Andrew Cuomo
(AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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By Larry Keane

The new year is a little more than a week old, but New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is already eyeing another gun-grabbing proposal for the 2020 legislative session in Albany.

Third-term Gov. Cuomo – already hinting at running for a fourth term in 2022 – recently announced his intention to usher through state legislation that would ban the sale of so-called “ghost gun” components to individuals who already cannot legally possess a firearm.

The governor should’ve learned from his previous disastrous N.Y. SAFE Act legislation and stopped there. But it seems Gov. Cuomo would prefer the New York taxpayer-funded legislature to spend time working on even more ineffective policies that would mostly turn law-abiding American citizens into criminals.

Call It Something Scary

The so-called “ghost guns,” and their unassembled components, require the purchase of necessary parts to be shipped to a buyer for assembly, under his proposal. Law-abiding citizens and gunsmiths regularly order parts to repair and rebuild their firearms on their own or their customers.

Some buy unfinished lower receivers and complete the fabrication. That’s legal in New York State as long as those parts comply with New York’s 2013 SAFE Act. That’s didn’t stop N.Y. Attorney General Letitia James from sending cease and desist letters to sellers last year attempting to stop the practice.

The governor, though, is attempting to circumvent all this by requiring serial numbers on nearly every component and part that comprises a finished firearm.

What’s more, Gov. Cuomo’s push appears to be based more on fallacy than fact. He chose to use scare tactics in his terminology and engaged in name-calling of law-abiding firearm owners. He also tries to paint a picture in the state of a so-called dramatic rise of “ghost gun” use and purchases, but failed to produce any data to back his claim.

One figure suggests the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office confiscated approximately 20 “ghost guns” in the past 21 months. That’s hardly the dramatic rise the governor would have you believe. What is fact is that home-built firearms have always been legal.

Anti-Business Horrors

Cuomo’s first push at gun control, the N.Y. SAFE Act, was deeply flawed and rushed through the legislature in 2013. It has faced numerous legal challenges since. It’s widely panned as ineffective, and overly burdensome to small businesses from manufacturers to retailers, as well as to law enforcement and law-abiding citizens.

Now, the new “ghost gun” proposal appears to be just as burdensome and costly. This proposal presents a particular challenge to gunsmiths who repair firearms and replace worn or broken parts. Parts Gov. Cuomo wants serialized would have to be shipped and tracked through federal firearms licensees, complete with background checks and state registration requirements.

Once again, law-abiding citizens in New York see their governor target them with a legislative proposal that will not solve the issue, but would instead turn those who do follow the laws into criminals. It would also penalize hardworking small businesses and manufacturers in a state that’s near the bottom of the country in terms of business friendliness.

Gov. Cuomo should take note – his approval ratings reached a new low last year, and roughly 1 million New Yorkers have fled the state in the last decade. The governor would be wise to focus his efforts – and the valuable time of the legislature – on real solutions that would make life better for New Yorkers and not cause them to flee.

Gov. Cuomo’s “ghost gun” proposal represents yet another ill-considered solution in search of a problem that is simply is not there.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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    • I recall when Rush Limbaugh moved from New York to Florida (I listened to him daily beginning back in the ’90s during the Clinton years, but stopped a decade ago). At that time, he announced that his income for that current tax year was in the neighborhood of $60 million, and he was literally saving a few million just by leaving NY. Tax burden was a leading cause of exodus back then.

      Taxes and high costs of living are also plaguing CA and causing hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses to leave. Nearly all of my relatives and childhood friends have permanently left over the past decade, and now the increasing insanity surrounding the Dems’ attack on the 2A (and imitating NY’s nanny state actions) are increasing the outflow of much-needed tax revenue. Why? If 100 people who earn $100K each leave, and 100 people who earn $50K (or less, or nothing at all if on welfare or homeless) take their place, the State has lost all the previous tax revenue.

      It’s so simple, a 3rd grader can quickly figure out the eventual results. Unfortunately, what we have in many high offices are people who are only interested in leeching off the dying milk cow before it dies, instead of healing the cow so their own grandchildren will have milk.

      • SALT cap made it worse last year so expect another round of the exodus. I forsee a hiring freeze coming again for state workers. Jury is out if we can get a change in parties to fix the mess temporarily (again).

      • The only issue is that those who flee failing northern states typically support policy change in the warmer states that effectively create the same situations in their new locales. All of the benefits of living in the southeast, aside from warm weather, are being decimated by this population shift.

  1. There’s also scuttlebutt that NY proper has managed to direct certain websites regarding “ghost guns” to a 451 error…

  2. While this particular bit of proposed legislation will likely just have people testing what you can order to a neighboring state’s P.O. box and or going shopping in PA/OH/VT/NH it is yet another annoyance and expense. From 2000 to 2010 we gained about 400k in population. At best estimates from last 2010 to 2019 we gained around 100k. We will see what the census and tax records say for sure but I think there will be 2 fewer representatives even if we put the illegal immigrants with shiny new drivers licenses on the voter rolls. Could make for a rough reelection.

    • The only thing keeping that population needle anywhere near steady is the influx of immigrants into NYC. In another generation upstate will be forested graveyard.

      • Capital district is mostly stable but it takes the legislature, state workers, and over a dozen colleges to provide enough support jobs to do so. Once you go 40-50 miles out it is getting to be exactly what you describe.

    • His screw-ups coming here havent helped us 1 bit. Instead of becoming Floridians.
      They, NYers moving here are tying their best to turn Florida into So NY.
      Every bit of my at one time rural farming area is now gated multi million $$ homes in the last 30 years.
      I for one wish they would find some other state to fuckup and leave us alone.

      • The development down your way does suck and short of a bad hurricane sticks you with a bunch of eyesores. Short of pushing to make some rural areas State parks (forever wild) or “protected wetlands” I don’t know what can be done to slow the development.

    • “…what you can order to a neighboring state’s P.O. box and or going shopping in PA/OH/VT/NH it is yet another annoyance and expense.”

      I’m very glad NY state *IN PARTICULAR* is doing this, and at a most *perfect* time, while the SCOTUS is deliberating another case dealing with 2A harassment laws, the NY Pistol transport case.

      It would be so *sweet* if Justice Thomas cites this proposed law in his ruling as to why strict scrutiny is needed for the 2A. The state holds massive power when they can create unconstitutional laws designed to impede the practice of a civil right. They can spit out a never-ending stream of infringement, and the people have little recourse in getting them struck down in a timely manner.

      It’s the same playbook used by indignant Whites after the civil war to make sure the recently freed Blacks “knew their proper place” even though they were supposedly “freed” by Lincoln.

      Even though I’m devoutly agnostic (I deliberately phrased it that way, *snicker*), I’m praying Clarence Thomas authors the ‘NY Pistol’ SCOTUS decision, because strict scrutiny is only way to even try and keep a lid on blatant infringement like this…

  3. Is anyone here shocked by the rhetoric or behavior of slave state politicians?

    • “Is anyone here shocked by the rhetoric or behavior of slave state politicians?”

      Not one bit, Rusty.

      Wouldn’t it be sweet to kick them square in the teeth with getting strict scrutiny applied to the 2A in a few months? 😉

  4. Three things: First, in NY, elected royalty like can do what they want because the state is ruled (not governed) by the left. Cuomo can say and do as he pleases, because checks and balances do not exist here. Claiming he’ll eventually pay because of declining polling is false. A twisted, abhorrent situation, but there it is.

    Second, I’m deeply concerned about the effect this might have on getting replacement parts for ordinary, non-spectral guns. For example, I do a lot of refinishing projects on older firearms, buying parts from places like Numrich, etc. Will this be impacted in the same way as building from scratch? What is the true scope and impact of this imperial decree? (I refuse to call it a law)

    Finally: FUAC. Also, if any freedom-loving states would like to mount an invasion, I will be happy to serve as a local guide.

    • While I am still new enough to have a hope (give it another decade I guess) of a governor level upset I absolutely share your concerns for part replacement. Guns Inc. does a great job moving as much as they can but if they have to run checks for every major replacement or build part they will have trouble keeping up. I could see parts only dealers popping up here and there for garage FFL’s for a moment but not being profitable long term.

  5. Who’s background check system does Princess Cuomo plan on using for all the gun parts coming into the state? He found out he couldn’t use NICS for ammo background checks after passage of the SAFE act, and failed to establish his own background check system as required by SAFE.

    This is yet another one of Cuomo’s pointless grasps for both power and publicity. In the end it will most likely be passed, nobody will care or comply, and Cuomo will have to unilaterally edit out parts of the legislation after he fails to accomplish any of the real work that would be involved in its implementation.

