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By Larry Keane

A nationally syndicated editorial attempted to persuade readers on the merits of New York’s problematic “may issue” handgun permit law and why the U.S. Supreme Court should leave it intact. But they made a better case for why the law should be struck down.

The Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen and their decision will likely come at the end of the current term. Early reviews suggest the Supreme Court justices were skeptical of the law, which might be an insight that NYSRPA might be expecting a significant Second Amendment victory.

Time On Your Side

Bloomberg News’ Editorial Board told readers they know better about community safety, self-defense and why law-abiding Americans, specifically New Yorkers, should or should not be allowed to carry firearms beyond their home. They misrepresented the Supreme Court’s role and jurisprudence in arguments favoring New York’s “may issue” permit law. They claimed time and age is more important than Constitutionality.

“A recent hearing left the impression that the Supreme Court…is inclined to strike down a gun law that’s been on the books for more than 100 years,” the editors opined. “That would be a grievous error…” They added, “The law, passed by New York state at the turn of the last century, says that those who wish to carry a firearm in public must show ‘proper cause,’…”

Time isn’t the legal measuring stick regarding laws restricting fundamental American rights. The “time” that matters in constitutional terms is the history and tradition at the time of enactment of the Second and Fourteenth Amendments. Time is not on Bloomberg’s side. There’s a stronger argument for striking New York’s “may issue” law – nearly 415-years worth. Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School, described the flaws of New York’s law.

“There are few constitutional rights that have been debated so long in this country as gun rights,” Turley explained. “Indeed, before other Englishmen were given a written guarantee of the right to bear arms, colonists in Virginia in 1607 were given such a written guarantee by the Crown.”

The right of Americans to protect themselves was recognized more than 400 years ago as God-given. The Founders enumerated these rights, including the Second Amendment, “unalienable” and “endowed by their Creator,” and are protected as rights of individuals under the U.S. Constitution.

Self-Defense Arbiters

New York is one of only eight states that impose “may issue” restrictions on concealed carry permit applicants. Bureaucrats are the arbiters of God-given rights when deciding if law-abiding New Yorkers have a “proper cause” to bear arms.

Americans don’t need to look back 400 years — or even 100 — to understand the problems with this system. No one, for example, would continence a need to show an unelected bureaucrat “proper cause” to exercise their First Amendment rights.

Last year in California, another “may issue” state with strict gun control laws, Santa Clara County’s district attorney indicted four people, including some within the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s office, of bribery and conspiracy for trading handgun permits for iPads.

In New York, federal prosecutors uncovered a pay-to-play scheme within the New York Police Department’s “may issue” licensing division where workers were paid thousands of dollars to rubber-stamp carry permits and four officers were arrested.

The Founding Fathers had the foresight to recognize that rights, especially those regarding firearms, must be enshrined and guaranteed to keep them safe from corrupt government officials. NYSRPA’s Supreme Court challenge to New York’s “may issue” law is a prime example, regardless of how long the state law has been on the books.

Acknowledging the Problem

Bloomberg’s editorial was syndicated in several news outlets, including the Washington Post, the Orlando Sentinel, the Quad City Times and others. The editors recognize the ongoing crime surge. They acknowledge criminals, including those in New York, already illegally possess firearms, “making crowded city streets, subways and buses less safe.” The suggestion that law-abiding citizens must show “proper cause” to protect themselves from vicious criminals is preposterous.

In Los Angeles, District Attorney George Gascon’s leniency towards criminals is well documented, including announcing the release of a convicted murderer after serving only a fraction of a 50-year sentence. The LAPD also announced by press release they couldn’t adequately protect the victims of follow-home robberies and that victims should “cooperate and comply.”

In New York City, the police commissioner and outgoing mayor can’t keep city residents safe and only throw blame at each other while crime surges. It’s no surprise the new mayor-elect, Eric Adams, won by running on a message of community safety. It would be leaving New York’s “may issue” law in place that would in fact keep law-abiding New Yorkers in greater danger.

In the last eleven months, 16.7 million Americans passed a National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification to purchase a firearm. This is the second-highest year on record, behind only last year’s total of 21 million. The message to bureaucrats and editorial boards across the country is simple and clear. If they can’t get public safety from those in charge, they’ll do it themselves. The Supreme Court can ensure they can.


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


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  1. It is amazing that all these liberal politicians can take the oath of office and then trample the constitution under foot. I suppose they are liars, indeed! Supposition is not necessary for their actions prove it.

