State legislature and Hochul showed last week, they are interested in no such thing. They are seeking to permanently remove private gun ownership from citizens…period. Then the only ones who will have guns are overmatched police officers and criminals.

Sleep well residents of New York.

Re-fund the police

Meanwhile, in New York City:

NEW YORK, NY – From Day One, Manhattan’s new district attorney has shown his allegiance lies with the “progressive” ideology of ignoring criminal activity while making the lives of law enforcers and law abiders miserable and dangerous.

When Democrat DA Alvin Bragg took over in January to become Manhattan’s first black chief of that office, he released a now-infamous memo ordering prosecutors not to seek prison sentences for a number of serious crimes and to downgrade charges for a host of others, including robbery and commercial burglary.

 

Democrat voters knowingly saddled the five boroughs with hard-left district attorneys who are openly committed to reducing prison populations regardless of the policy’s effect on public safety.

As a result of their criminal-justice “reforms,” crime has exploded across the city and prosecutors are leaving by the hundreds.

So far this year, Bragg’s office has lost 65 assistant district attorneys, which is about 12% of the staff. At least nine prosecutors saw the writing on the wall and quit in the first two weeks of Bragg’s tenure.

The situation in Brooklyn mirrors that in Manhattan, with 70 prosecutors resigning from DA Eric Gonzalez’s office as of June 23, according to the New York Post.

In 2020, 84 ADAs resigned, and 94 left that office in 2021. In the Bronx, 59 prosecutors have quit beginning this year through May. Representatives of the Queens and Staten Island DA offices did not respond to requests for data.

A veteran prosecutor lost her title and was told she would have to work for someone Bragg brought over from the Legal Aid Society, a source told The Post. The source, a former prosecutor, said:

“He wants to get rid of all the senior people who prosecuted high-profile cases and replace them with young inexperienced people who think like him and don’t want to uphold the law.”

 

The resignations come amid statewide criminal-justice reforms that some have criticized for being onerous.

In 2019, New York adopted discovery requirements that ordered lawyers to turn over large amounts of material to the defense in a short amount of time.

Joan Illuzzi-Orbon, a former Manhattan assistant district attorney and trial division chief who prosecuted Harvey Weinstein, told The Post that such regulations are “crippling our lawyers.”

She provided the example of how every officer’s bodycam footage at a protest might have to be produced if there are allegations of wrongdoing. She said:

“You become a file clerk rather than a trial lawyer.”

Illuzzi-Orbon, who is now a fellow with the Manhattan Institute,  added:

“It’s insanity. Most of it is completely irrelevant and not germane in any way to the issues of the case.”

Former Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bibb echoed that thought in a January story with Fox News. He called Bragg’s downgrading of crimes such as armed robbery “the definition of insanity.”

DA Bragg’s memo outlined the following instructions for prosecutors:

  • Armed robbers who use guns or other deadly weapons to stick up stores and other businesses will be prosecuted only for petty larceny, a misdemeanor, provided no victims were seriously injured and there’s no “genuine risk of physical harm” to anyone. Armed robbery, a class B felony, would typically be punishable by a maximum of 25 years in prison, while petty larceny subjects offenders to up to 364 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Convicted criminals caught with weapons other than guns will have those felony charges downgraded to misdemeanors unless they’re also charged with more serious offenses. Criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, a class D felony, is punishable by up to 7 years behind bars.
  • Burglars who steal from residential storage areas, parts of homes that aren’t “accessible to a living area” and businesses located in mixed-use buildings will be prosecuted for a low-level class D felony that only covers break-ins instead of for more serious crimes. Those more serious crimes, class B and class C felonies, would be punishable by up to 25 and up to 15 years in prison respectively.
  • Drug dealers believed to be “acting as a low-level agent of a seller” will be prosecuted only for misdemeanor possession. Also, suspected dealers will only be prosecuted on felony charges if they’re also accused of more serious crimes or are actually caught in the act of selling drugs. That felony would mean facing up to seven years behind bars.

Illuzzi-Orbon noted that if cases take too long, they get thrown out, meaning there is no justice for the victims or the perpetrators. Illuzzi-Orbon, who left Bragg’s office in January, said:

“There are tons of cases getting dismissed.”

In March testimony to the City Council, Bragg acknowledged the effect of the unprecedented demands for evidentiary material. He said:

“We’ve experienced record attrition, as our ADAs burned out and sought less-demanding jobs for more money.”

Bronx DA Darcel Clark also cited the evidentiary demands to the council. She said:

“[Attorneys] cited the responsibilities of discovery, managing the backlog of cases, and increased night and weekend shifts among their main reasons for leaving the office.”

Bragg’s office said that it expected to have at least 85 new ADAs on the job by the end of September.

