Birds of a feather: N.Y. Gov. Hochul continues disgraced former governor’s “gun violence” emergency declaration

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By Larry Keane and our friends at NSSF

New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul is just two months into her term and not wasting time renewing a sham gun control effort that began under her predecessor, disgraced former Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The original order carried a taxpayer price tag of $160 million to target crime hotspots, engage youth, declare a gun control “border war” at the state line and rebuild police relations with the community. It was bluster so Gov. Cuomo could say he was treating crime with the same level of attention as a health emergency.

Except he didn’t and neither is Gov. Hochul. Only one-third has been used to address “gun violence” in what both administrations call an urgent “epidemic.”

Gov. Hochul’s spokesperson said, “Gov. Hochul will continue to work…to end the gun violence epidemic, including job training, community engagement and more intervention programs.”

Gov. Hochul is extending it even though $50 million has yet to be allocated. Local reports stated, “Most of the $159 million promised has been allocated, although not yet spent.”

The declaration included a promise that $18.5 million would create 2,400 long-term jobs, “in communities distressed by gun violence.” The program has only created about 20 jobs so far.

Neither governor focused on holding criminals committing crimes accountable. New York-based government watchdog groups called foul. They labelled Gov. Cuomo’s original announcement a means to both “hold on to power” and to distract from his “ongoing controversies.”

The new governor decided to keep the charade going.

Failing Policies

It was the wrong approach when former Gov. Cuomo declared a “disaster emergency” as his attempt to again address crime. There was never an administration policy reversal for releasing volent criminals from prison with a slap on the wrist. Some were incarcerated for committing murder.

Gov. Cuomo peddled gun control talking points, even repeating the debunked lie that, “The only industry in the United States of America immune from lawsuits are the gun manufacturers,” when he announced the emergency order.

His declared gun violence “emergency declaration” didn’t do anything other than infringe on the lawful rights of New York residents who are only interested in self-defense. Gov. Hochul is following the same playbook.

Failing Grade

Gov. Hochul is a former Congresswoman from Western New York and had previously received an “A” rating from the NRA during her one term in Congress.

She once told a gun rights audience, “When a bill comes up that affects your Second Amendment rights, I’m on your side.” Times, and her commitment to gun rights, have changed.

Her efforts to reduce criminal misuse of firearms, or “gun violence” as she and her gun control allies term it, in the Empire State are abysmal. She’s in lockstep with Gov. Cuomo’s plan.

She’s continuing the declared “disaster emergency” in New York that Gov. Cuomo launched, including prisoner release programs and targeting lawful firearm manufacturers by attempting to circumvent the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) with New York’s new law allowing lawsuits against manufacturers and retailers for the criminal misuse by  remote third parties of  lawfully sold firearms.

New York is facing a trifecta of failing gun policies.

The state has among the nation’s strictest gun control laws; the governor continues chasing an ineffective gun control “disaster emergency” that has spent millions of taxpayer dollars to create gun control jobs; and threatens legal firearm manufacturers and retailers.

Not a single word has been offered as to how New York will enforce existing criminal laws.

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NSSF: Sole New York leader vetoes youth hunting. The data says his reasons why are wrong. But, guns.

October 18, 2021

By Larry Keane and our friends at NSSF

New York’s 2021 budget allowed counties to lower the youth hunting minimum age and fall more in line with the rest of the country. All but one county adopted the lowered age.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz overruled his county legislature and vetoed the proposal. Poloncarz’s reasoning behind this move has New York hunters and supporters of the proposal scratching their heads.

Hunting Traditions in New York State

New York imposed a minimum age requirement of 14 years old on minors hunting big game with firearms while accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter prior to this year. That age restriction was already higher than most states and New York was the only state to forbid kids at this age from hunting big game with a gun with adult supervision. It was also a lost opportunity by denying New Yorkers the ability to begin learning meaningful family hunting traditions in the fields and woods. It also meant lost revenue for the state from hunting license sales and firearms, ammunition and hunter safety registration purchases.

To remedy the problem, New York state legislators included a provision in the 2021 state budget to allow counties to opt in to lowering the big game firearm hunting age limit down to 12 while accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter. At the time, New York Republican state Sen. Dan Stec said the proposal was a way to take advantage of the increased interest in hunting during the coronavirus pandemic. “The sporting community saw a big boost this past year. Many more hunting licenses were sold and there was a dramatic increase in hunter education courses.”

The budget passed and, unsurprisingly, 49 eligible counties passed their opt-in. Eight downstate counties were ineligible. New York Department of Environment Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos cheered the development.

“This new opportunity allows experienced, adult hunters to introduce the value of hunting to the next generation.” Seggos added, “Teaching these young people safe, responsible, and ethical hunting practices will ensure a rewarding experience every time they are afield.”

Erie County’s legislature even passed the opt-in by a 6-5 vote. Poloncarz had other ideas based on false data and gun control talking points. He vetoed.

“There have been many unfortunate firearm accidents across the state and country, especially those involving youth hunters,” he wrote. He added there’s an “inherent danger” in allowing children 12 and 13 years old to shoot deer with a firearm while accompanied and supervised by an experienced adult hunter.

Hunting Data Says What?

Poloncarz is ignoring his state’s data. New York’s DEC report on 2020 Hunting Safety Statistics shines a bright light on just how safe and responsible hunters have been in the Empire State, including youth hunters.

Since 1960, the average number of hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSI) involving firearms in New York for all ages have dropped each decade. In the 1960s, an average of approximately 140 HRSIs occurred each year; dropping to 100 during the 1970s; nearly 45 throughout the 2000s; and now down to less than 25 each year on average in the 2020s. In 2020 specifically, there were 22 HRSIs.

Graph: Hunting-related shooting incidents (HRSI) involving firearms in New York for all ages has dropped each decade since the 1960s.

Poloncarz’s false claim that children are an “inherent danger” regarding hunting firearm accidents took liberties with the ages of those involved in the incidents. The average age of the involved hunter in 2020’s 22 accidents was 41 years. The average experience of the hunter was 21 years. The “Big Game Hunting” numbers are even worse for Poloncarz’s argument.

The DEC put it plainly. “While hunting is safer than ever, DEC encourages hunters to remember that every hunting-related shooting incident is preventable.”

New York’s data also shows new and young hunters are learning safety protocols. The 2020 HRSI data on the number of new hunters completing New York’s online hunter’s safety courses was 67,270.

Firearm Training & Safe Gun Handling

Americans are staying on the blistering pace of buying firearms this year after last year’s record total of 21 million.

Industry retailer survey data from the first half of 2021 show large numbers of those purchasers bought their guns for self-defense reasons, but interest in hunting activities also skyrocketed as Americans sought refuge outside during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hunting license purchases set highwater marks in states all across the country and hunter safety courses and training classes at local retail stores have remained packed.

More hunters learning safe and responsible firearm handling at an early age is a good thing, especially while guided by a trusted adult supervisor. New York’s data proves this. Instead of playing gun control politics, Poloncarz should follow the data and allow America’s hunting heritage to be passed on to the next generation.


Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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