The Nation's Gun Laws: Helps or Hurts?

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posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 07:18 PM
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Given the recent tragic events in Colorado there has been influx of threads concerning the nation's gun laws, both for and against, with each camp having substantial, significant, and valuable contributions and considerations. Here in New York State, we have some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. As many of you have called for more legislation and restrictions concerning handguns, I thought I might share with my fellow ATS members what our application process is like, some rules & regs, etc, etc.

Oh, where to begin. Let's open with this first, NYS has its hands in everything, mostly so they can collect fees to continue to fatten the pockets of elected officials and politicians, or as I like to refer to them as what and who they truly are, criminals. The application process begins with a trip to the pistol permit office/sherrif's department, however, you must first call to set up an appointment to pick up the application paperwork. The office clerk, who was a tyrannt in this position, recently retired, but held the position for over twenty years. Her hours were irregular, limited to three days a week, a little "slow," and had a mean streak, if provoked. The secret was, and I learned it early on, was to ask her about her grandchildren. This all for a county of approximately 74,000 residents. Nothing is available on the computer or the internet. On the second appointment when it came time for fingerprints, she would have to request an on-duty deputy to complete them because in NY, only a LEO is permitted to perform fingerprints (according to her, and she refused to be deputized for the task at hand), provided the deputy was not busy. The equipment was antiquated, bordering on archaic. A follow up appointment was then made to submit the paperwork to the judge. The total cost is approximately $130.00; amendments cost $3.00 each.

The relevant part of this process to the tragic events in Colorado is this, while the process that I underwent to obtain a handgun in my county seemed cumbersome and unwieldly, it felt that way because I am a law-abiding citizen. It felt as though I was being punished in a sense. So much of the process seemed irrelevant, because I wasn't a criminal, or a felon, was not involved in illicit drugs, no violent history, no domestic violence history, and no mental health issues. NYS requires a handgun safety course prior to the submission of the paperwork, or the judge will not sign-off on the applicant's permit. The NRA offers such a course, and it is usually taught by state instructors and provided by organizations, like Bass Pro Shop and Gander Mountain. Additionally, these NRA classes are routinely offered at community colleges in the area. I was exempt from this requirement as I served in the military and received training on a variety of different weapons. I had to do was provide a copy of my DD-214, or discharge papers.

Much of the paperwork in NYS, or at least my county of residence, required my signature for release of medical information, including releases of information regarding my mental health, including any medications prescribed for anxiety, depression, etc. It seemed like I signed three to four releases just for medical records. There also was a standard FBI background check and criminal background. Additionally, it is necessary to submit three letters of reference.

This entire process takes approximately six months to hear back from the county.

In NYS, it is understood that the permit is CCW, unless the judge places a restriction on it. That all depends on the need of the individual, but more importantly, the opinion of the judge. In my county, unless there is reason to deny it, the judge approves CCW. NYS is concealed, or closed carry only; there is no open carry in this state. A NYS pistol permit is valid everywhere except New York City and the 5 boroughs. Each county is this state does things different. In my county, it takes about a week to add another pistol to your permit. The typical process is you present a purchase receipt to the pistol permit office. The judge takes about a week to to sign and return the request.

Overall, I'd say the vetting process in NYS is a good one. Though, lengthy, it address not only an applicant's criminal but medical and mental health history as well. I know this is not the case in other states. While we do have some decent gun law legislation, we have too much of what I would call, "Feel Good Legislation." This type of gun law legislation appears good on paper, but lacks any real teeth to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, or otherwise people who should not possess firearms. Much of the law on the books in NY just hurts the law-abiding citizen, as I believe the state, at least my county, has a strong selection and denial process. NY limits handgun magazines to 10 rounds. This law is more annoying for the gun owner than anything else. NY has also adopted the Federal Assault Weapons ban. So unless your rifle magazines are considered "Pre-Ban," you are also limited to 10 round magazines. Unlike handguns, rifles and shotguns are able to be purchased and taken possession of on the same day, provided you pass the criminal background check.

It seems the problem is that each state is so different; there is no standard procedure from state to state. Some states are less or more restrictive than others to obtain firearms, handguns in particular. What gun owners want the most is standarization and pro-active gun laws, based upon logic rather than emotion. Reactionary gun laws really do nothing to stop tragic events like in Arizona or Colorado.