In Brooklyn, prosecutors are moving up the ranks to take on felony cases more quickly because of the staffing shortage, a source told The Post, who added:

“Of course it is going to affect the handling of cases, when you have inexperienced lawyers trying cases.”

https://fundourpolice.com/

New NYPD Commissioner slams far-left Manhattan DA’s soft-on-crime policies, says puts cops in danger

January 10, 2022

NEW YORK, NY – Newly appointed New York Police Department Commissioner Keechant Sewell sent an email to the NYPD cops under her watch critiquing the progressive policies recently announced by new Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Bragg issued a memo to his prosecutors on Monday, January 3, 2022, directing them to downgrade certain felony charges and avoid incarceration in many instances, and not to ask for bail “except in the most serious cases.”

Instead, according to the New York Post, prosecutors were instructed to take into account the “impacts of incarceration,” which included “whether it really does increase public safety, potential future barriers to convicts involving housing and employment, the financial cost of prison and the racial disparities over who gets time.”

In fact, Bragg appears to have his prosecutors acting more like social workers than prosecuting attorneys.  He told them:

“ADAs should use their judgment and experience to evaluate the person arrested, and identify people: who suffer from mental illness; who are unhoused; who commit crimes of poverty; or who suffer from substance use disorders….

“Charges should be brought consistent with the goal of providing services to such individuals, and leverage during plea negotiations should not be a factor in this decision.”

Furthermore, Bragg’s directive also noted:

“Armed robbers who use guns or other deadly weapons to stick up stores and other businesses will be prosecuted only for petty larceny, a misdemeanor, provided no victims were seriously injured and there’s no ‘genuine risk of physical harm’ to anyone.

“Armed robbery, a class B felony, would typically be punishable by a maximum of 25 years in prison, while petty larceny subjects offenders to up to 364 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.”

As for drug crimes:

“Drug dealers believed to be “acting as a low-level agent of a seller” will be prosecuted only for misdemeanor possession.

“Also, suspected dealers will only be prosecuted on felony charges if they’re also accused of more serious crimes or are actually caught in the act of selling drugs.”

Commissioner Sewell, the first woman to hold that position in the history of the NYPD, took exception to Bragg’s instructions and responded in an email to all uniformed members of the NYPD.

In that email, obtained by the New York Post, Sewell noted:

“I have studied these policies and I am very concerned about the implications to your safety as police officers, the safety of the public and justice for the victims.”

She continued:

“I am making my concerns known to the Manhattan District Attorney and hope to have frank and productive discussions to try and reach more common ground.”

Regarding the safety and welfare of the New York public, Sewell noted:

“The new charging policies of the Manhattan District Attorney effectively decriminalizes much of the conduct that New Yorkers are asking the police to address.”

One specific item that Sewell mentioned in her email that she had already discussed with Bragg was his “refusal to prosecute resisting arrest charges unless they are part of a larger, felony case.”

That tactic, she wrote:

“will invite violence against police officers and will have deleterious effects on our relationship with the communities we protect.”

Sewell also took on the downgrading of certain felonies to misdemeanors.  The Post reports that she stated that classifying robberies at gunpoint as misdemeanors “endangers cops and is bad for business owners.”

She added:

“Commercial establishments have endured much during this pandemic and city government should do whatever it can to ensure they participate and thrive in the City’s ongoing recovery effort.”

Sewell also argued that Bragg’s downgrading of charges for drug dealers would lead to more gun violence as dealers spar over territory, and “will invite more open-air drug markets and drug use in Manhattan.”

Re-fund the police

The Commissioner also raised concerns over the lack of pretrial detention, which she indicated could lead to more violence.  She wrote:

“In addition to gun possession, I am concerned that pretrial incarceration will no longer be sought for charges such as terrorism, criminal sale of a firearm, gun-point robberies … and other serious violent felonies that put the safety of the public and the police officers who have sworn to protect and serve at great risk.”

Regarding criminal justice reform, Sewell wrote that she believes in it, but she “argued that the NYPD has already been helping to reduce incarceration and arrests by pursuing ‘community based solutions.’”

She added:

“I believe in reform that make sense when applied collaboratively.…

“In that same vein, I am concerned about sweeping edicts that seem to remove discretion, not just from police officers, but also from Assistant District Attorneys regarding what crimes to prosecute and how to charge them.”

While instructing her officers “to do your jobs based on your training, direction by supervisors and enforce the law,” Sewell promised to speak more with Bragg “to seek a better balance between officer safety, public safety and reform.”

Commissioner Sewell is not the only one who has reacted with concerns over DA Bragg’s progressive, soft-on-crime policies.

Police Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch told the New York Post:

“Police officers don’t want to be sent out to enforce laws that the district attorneys won’t prosecute.”

He added:

“And there are already too many people who believe that they can commit crimes, resist arrest, interfere with police officers and face zero consequences.”

A “high-ranking” unidentified police supervisor told the Post:

“The identical platform has not worked out in San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

“It will lead to more young lives lost to gang violence and innocent people being hurt both physically and emotionally.”

Paul DiGiacomo, head of the NYPD Detectives’ Endowment Association, said in a statement:

“Bragg gives criminals the roadmap to freedom from prosecution and control of our streets.”

He continued:

“In Bragg’s Manhattan, you can resist arrest, deal drugs, obstruct arrests, and even carry a gun and get away with it.”

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