As regular readers no doubt know, New York state legislators had exactly twenty-minutes to read the hugely unconstitutional SAFE Act before voting on it. On Tuesday, Governor Cuomo made the startling admission (to some) that he hadn’t read the bill either (before waving the normal three-day “cooling off” period and signing it). Even more despicably, Andy blamed “bad” bits of the bill on Mayor Bloomberg and the Brady Campaign—indicating that the Governor’s minions has surrendered legislative power to the civilian disarmament industry. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that the SAFE Act is an expensive turkey. The AP reports on the bottom line for one part of the Empire State gun grab . . .
New York will spend $27.74 million to develop a statewide electronic handgun permit database as part of its new gun control law, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said Tuesday.
Silver said the measure in the tentative state budget will create a central database of handgun permit records now kept at the county level. The new database will allow faster statewide cross-checking with records of crimes and involuntary commitments to mental health facilities.
Let’s set aside questions of waste, fraud, abuse, inefficiency, unconstitutionality, lack of necessity and lack of transparency for a moment. Let’s think about New York’s handgun permitting process.
To exercise your Constitutionally protected individual right to keep and bear arms—recently affirmed by the Supreme Court’s Heller decision—you have to list a reason why you need a gun, provide four character references and state whether or not you have ever suffered from any mental illness.
Note: not whether or not you’ve been hospitalized for mental illness or the “involuntary commitments” mentioned above. Whether or not you’ve ever had any mental illness. So if you’ve taken ever taken anti-depressants or (perhaps) sleep aids, you could well be SOL.
Any New York pistol permit applicant who once had mental health issues but thought they were mentally stable enough to protect their lives and the lives of their loved ones by exercising their Constitutionally protected RKBA and checked the “wrong” box has committed a “crime punishable by fine, imprisonment or both.”
Well that sucks, both in terms of those who applied and those who will never apply for fear that old Prozac prescription could land them in jail. Of course, that personal health information is protected by HIPPA, right? In post-Newtownian New York, with the advent of this $28m (for starters) program to centralize, computerize and cross-check mental health records, I wouldn’t count on it.
In other words, by its very existence, a program dressed-up as spree killer prevention will be used to deny American citizens their civil and human right to armed self-defense. And I haven’t even mentioned (yet) the fact that the new and improved SAFE Act handgun database makes outright confiscation even easier.
Sound crazy? After Newtown, the Providence City Council passed a resolution (unanimously) to ban all semi-automatic firearms within the City. Yes, handguns too. Rhode Island has preemption, so the city ordinance doesn’t have the force of law. But it passed. If such a thing happened in New York, the cops would know exactly where all the guns are. How great is that?