The issue of gun control and discussion of the 2nd Amendment are far-reaching and its implications are more complicated than black-n-white. There are so many points to argue on this topic. My brother lives in Pennsylvania, and the gun laws there are significantly different than ours in NY. Pennsylvania is significantly less restrictive than NY, and while I appreciate this as a law-abiding citizen, I can understand how someone who should not be in possession of firearms can cause a lot of pain, injury, and death. This is not to say that someone, once previously in a state of good mental health cannot have a psychotic break and wreak the same havoc. The only way to prevent something like this is to ban firearms all together and this is something that you just won't see in this country.

This issue of gun control is highly-polarized by itself, and especially so given recent events, and even more so given the fact that this is an election year and it will politicized by both democrats and republicans. My political views are typically moderate, so I find it easy to make compromises provided they are rationale and objective. I am also happiest when both sides of the issue can walk away with "something" that is important to them.

Here in NY, I believe the strength of our gun laws lies in the vetting process, not the actual gun laws themselves. It is always easier and best to "prevent" than have to "treat afterwards." Again, I have to stress that each county is different in NYS, how different? I do not know...

I think this paints a solid picture of gun control laws in NYS, at least at the very basic level of obtaining firearms. So, as a nation, do our state laws help or hurt us? What do we do about it? As a moderate I see easy solutions, provided we can leave politics out of it. Is that possible?

Be safe!




posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 07:35 PM
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Simple we follow the constitution.

The state goes to regulation because they know there is no way in hell that an Amendment to do it will pass.

So they try to make it as restrictive as possible.

all of this has been said in all the Numerous gun threads we have seen in the past few weeks.

Even before the tragedy, with the UN small arms treaty, which from all reports the US sank it at the last minute.

Back peddling from the back lash.

Ill admit, a Dialog needs to take place on Gun control, from both sides, but a reasonable Dialog on gun control will never happen in an election year.
edit on 28-7-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 07:51 PM
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Originally posted by benrl
Simple we follow the constitution....

The state goes to regulation because they know there is no way in hell that an Amendment to do it will pass....

So they try to make it as restrictive as possible....

all of this has been said in all the Numerous gun threads we have seen in the past few weeks....


Ill admit, a Dialog needs to take place on Gun control, from both sides, but a reasonable Dialog on gun control will never happen in an election year....
edit on 28-7-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)


I agree, follow the Constitution, however, the Constituion has come up short in many areas, so much in fact that additional amendments have been required from time to time.

And, yes, while this has been discussed, I wanted to present a different thread on the issue, presenting how my individual state handles the vetting process. My argument is that you can have gun control, you can have all your background checks, including mental health as well, and you can maintain the 2nd Amendment in its entirety.

While I agree a good gun control discussion will never happen during an election year, I believe its the perfect time to start talks. I believe a candidate would rangle-in voters with a well-prepared and logical proposition for gun legislation.

Thanks for your reply to the thread!



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 07:53 PM
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State lines apparently make worlds and worlds of difference. I was hurting in just reading what you have to go through in New York state. It's like a different nation from this region (outside Illinois).


In purchasing a handgun here, it's nothing like that headache. If it's retail from a Licensed firearm dealer, then it's a matter of paying, awaiting the phone call ATF/FBI background check to come back clear and thats it. Same day, same time and any contact with local law enforcement to purchase one was ended long ago here. There isn't even a system for reporting sales to the locals here, as I discovered in handling an Estate and firearms being sold from it.

If it's private party, again, there isn't a permit to buy so it's like meeting to sell anything else...family or friend, whatever. The law is that there can't be any reason to believe anyone involved is not legal to own or purchase a gun. Photo ID being copied is recommended. Although it's literally not required.


CCW is straight forward. If you are legal to own your hand gun, then it's an application process after you take a 1 day, $100 skills course that ends with a demonstration of skill and ability with both a revolver and automatic. Any caliber. The shooting isn't difficult if someone has any experience. My class focused far more on the handling for safety.

Applications in Missouri are Shall-Issue for how they're handled so the fingerprint process basically tells the tale and thats the end of it. If the background is clear, the course was completed with a certified instructor then the permit is issued. I believe mine took a month. It actually took much less time than Federal Haz-Mat background clearance for trucking. That took over 4 months.

