New York’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo wasted no time peddling lies and frequently debunked falsehoods about the firearm industry while announcing his new first-in-the-nation criminal gun violence “Disaster Emergency” plans.
The governor’s antigun track record runs longer than the Hudson River. It wasn’t surprising that his dog and pony show announcement included a bill signing ceremony enacting the unconstitutional expansion of New York’s “public nuisance” law to allow civil lawsuits against firearm manufacturers and retailers for the crimes committed by non-affiliated third parties. Those would be the criminals that Gov. Cuomo failed to mention.
Once, Twice, Three Times, Still False
Gov. Cuomo was joined at his anti-gun announcement soiree by all the usual gun control accomplices. He rattled off several planks for his gun control grab bag audience, repeating the same old tired claims.
“Only industry in the United States of America. The only industry in the United States of America immune from lawsuits are the gun manufacturers, thanks to George Bush and the NRA,” the governor said.
Apparently, the governor thinks that facts don’t matter. Gov. Cuomo should’ve learned from President Joe Biden’s recent Rose Garden announcement when fact checkers had a field day refuting the president when he made the false claim. The Washington Post, CNN, Politifact and other normally friendly media allies all rated the president’s claim “False.”
It was false when President Biden made the claim earlier this year. It was also false when Hillary Clinton tried the same act in 2015. It’s still false now.
The bipartisan Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) was signed into law by President George W. Bush in response to the tidal wave of frivolous lawsuits against the firearm industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Members of the industry were being sued – largely by big cities like New York – for lawfully selling firearms that were later misused by criminals. These lawsuits were routinely thrown out of court and courts since have repeatedly upheld the PLCAA as Constitutional.
Itching For Exodus
Gov. Cuomo gives himself high leadership marks, but his 10-year tenure includes serious scandals and stumbles. He’s still yet to answer for the thousands of COVID-19 nursing home deaths, or the sexual harassment charges against him or the allegations that he forced staff to ghost write his self-lauding book. Blaming gun companies for the failure to confront rising crime is a convenient excuse.
Since 2011 when he first took over the executive mansion, New York’s population has declined among the most of any state, resulting in N.Y. losing a federal congressional seat. Job losses under Gov. Cuomo were already dismal, but the COVID-19 pandemic alone meant 1 million jobs lost. Experts believe these jobs and people are staying away for good.
Apparently, Gov. Cuomo is itching to continue those declining trends with his attacks on the firearm industry and citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights.
However, New York-based firearm and accessories manufacturers, including Kimber, Kahr Arms and Dark Storm Industries have all picked up roots and moved to firearm friendly states. Counties surrounding Ilion-based Remington warned Gov. Cuomo not to risk jobs there, but he didn’t listen.
Legal Challenges Ahead
NSSF isn’t standing idly by. Following the governor’s bill signing, NSSF’s Larry Keane said in a press release, “This law is unconstitutional, plain and simple. It is abhorrent that Governor Cuomo is rehashing a decades-old failed playbook that was rejected by courts in the 1990’s and early 2000’s.”
Local New York reporter Joe Mahoney observed, “In 2013, Gov. Cuomo told NYers his SAFE Act would give NY the ‘toughest, strongest protections against gun violence in the nation.’ Today, Gov. Cuomo declared New York was in a ‘disaster emergency’ due to gun violence.”
It should be noted that significant portions of the SAFE Act were successfully challenged in the courts and struck down as unconstitutional. Now, Gov. Cuomo faces similar legal prospects regarding his new gun control law. Perhaps he should address the criminals that are perpetuating the violence, instead of law-abiding gun owners and businesses.
Matt Manda is Manager, Public Affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation.