State Senator Zellnor Myrie
State Senator Zellnor Myrie (Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit)
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By Larry Keane

The contempt for law-abiding gun owners in the Empire State is so strong with gun control Democratic state senators that they’ve passed a first-in-the-nation antigun law based completely on a false premise. The facts don’t matter and instead it’s full steam ahead.

Brooklyn Democratic state Sen. Zellnor Myrie could’ve learned from the bruising President Joe Biden received from fact-checkers after falsely claiming the firearm industry “is the only industry in America” that can’t be sued.”

When it comes to gun control, it’s never about the facts and now Sen. Myrie introduced a state-level bill to remove Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) protections from gun manufacturers in New York.

State of Denial

Democratic officials in New York are constantly trying to out-gun-control the rest of the nation. Whether it’s Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s attacks on law-abiding gun owners through his NY SAFE Act or shuttering lawful businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, or New York City Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio blaming lawful gun owners wishing to protect themselves rather than criminals perpetrating crimes, the state senate has decided to join in.

Sen. Myrie said, “At a time that gun violence is skyrocketing in Brooklyn and around the nation, we simply cannot afford to let the industry that produces these dangerous weapons off the hook any longer.” He continued, saying it’s a shame federal law “grants only one industry – the gun industry – near blanket immunity.”

Faulty Premise

Sen. Myrie’s anti-firearm industry legislation is running up against a tight deadline. It just passed the state senate by party-line vote of 43-20, but it must now pass in the state Assembly and also receive Gov. Cuomo’s signature to become law. The legislative session is scheduled to end June 10. Still, facts matter and federal law does not grant “near blanket immunity” to the firearm industry as Sen. Myrie purports.

Andrew Cuomo
(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) passed with wide bipartisan support and was signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2005. The purpose was to stave off lawsuits attempting to hold firearm companies liable for the criminal and unlawful misuse of firearms by criminals and other remote third-parties over whom members of the industry have no control.

The lawsuits were meant to put those companies out of business unless they capitulated and agreed to settlements imposing all manner of gun control measures rejected by Congress and state legislatures. The PLCAA keeps activist trial lawyers and gun control groups from placing the blame on the industry for the criminal misuse of legal firearms that are lawfully sold.

Sen. Myrie’s proposal would be akin to a state allowing a lawsuit to be brought against Ford for the actions of a drunk driver that killed someone after getting behind the wheel.

Firearm manufacturers can, and have, been held accountable under the law of product liability for defective products. The law also doesn’t allow protections against knowing violations of the law and other willful misconduct. This type of tort protection law isn’t unique to the firearm industry.

Vaccine makers produce drugs with the protection of the 2005 Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, which gives the Health and Human Services Secretary authority to provide legal protection to companies making or distributing the vaccines. Tech giants and airlines also enjoy similar protections.

No other industry has ever been blamed for the criminal misuse of its lawfully sold products. The PLCAA is intended to prevent the firearm industry from being singled out.

One provision of Sen. Myrie’s proposal broadens the scope of New York’s “public nuisance law” to include “the sale or manufacture of products that endanger people’s health and safety.” Sen. Myrie may want to reconsider, as according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports there are more murders committed each year in American with knives, fists and clubs than by rifles of all kinds.

This bill is a transparent attempt by New York to regulate the lawful commerce of out-of-state business activities of members of the firearm industry. If an out-of-state dealer legally sells a firearm that is later illegally possessed in New York, under this law the dealer can be sued and dragged into a New York courtroom for allegedly creating, maintaining and contributing to a “public nuisance.”

This is an obvious violation of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution that gives the power to regulate interstate commerce to Congress.

Had Enough 

While Sen. Myrie continues to peddle falsehoods surrounding the firearm industry and the need for his bill, New Yorkers have had enough of the gun control. More than 21 million background checks for the sale of a firearm were processed in 2020 and so far this year the pace has kept up. More than 8.4 million gun owners were first-time buyers as they jumped off the fence to exercise their Second Amendment right. Public polling shows a drop in support for more gun control to the lowest levels in several years.

Gun control politicians like Sen. Myrie and New York state Democratic senators are pushing policies far out of touch with what their constituents want. They’d do better if they listened to them instead.

 

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

 

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26 COMMENTS

  1. It’s just amazing how so much gun control is pushed in some states, regardless of how much of these laws are eventually overturned. I mean, only three days ago our AWB law in CA was declared unconstitutional, and another anti-2A state immediately announced their own AWB legislation.

    The sad thing is that these people (and their ilk) continue to be re-elected into office, despite the fact that much of what they do serves to reduce their constituents’ liberties instead of protect them.

    • We are a lot like California but less able to threaten politicians with legal removal when they do things we do not like. Only upside is we may set the minimum standard of liberty (through judicial disgust) which would still be a drastic improvement from current (and pending) laws.

      • There’s another viable action to take rather than an attempt for “legal removal when they do things we do not like”:

        Run for office against them.

        In the “blue states” there is generally no viable alternative to the progressive candidates, at least not an alternative that a majority of citizens would care to vote for.

        This is sad. Have all the intelligent conservatives; or at least “traditionalists” left the blue states already? I doubt it, but it takes real guts to do what DJT did in 2016- place his own money and rep on the line against all odds and then not waver from it.

        Oh, I know, about half the posters around here think he was a turncoat or even traitor, but he’s the first President I’ve voted for since 1972 who actually enacted much of what he promised during his campaign, and to do so he had to act almost on his own through executive order (which I do not support) or other options since his own party wouldn’t get behind him for at least 2 years.

        Trump aside, it will take many more non-politicians to stand up and run, and follow Trump’s model. For everything from school boards and city councils to US Senator and POTUS. Americans used to pride themselves in being able to “get things done”, often against all odds. Today, it seems we give in to cynicism and defeatist commentary rather than moving forward and attempting to network with others who believe as we say we do. That may make us feel good for the moment but does nothing but let down our Founders, our children and grandchildren, and ourselves.

        If you truly believe in freedom as our Founders and Creator established, consider running for elected office. It will require more than just a knowledge or opinion on the Second Amendment, but a return to the positions of our founding principles and an ability to express them with a little research, soul-searching and common sense would be a great thing for any individual, even if one runs and comes in second…

        All the best!

        https://youtu.be/wX3hRj6XoUM
        https://youtu.be/0OHH49vtl2g

        • We actually have Mayoral and Governor elections coming up with a respectable pool of candidates for the first time in over a decade. Locally we are slowly (painfully) clearing our school board of what we can but it is typically only one up for election at a time. With all that said I am in a fairly underpopulated and conservative county (well for NY anyway) so drop in the bucket that occasionally pisses off the news/governor/majority of civil servants. For anywhere more populated political opponents are at best investigated and harassed.

    • These corrupt politicians do this because they know even though the statutes they pass are unconstitutional, they will remain in effect for years until courts dismiss them. This is a fundamental flaw that is being leveraged against Americans. Courts won’t immediately strike down these unconstitutional laws, and they will continue to be passed, unless and until the People stand up to the government and MAKE it stop.

  2. The entire Ideology of Liberalism is based on Lies and the False Premises. Including, but not limited to Racism, Victim hood and the Court edict of Murder by a Woman’s right. Feelz over Facts is the foundation by which it is built from.

    • This is what I came here to say. Of course this bill is based on lies and false premises. Gun control itself is a gigantic lie built on a false premise.

    • personal accountability is never part of the equation for them….everything is either someone else’s fault…or the fault of an inanimate object….

  3. Years ago, I was watching an interview with an anti gunner on one of the alphabet soup networks. He claimed that since 1954, the number of children killed by guns was doubling every year. The counterpoint guy called him on the carpet and said that if that were the case, we would be losing millions of children every year and told the anti gunner he was lying. The anti gunner knew he had been called out and said, (I swear) “Well, I’m lying for justice.”

    The left has a sick and perverted definition of “justice.”

  4. A07771 Summary:
    BILL NO A07771

    SAME AS SAME AS S03018

    SPONSOR Jackson

    COSPNSR Meeks, Fernandez, Anderson, Zinerman, Englebright, Reyes

    MLTSPNSR

    Amd §400.00, add §400.25, Pen L; amd §§11-0701 & 11-0713, En Con L

    Relates to establishing additional requirements to purchase a firearm, shotgun or rifle; requires a person to apply for a hunting license prior to the purchase of a shotgun or rifle; establishes additional requirements for all firearms, shotguns and rifles including taking a five hour gun safety course and exam, passing a shooting range test with 90% accuracy, providing notarized proof of a passed drug test and mental health evaluation, providing proof of purchase of firearm and ammunition safe storage depositories and passing a criminal background check.

    Fair enough: how about this:
    Before you can vote:
    Take a 5 hour course on the constitution
    Pass a test with a 100% score on the candidates’ positions
    Provide notarized proof of a passed drug test and a mental health evaluation
    Provide proof of residence and life via a valid ID.

  5. If in fact the [gun control] policies that Senator Myrie and other NY state Democrats really were so far out of touch with regard to what their constituents want, common sense would tell me that they would be voted out of office. Reality shows that that is far from the case in NY state. In fact, the people who are fleeing New York due to the onerous laws, rules, and regulations being put forth and implemented by state Democrats, by and large are taking their stupid voting habits along with them! Thus, unbelievably, they are voting for candidates who are in favor of implementing the same or similar kind of shit that they ran away from! As the wise old philosopher has said, “Stupid is as stupid does.”

    • The Democrats aren’t out of touch with their constituents. They know what is best for all and wish everyone was in touch with them.

      Sarcasm=off

  6. As much as the morally bankrupt attorney general for the state of New York is. I hope she is successful in removing the murderous NY Governor from office. As well as Prosecuting the NRA. Because it seems the only way we’re going to get rid of Wayne LaPierre, is for the AG to force him and the boards members out and put them in jail.

      • I don’t qualify as a voting member by the rules of the NRA. That is why I support the NY state AG efforts. The NRA is as morally bankrupt as she is. The NRA spent $100 million dollars on everything but fighting for gun rights.

        • “If you’re not a member, or in particular, a voting member, what would you care anyway?”

          I ask myself why do Libertarians care since they are proud of not voting???
          As a dues paying NRA member I think my money should be better spent.

        • I’m a voting member. NRA is the only viable org there is. That the MSM/Progs fear the NRA is ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW>

          FOAD troll.

  7. I was born and raised in NYC, lived there for many years too. Departed, never to return, in the fall of 1967, after having testified in one of the Dog and Pony shows that passed for City Council hearings. I did have the distinct pleasure of nailing a couple of NYC Detectives over flat out lying they were peddling.

  8. Without facts NO LAW should be passed, remove this scrum ASAP, we the people of the United States want honest and trueful personal in political offices, trust and finding the truth before acting.

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