Anyway.. Thanks for sharing op! It makes me feel very happy to live in Missouri. Oh, and for those who'd think our lax (by comparison) gun laws would lead to shootouts all over, the crime rate is comparable in the two major cities and low outside them as a general rule.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 08:03 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 




State lines apparently make worlds and worlds of difference. I was hurting in just reading what you have to go through in New York state. It's like a different nation from this region (outside Illinois).

That was the point of the thread, to point out (mostly to anti-gun members) how different it is from state to state and that in some states there are very aggressive and restrictive gun laws. No one from NY wants to hear about more gun laws, especially if they are additionally restrictive.

Thanks for chiming in. And feeling my pain!
Compared to most states, its a nightmare to obtain a handgun permit here.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 08:08 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 


Yes, it also helps people like me see why additional gun laws don't seem like much to others. They already live under so many as it is, it doesn't make a difference or the state actually has whatever the law being proposed is already.

Great idea for a thread here. I hope others add to it from other states. I'm curious to hear.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 


I am in CA, a fairly restrictive state, I think the Gun control people miss how important an issue this is for some people. I myself have chosen to move from CA, I am closing on a house in Oregon on the 16th of aug, a Major consideration in the choice to move was simply getting out of CA was because of the gun laws here.



I believe a candidate would rangle-in voters with a well-prepared and logical proposition for gun legislation.


Well the PRO gun lobby has been more successful overall in politics, and if you listen to the MSM its because they are more aggressive.

My take is perhaps its simply the will of the people that has allowed the Pro-gun lobby to advance.

Reading the reports on the UN small arms treaty its clear the US tanked it, with people going on to blame Obama reversing his opinion at the last minute, they hope to take the issue up again after the election...

But again every time they talk gun control gun sales jump, so back tracking could just be again following the will of the people.
edit on 28-7-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 08:25 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


New York is also one of three states that requires a spent cartridge be forwarded from the manufacturer to the state to be maintained in a database. In New York its called CoBIS.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 08:27 PM
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reply to post by benrl
 




But again every time they talk gun control gun sales jump, so back tracking could just be again following the will of the people.

Great point. Politics and politicians being what and who they are, you might be exactly right. In this scenario, it appears everyone makes out???



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 08:32 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 

That explains the casings I get with them. We don't require it so I get the shell in a small envelope.

I'd found this recently and it comes from a relatively anti-gun site, as these things go. It's all the better for that fact though because it displays a pretty straight forward 'Just the facts' display in a very easy to use set up. Even a Pro-2nd guy like me can't find fault with their numbers and they are what you see in them. Facts usually are, right?

Gun Facts / Stats / Legal Info for the US

Maybe that will help give context on the federal level, anyway. It's surprising how much really is state law and has little to do with federal law. The comparison from your experience and mine shows that to a startling degree.



posted on Jul, 28 2012 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 





New York is also one of three states that requires a spent cartridge be forwarded from the manufacturer to the state to be maintained in a database


See thats why I think gun laws are stupid, thats a perfect example. IF i was a criminal, the first thing I would do would be Change the barrel, and firing pin. (which people often do if they are a hobbyist as well)

All fairly cheep and easy, and I just beat that gun law with out even trying, I did this for my first gun, buying "performance" parts.

Someone who is intent to do harm will, no amount of "regulation" will make us safe, Just as the TSA is a joke, so are most Gun control laws.
edit on 28-7-2012 by benrl because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 12:47 AM
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reply to post by benrl
 


You're exactly right. The politicians pushing these bills have no idea what they're talking about. Your example is what I would call "Feel Good Legislation." It makes them feel like they are doing the public "real good," when in reality nothing significant has really changed. Great example!



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 01:58 AM
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S/F op. I may seem a bit short or sarcastic but I don't mean anything personal or offensive. I appreciate the patience of those that are left with the task of trying to figure out a way to make criminals and mental cases behave. I will add to that the small number, ( by comparison ) of accidental deaths due to access of a nearby firearm. As a vet and honorably having served, I have my own history for the need of a way to stop something that needs stopping.

That being said let's look at this simple and at "The Hub", rather than at the end of "The Spokes".

Like it or not people are allowed to own guns and protect what they own etc. If you, whoever you may be don't like that, well there are plenty of other places to live and transportation to get there. Let's move on.

