- Dec 15th, 2011 — Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler was arrested at an airport in New York City after he attempted to check-in a locked gun box holding his Glock 27 pistol and ammunition to a Delta Airlines ticket agent.
- Dec 22nd, 2011 — 39-year-old Meredith Graves, an RN studying for her MD and who has a Tennessee concealed weapons permit, was arrested on a gun-possession charge when she tried to check her loaded pistol at the WTC memorial.
- Jan 2nd, 2012 — Ryan Jerome was enjoying his first trip to New York City on business when the former Marine Corps gunner walked up to a security officer at the Empire State Building and asked where he should check his gun.
A prominent political activist from California, a Registered Nurse-Medical student from Tennessee, and a combat Marine from Indiana, three vicious criminals now safely stowed behind bars in New York City where they won't be able to threaten the peace and safety of the community further. Score three for the Sullivan Law and New York's no-nonsense zero-tolerance for terrorists with handguns.
Military people will tell you: the first time it's an accident, the second time it's a coincidence, but the third time it's 'enemy action'. Is it possible this all has nothing to do with H.R. 822 now working its way through Congress? H.R. 822 would require states which issue concealed weapons permits to recognize permits issued by other states. People would always have to abide by the local restrictions, but these three would not have been arrested had H.R. 822 already been signed into law. 'Enemy action' indeed.
For a hundred years, New York State's 'Sullivan Law' has made it difficult to get a handgun permit in most of the state and damn-near-impossible in New York City where you have to be a close personal friend of the mayor in order to qualify. A NYS pistol permit is not even valid in New York City. As a result, most of the violent crime in New York is committed with guns obtained elsewhere from states with horridly permissive laws. Oddly, crime in those otherwise lax jurisdictions never seems to rise to the levels of New York despite Rudy Giuliani, 'America's Mayor', having turned the place into a veritable police state. To deter malefactors from continuing their dastardly pursuits, New York imposes draconian punishments: each of the three criminals mentioned above are facing three-and-a-half years in slam if convicted, loss of voting rights, and loss of their 2nd amendment rights — in perpetuity.
Therein lies the rub. New York's DA, one Cyrus Vance Jr., has some experience prosecuting such cases, three of which are now on his docket. Alas for Cyrus, that experience is mostly bad. Early in 2011, Jonathan Ryan of Florida was stopped by NYPD for making an illegal right-on-red (legal in NYS, illegal in NYC, go figure). During the stop, the police discovered a 9mm pistol in the car's glove box and arrested Ryan for illegal possession of a handgun. Facing three-and-a-half years in prison, Ryan nevertheless rolled his dice for double-or-nothing. The jury took thirty minutes to deliver a 'not guilty' verdict. The cops kept Ryan's gun anyway, but he walked out of the courthouse a free man. The newest three defendants are even more sympathetic and thus even less likely than was Ryan to be convicted. In view of that, Cy Vance may not even bother charging them. If Vance takes their cases to court, he will win or he will lose.
If he wins, he will spray gasoline onto the brush fire that H.R. 822 has been thus far. If he loses, his credibility (and possibly his career as a prosecutor) will lie in tatters — and he will spray gasoline onto the brush fire that H.R. 822 has been thus far. Win or lose, he loses. Beyond doubt, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, co-founder of MAIG, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, smells blood in the water. Is he smart enough to realize (or suspect) that the blood was put there on purpose?... that high-priced lawyers in the suburbs around Washington D.C. are waiting for him to take a nice, big bite? And I do mean 'big': Gura and Possessky PLLC has just been awarded $1.3 million in attorneys' fees for their win in D.C. v Heller where the Supreme Court struck down D.C.'s total ban on handguns. D.C.'s ban was barely more severe than NYC's regime whereby huge filing fees ($445) are necessary merely to have one's application considered. There is no guarantee that consideration will result in a NYC concealed weapons permit; in fact, it is a near-certainty that the application will be rejected absent some extraordinary circumstances. This 'restrictive may-issue' policy thus comes very close to a total ban, such that of NYC's 7 million-plus inhabitants, only 2,291 of them may actually carry a firearm with them wherever they go.
So... D.C. has had their total ban burned to the ground in D.C. v Heller (2008), and Chicago's ban has been ruled unconstitutional in McDonald v Chicago (2010). Is New York City next? One can only hope.