Currently, there’s a bill in the NYS Assembly that will require ALL gun owners in NY to buy $250,000.00 in liability insurance.
Assembly bill A2847 was introduced by Assembly Member, Patricia Leahy, (D) of Bethlehem, and co-sponsored by Assemblymen Jake Ashby, (R) of East Greenbush, Phil Steck, (D) of Albany, and Felix Ortiz, (D) of Brooklyn. It specifically forces gun owners to;
“…continuously maintain a policy of liability insurance in an amount not less than $250,000.00 specifically covering any damages resulting from any negligent acts involving the use of such firearm while it is owned by such person. Failure to maintain such insurance shall result in the immediate revocation of such owner’s registration, license and any other privilege to own such firearm.”
If enacted, you’ll have just 30 days from the effective date of the law, to get your insurance policy in place. Who knows what a policy like that would cost or even if it will be available?
On Thursday, August 6, Democrat NYS Attorney General Latisha James announced she is filing a lawsuit against the NRA;
“For these years of fraud and misconduct we are seeking an order to dissolve the NRA in its entirety. Today we send a strong and loud message that no one is above the law, not even the NRA.”
The NRA is counter suing stating the lawsuit is purely politically motivated and infringe upon their freedom of speech.
In an unrelated matter, the NYS Supreme Court recently granted a motion ordering the New York City Police Department to provide the NY Daily News the name, zip codes, and license category of anyone who was granted a firearm license in 2018. The Daily News made a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request which provides public information from government agencies to anyone who files a request.
In my opinion, the extraordinary actions noted above are clear evidence your right to own a firearm in NY is under a coordinated and relentless attack. So, what can you do about it?
Well, last I checked, assembly members are elected officials, as is the NYS Attorney General and NYS Supreme Court Judges. The simple solution to the problem can be answered in one word; VOTE!
Hank Coons, President of the Greene County Federation of Sportsmen, in a correspondence to his members stated;
“All members of all clubs have to vote in November. An hour or so not on the deer stand could just save your gun rights.”
Recently SCOPE Inc., a non-profit organization whose stated mission is to, “protect, restore, and expand the gun rights of all New Yorkers,” issued a guidance to their membership highlighting the need for gunowners to get out and vote.
That document emphasizes how gunowners can make a difference in NY’s political leadership if they simply exercise their right and civic duty to vote in the upcoming and subsequent elections.
They state on their website, https://www.scopeny2a.org/ efforts to accomplish their mission include, monitoring gun legislation, supporting pro-2nd Amendment politicians while making an effort to educate anti-gun politicians, sponsoring pro-2nd Amendment legislation, updating members on laws and issues affecting gun rights, rating politicians based upon their voting record, publicly debating gun issues with anti-gun politicians and organizations, and attending events to increase awareness among gun owners.
SCOPE’s guidance document, “To Vote or Not to Vote - It’ Not Even a Question,” recognizes the potential power of gun owners in NY as a voting block to be reckoned with.
While there’s no way to get a precise count of gun owners in NY, according to smallarmsurvey.org, there are more than 393 million guns in the U.S. With approximately 85 percent of them owned by civilians, it’s within reason to estimate the number of gun owners in a state the size of NY could be in the millions.
Given the potential to be a political powerhouse, this underscores the plea by SCOPE for gun owners, and sportsman to register and vote in upcoming and subsequent elections.
The piece discussed a reason frequently used by gunowners to justify not voting; that being the assumption if you register to vote, you will be called for jury duty. It cited a state website that “Potential jurors are randomly selected from lists of registered voters, holders of drivers’ licenses or ID’s issued by the Department of Motor vehicles, NYS income tax filers, recipients of unemployment insurance, or family assistance, and from volunteers.” surmising not registering to vote won’t save you from being called for jury duty. Plus, why would pro-2nd Amendment citizens want all juries in NY to be comprised of non-gun owners? That could ensure bad jury decisions on all types of civil and criminal cases, especially if you are a respondent or even a defendant in a case involving a firearm.
Another excuse touted for not voting is the perception that your one vote doesn’t count. The fact is the current assault on NY gun owners and their rights is taking place in state and local elected offices in addition to federal congressional races.
The last election flipped the NYS Senate Majority from republican to democrat and we are now feeling the results of the loss of that buffer against what I see as an all-out assault on the gun rights and safety of all New Yorkers.
The SCOPE piece posits in many of these tight state and local races, “the winner will be the candidate who can get the greatest number of people out…Many local elections are won by very few votes, usually a half-dozen or fewer, and in some cases by only one vote. It happens more often than you think.”
It goes on to say that voting takes a little planning. If you have not registered for in-person registration, you may register at your local board of elections or any state agency participating in the National Voter Registration Act. This can be accomplished on any business day throughout the year but, to be eligible to vote in the General Election, your application must be received no later than October 9, 2020.
For mail-in registration, applications must be postmarked no later than October 9, 2020 and received by a board of elections no later than October 14, 2020 to be eligible to vote in the General Election.
If you’ve changed your address, you need to re-register to vote by October14.
You can also get an absentee ballot if you will not be near your local polling place on November 3rd 2020. Applications for absentee ballots can be obtained in hardcopy at your county board of elections or by downloading a PDF and getting it postmarked by October 27th or delivered in-person no later than the day before the election.
For further information on how to register to vote, you can call your local board of elections or go to https://www.elections.ny.gov/VotingRegister.html.
For those who are not online or just not very tech savvy, you can write a letter to your local board of elections to request certain needed documents.
The SCOPE guidance document urges those who can help to print out hard copy pdfs to make it easy for folks to file voter registration documents.
SCOPE concludes their guidance with the following encouragement and plea;
“Please vote, and encourage your friends, neighbors, and family members to vote. Pick them up and buy them a cup of coffee or a soda if that helps grease the wheels a little. We can change things but we have to use the weapon at our disposal and not leave it holstered-voting.”
SCOPE is a statewide 501(c)4 organization dedicated to preserving the 2nd amendment rights for the residents of NYS. If you would like to support or get information on how to become a member of SCOPE, go to their website at https://www.scopeny2a.org/join-support-scope.
Happy Hunting, Fishing and Trapping until next time.
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