    • They firmly believe that the interest in public safety trumps the second Amendment. Why they can believe this while supporting the Fourth and Fifth Amendments that limit police power to investigate crime (which is of course in the public interest) is a mystery.

    • Doncha know? They had their fingers crossed behind their backs and this makes the oaths worthless.

  2. Please sir, may I have some more rights …

    Uggggg …. how revolting that New York requires citizens to basically beg to exercise a constitutional right.

    • Not beg, bribe. It isn’t a whole lot different in New Jersey. According to an investigation a few years ago, police departments uniformly ignore a NJ statute requiring action on a CCW application within 30 days, typically not acting to deny an application for six months to a year.

      • In Los Angeles County, the LASD is required to contact applicants within 90 days. I submitted mine back in July and have stellar references, plus an existing CCW permit from another jurisdiction to boot! Yet it’s now five months later and not a peep from them. But they cashed my application fee check within only three days.

        A right delayed is a right denied…

        • A “right” demaniding a fee to exercise as a preconditioin is nt a right at all but a bribeed priviledge.

          What part of “shall not be infringed” do these corrupt powermongers not comprehend?

      • Contempt for the law by bureaucrats is the rule.
        A state agency had 15 days to respond. They took 18 months.
        Our lawyer advised us, as we were living out of the state, safe from the agency’s goons, to just let it ride. He said that the Legislature had granted the CPS almost total impunity.
        Finally he received a letter from the agency head office that no cause for the actions existed.
        Our lawyer said that he had never seen such a letter before in decades of practice.

  3. When I lived in NYC in the 1970s, I tried to get a permit to keep a pistol in my apartment. Went through 6 months of hoops, jumps. legal; fees, classes, etc. Finally, with my 1-inch stack of paper and a cashiers check for the full amount, I went to the “Firearms Office,” which consisted of one desk under one lightbulb with one chair in a huge basement room at One Police Plaza. One cop was sitting in the one chair. He never said a thing, so I laid out my paperwork, showed him each signed and notarized form, handed him the cashiers check. He finally spoke. “Did anybody tell you about the unofficial cash tax? $500. Cash, and we don’t give no receipts!” I said I didn’t have $500 cash and I wasn’t sure I had to pay that. He looked at me a minute, said “F^&k you, you F’king mook! Get out of my sight.” Never got the permit, but it was quite an education…

      • quote——————Lol. What kind of man begs the government for a permit to exercise a god given right? ——————–quote

        People in power want absolute power over you and they do have that. They care zero about your rights and only live for their absolute power over everyone else.

        And by the way Bronze Age Mysticism as zero to do with your rights. The courts and the legislature give you what little rights you have, not some mythical deity or some worthless piece of crumbling paper under glass that is for glitzy show to the uneducated. “Power comes from the barrel of a gun” as Mao Zedong once said and the government has all the firepower, not you, as you are considered expendable and to be enslaved just as surely as the serfs of Medieval Europe once were.

        • Bloomberg News Anti-Gun Editorial Makes the Case for ‘Shall Issue’ Carry Permits

          Now Dacian makes the case for rebellion.

          What is the temperature in hell?

        • What is your standard of right and wrong? Societal consensus? The collective consciousness of the Legislature? Five lawyers on the US Supreme Court?

    • and they, as a “class” of individuals, so often wonder WHY we do not “like” them……. I can imagine yuo must have felt a lot like the woman accosted and raped in the park they fail to patrol, while they deny her God given right to self-protection with the best insturment ever invented for that purpose.

  4. This article demonstrates yet another example of the cognitive dissonance which is rampant in our society.

    Mr. Keene, writing for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, does an excellent job showing us that:
    1) Government malfeasance is rampant.
    2) We should NOT have to attain government approval before we can exercise our rights.

    And yet Mr. Keene, on behalf of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, proudly talks-up how the National Shooting Sports Foundation is helping state and federal governments to implement and improve background checks before we can purchase firearms.

    Thus, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is simultaneously for and against prior approval from government before we can exercise our rights.

  5. This article demonstrates the cognitive dissonance which is rampant in our society.

    Mr. Keene, as National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) representative, does the following:

    He does an excellent job showing us that government malfeasance is rampant and we should therefore NOT have to attain government approval before we can exercise our rights.

    He proudly boasts about the NSSF helping state and federal governments implement and improve background checks before we can purchase firearms.

    Thus, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is simultaneously for and against prior approval from government before we can exercise our rights. Does anyone else see how this is hugely problematic?

    • Yes.

      Unfortunately, federal background checks as presently constituted have a very high level of support, both politically and from masses of people who perceive it as the government keeping them safe. And the government assuming everyone’s guilty until proven innocent doesn’t seem to be hurting the NSSF’s bottom line as an industry association, so here we are.

    • He’s, they’re, not opposed to guns, arms, at all. They LOVE guns.
      What they despise is YOUR gun.

  6. “No one, for example, would continence a need to show an unelected bureaucrat “proper cause” to exercise their First Amendment rights.”

    Two problems with that statement:
    1. The word they’re looking for is countenance, not continence.
    2. People ask bureaucrats for permission to exercise their First Amendment rights all the time. Just try holding a protest or any sort of mass gathering without a permit (especially for a non-progressive cause, and especially on a college campus) and see what happens.

  7. It is well past time miscreants need to fear for their lives were they to deign to ply their trade because they might face armed resistance. An Armed Society is a Polite Society is a true statement!

  8. quote—————–The right of Americans to protect themselves was recognized more than 400 years ago as God-given. The Founders enumerated these rights, including the Second Amendment, “unalienable” and “endowed by their Creator,” and are protected as rights of individuals under the U.S. Constitution.—————quote

    The founders said no such thing. Most of the Founders were Deists which is border line Atheism.

    The largest group consisted of founders who retained Christian loyalties and practice but were influenced by Deism. They believed in little or none of the miracles and supernaturalism inherent in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

    Both Jefferson and Madison had serious discussions on the slave uprising in Haiti and they used 2A as a carrot to entice the States to join the Union which would allow them to have their own private armies to murder any slaves that rose up in revolt. It had zero to do with the individuals right to own weapons.

    There were anti-gun laws before the revolution and none of them were rescinded after the revolution and as a matter of fact they steadily increased up to the present day.

    Some States actually kept their militia arms locked up in armories and some even took weapons from radical members of the militia.

    The Founders were greed monger gangster criminals and the last thing they wanted was for an armed population to demand the right to vote and the power to vote them out of office. They did not give the people the right to vote in the beginning proving what greed monger filth and criminals they really were. The legalization of bribery (lobbying)to make them rich in Congress set up a corrupt government where Congressmen do not run for office to help the country or its people but to make themselves millionaires and protect the corrupt rich by becoming their prostitutes. As true back then as it is today.

    The criminal Founders deliberately fostered the myth that 2A gave the individual the right to own arms but the courts began looking the other way as more and more anti-gun laws were passed including all the way up to the present days.

    In my opinion the New York Sullivan law was far too draconian but the need to train citizens in safe gun handling, knowledge of the states deadly force laws and weed out nut cases and criminals from getting gun permits is as valid today as it was in when the Sullivan law was passed. Should it be changed somewhat? Yes, but not done away with.

    • The old English law of the Saxons
      “By the act of 22 and 23, Car. 2d, ch 25, sec. 3, (under King Charles II) it was provided that no person who has not lands of the yearly value of 100 pounds, other than the son and heir apparent of an esquire, or other person of higher degree, shall be allowed to keep a gun.”
      Read: common riff-raff were forbidden to possess a firearm.
      “That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law.”
      Sir Willian Blackstone, one of the most authoritative commentators on the common law, wrote:
      “The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject … is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree…. Which is also … of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation.”

  9. Ever notice those who demand we hand over our weapons are those who have government or private security armed too the teeth? The limousine leftists like Bloomberg want nothing more than serfs and broken peasants serving their desires, rather than free and independent people building their own lives. Must have the peons disarmed and compliant so we can confiscate what little they have left.

  10. Ferk Bloomy and all of his Liberal arse suckers. They can pound sand or more the hello out of America. The Second Amendment is the law.Period !!

  11. How about New Jersey. You need the state’s permission to PURCHASE a firearm of any kind, including bb guns. Guess the federal background check is not good enough for the local bureaucracy.

    • Don’t forget the long wait that is almost never under the 30 day maximum by law. Also the 15, no wait now 10 round limit after you already paid to have your mags pinned to accept 15 rounds. No flash hider, no bayonet lug and a pinned stock. I made the mistake of not keeping up with the ever changing laws and was caught with a 30rd pinned to15 round mag in a rifle case. Somers Point PD is not planning on looking the other way for 45yr old with a spotless record. Moving asap

  12. Larry… as long as you’re not implying that Eric Adams will do a single thing to end “may issue” that the Supreme Court doesn’t order him to do… because I have yet to see any indication that he’s inclined to do so.

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