    This will be considered a political victory by the idiots living downstate who re-elect a moron as governor.

    • Did limit the number of vendors willing to ship ammo. Hope you are right about the end result (seems likely) but likely to be another expense for shooters new and old.

    • I bet you already know the answer to your question on background checks! Turns out, nobody in the state has been approved, or will be. Took care of that!

      • Surprisingly they do have to be careful with that as the courts have slapped them on far less even when it wasn’t Trump appointments.

  6. The governor should’ve learned from his previous disastrous N.Y. SAFE Act legislation …

    What was disastrous about it? N.Y. SAFE Act supporters paid no penalties (neither personal, professional, nor political) whatsoever.

    But it seems Gov. Cuomo would prefer the New York taxpayer-funded legislature to spend time working on even more ineffective policies that would mostly turn law-abiding American citizens into criminals.

    From Cuomo’s perspective, a law which mostly turns law-abiding American citizens (who happen to be his political enemies) into criminals is EXTREMELY effective.

    Once again, law-abiding citizens in New York see their governor target them with a legislative proposal that will not solve the issue, but would instead turn those who do follow the laws into criminals. It would also penalize hardworking small businesses and manufacturers in a state that’s near the bottom of the country in terms of business friendliness.

    That is the objective, not some unintended consequence or negative side-effect.

    It is high time that the good people of our nation get it through their thick skulls: Leftists/Progressives only care about indulging their feelings, fantasies, and fleeting/arbitrary notions of virtue. They are quite willing to stifle, suppress, squash, imprison, or murder anyone who gets in their way.

    • I would say the losing of tax revenue and representatives as people move out as fast as in may be a factor but being honest I don’t think they care as long as NYC Albany and Buffalo remain populated as that allows total control. SALT tax cap absolutely had an effect up here on the incomes higher than administrative state workers and I think it will be seen more this year.

      • Remember how the NY state Leftists *cheered* when Limbaugh got sick of them perpetually auditing him and left NY city?

        He was paying *millions* annually into the state tax coffers. You would think Leftists would celebrate the rich paying their taxes.

        Limbaugh got the last laugh on them, even though they still harass him with tax audits to this day…

  7. If you want a picture of what the Democrats have in store for America if/when they take over the whole thing Federally, look to New York. An urban, liberal dystopia dominates the rest of the state, which his mostly rural, conservative flyover country that has more in common with the Midwest than New England. So to do they desire that the rest of the coastal cities dominate everyone else in American flyover country.

    And now New York is facing a 6 billion dollar budget shortfall, this past year we lost over 77,000 people, which is an increase over the steady, yearly 50,000 person departure, and the state is now set to lose a congressional seat and an electoral vote. Will the last one out please shut off the lights?

    • “If you want a picture of what the Democrats have in store for America if/when they take over the whole thing Federally, look to New York.”

      I think the human shit covered sidewalks of San Fransisco is a more visually-shocking example of what they want for all of us. Feces, urine stains and discarded drug needles all across America.

      But don’t you worry about a thing! They will have a ‘solution’ that will only take a little more of your hard-earned tax money to solve… 🙂

  8. I have a friend who is from New York. He’s a retired firefighter. His wife is an I.C. nurse. Already taxed to death the SAFE act was the final straw. He closed his bank accounts, sold his properties, packed his bags and moved south. Three of his four adult sons also left New York. All well paid professionals. Florida has no state income tax, property taxes are reasonable ($50,000 of the assessed value of your primary residence is not taxed at all.) Shall issue CCW. No waiting period if you have a CCW. No state restrictions on what you can own. For now.

    • Florida makes it very easy to choose for many. South Carolina Delaware and Georgia have become popular as well.

      • No thanks to Delaware, but most deep south states are good. A friend owns 800 acres in S.C. Go there annually to hunt. Especially spring turkey. Georgia is not much more than a stone’s throw from my front door. Southwind Plantation for quail. Highly recommended. Relatives in AL. MS and LA. Could live in any of them. MS is constitutional carry if I remember correctly.

        • Some of my family went to Delaware but yeah not much for hunting or public ranges. Appeals to NYC for proximity and being on a rail line and appeals to some of upstate for much lower taxes and better gun laws. Most of the states you listed are on my households list with the addition of Wyoming and Kentucky.

        • You remember correctly about MS. But it gets even better, with a number of other laws that protect the good guys from civil suits, etc. Strong Castle doctrine and SYG laws and so on. Excellent prices on guns and ammo, Annual 2A tax holiday, no interest by the State in private or retail sales beyond the usual sales tax interest for retail. Lots of great ranges if you don’t have your own backyard range. Some of the best professional training in the country calls MS home. Doesn’t get much better than MS for gun owners, especially in the rural parts of the State. 🙂

          Gun grabbers need not apply. 🙂

        • SAFE, I understand. I love the West. Except the politics in CO. Damn west coast liberals have taken over there. However, at my age I’m not moving across the continent. Besides, I’m a son of the South. My family has been down here since before the revolution. Even had an ancestor at Jamestown.

        • Gadsden don’t blame you for a second my family came in from the Carolinas, New York, and Canada/North Dakota and somehow all ended up in Philadelphia so not as rooted historically. Personally I prefer having snow as it tamps down on population center drama for a bit of the year.

      • Larry, that’s funny! Most of the upstate New Yorkers I met were okay. Farmers. If they weren’t dairy farmers they were growing alfalfa to sell to dairy farms. A smattering of people selling apple cider and maple syrup at roadside stands just to keep things interesting. Even the couple of times I went to NYC the people were okay. As long as I was friendly so we’re they. Though sometimes they looked at me like I was from the moon.

        • You had that look of freedom……. and outside of students we don’t get too many new people that aren’t just stopping on the Northway/Thruway going somewhere else.

    • Honestly starting to wonder if I should set up “ATF” van tours where we stop off at various VT and NH liquor, tobacco, and gun stores for that taste of freedom/dodging crazy taxes.

  9. Back to the original topic of the article- is anyone claiming that the serial number(s) on the parts must match that of the receiver/frame?

    • Think of this as the pre release for the new law, they still need to finish writing it and beta test and if we are lucky they will screw the pooch and show off the writing skills produced by the NY school system.

  10. Given that New York elections keep returning the governor and members of the legislature to office, New Yorker’s seemingly deserve the rain of legislative rubbish they wallow in.

    • Take a look at a New York State map that shows how the counties voted in the last couple gubernatorial elections. It looks an awful lot like the rest of America, where everything is red except for a few urban areas. NYC elects Cuomo, not New York State.

  11. I think the man is obsessed with what he sees as a ghost gun. Irrationally fixated on something that really is nothing.

  12. New York is just pissing in the wind. To stop the ghost gun use by criminals there must be a Federal law to put a stop to it. Its long overdue and as more and more crime with ghost guns piles up there is really no excuse not to move quickly to end the scourge.

    No other civilized nation allows such insanity.

    • Your very first sentence is correct. The rest of your post is trite, intentionally incorrect leftist hysterics. Got anything else?

      • Yes outlawing the mfg. and selling of partial receivers would put a large dent in the supply. The average criminal does not have master machine shop training to make his own receiver so the supply of ghost receivers would dry up almost overnight.

  13. By “ghost guns,” Gov. Mussolini means those Proton Packs devised by Drs. Egon Spengler and Ray Stantz. Those ghost guns kill the spirits of dead people, who are important components of the Democrat electorate.

    On another note, Gov. Mussolini is proposing legislation to print all New York ballots in crayon to please the rest of the Democrat voters.

  14. Stop allowing the enemy to determine the terms and meanings of the words we use.
    “ghost gun” negative meanings made by the enemy
    Self-manufactured firearms – something we have been able to make for ourselves since our countries founding.

  15. I unfortunately live in “the great safe state of ny king Andy should go back to nyc and stay there with the blooming onion his bs mentor Bloomberg another psycho “ if all the jackasses in nyc hadn’t of voted El Douce in we would have a shot at least getting parts and ammunition via mail but unfortunately nyc and El Douce wouldn’t be in power

    • Boxcar I second that !! When will the good people of NY get it , we dont want no stinking socialist state !!

  16. Stock up while you can , especially AR parts kits for lowers , detents , small parts like springs & such that wear out or get lost. Btw how do you serialize a tiny spring Andrew ? I mean you would know .

  17. There is a simple solution to the problem. People stop electing those who only want to restrict the law abiding citizens with their ridiculous gun laws and seek to elect those who are pro 2A

  18. I am a United States Marine I served in Vietnam,

    I am a NRA member ; and am not an extremist. I have a right to live in NYS with the freedom to have my own
    view point .

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