The Supposed 9/11 attack was a coordinated attack where 19 different people with no guns of any type managed to kill 3000 plus people using a few box cutters and a couple of knives? So, lets move on.

Now we can slice and dice and stomp our feet and hold our breath but the hard core truth is this. Now listen.
If someone wants to commit a crime they will use a STICK, A BOTTLE OF PEPSI, A TOY GUN, now watch this
A BOMB, A HOSTAGE, A ROPE, A KNIFE, RAZOR BLADES, POISON, and are you ready for this? EVEN THEIR BRUTE BARE STRENGTH AND BARE HANDS whatever needed to do it and get away with it AT TIMES.

So to sum, if criminals want to commit crimes, they are going to do it. Even a criminal has the right to be a criminal and therefore be treated as a criminal i.e. prison terms , jail terms etc for acting like a criminal but anyone normal or awake reading this knows that I am not going to be put in harms way because some criminal is busy being a criminal. To make me lose my protection for my family, myself, and my fellow man/woman is a criminal act.
BTW what about the 800,000 to 1.5 million deaths to innocent civilians from a staged pack of lies that led The US men and women to fight a war that was a criminals brainchild in The White house. Maybe we should have a something like----- "WAR" CONTROL ---for these criminals in office. You know the ones that act as dictators and take away life liberty and happiness by VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTION and THEREFORE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.. Any Questions?
edit on 29-7-2012 by CherubBaby because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:39 AM
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Every time someone defends gun laws and quotes the constitution I just tell them to watch this





posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:41 AM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 


ANY law that puts restrictions on a right is not helpful.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:50 AM
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reply to post by danny7147
 


Hey thanks! That is the most hilarious piece of satire I believe I've seen in a long time! Now I can go to bed with a smile. I don't think it missed a single super-stereo type for ugly white Americans and the worst aspects over the history it cherry picked for the humor. Now I give it all an A+. It isn't often that I actually get a good hard laugh on something. That sure did the trick! I wish I'd seen that last semester. My American History Instructor would have gotten more amusement from it than I did. Heck.... I can show him in a few weeks.

Much appreciated!



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:53 AM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 


Well... the constitution says that American citizens have the right to bear arms...

the constitution says 'right'.... it does not say which citizens, it says all citizens, therefore, anyone who is an American has the god given constitutional right....

it is not a privilege it is a RIGHT... you cannot put fees, or permits, or restrictions willy nilly on a RIGHT.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 06:31 AM
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Originally posted by OpinionatedB
reply to post by Cosmic911
 


Well... the constitution says that American citizens have the right to bear arms...

the constitution says 'right'.... it does not say which citizens, it says all citizens, therefore, anyone who is an American has the god given constitutional right....

it is not a privilege it is a RIGHT... you cannot put fees, or permits, or restrictions willy nilly on a RIGHT.


Yes, but you need to read the whole amendment to get the context behind it. IIRC the relevant bit is: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed", which makes it very clear that people in the Militia (an early form of National Guard, similar to the Tderritorials here in the UK) have the right to bear arms.
Personally speaking, over on this side of the Atlantic the consensus is that the US obsession with guns is just freaking nuts. If you want a machine gun then join the bloody army.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 07:08 AM
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reply to post by Cosmic911
 

One Word:
INFRINGEMENT
edit on 29-7-2012 by CosmicCitizen because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 07:11 AM
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Originally posted by AngryCymraeg
Yes, but you need to read the whole amendment to get the context behind it. IIRC the relevant bit is: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed", which makes it very clear that people in the Militia (an early form of National Guard, similar to the Tderritorials here in the UK) have the right to bear arms.


There are several problems with that argument, though. One, the 'right of the people' mentioned in the 2nd Amendment is the same as the 'right of the people' mentioned in other amendments. In the other instances, it is always recognized as an individual right, and so should be here as well.

Second, the meaning of militia is being misconstrued. At the time, militia simply referred to all of the civilian populace who could potentially take up arms in defense of the country. Interestingly, that's still one of the definitions of 'militia' under US Code, and all draft-eligible male citizens are considered by the government to be 'militia' to this day. Additionally, the US Supreme Court ruled in DC vs Heller that US citizens have a right to firearms ownership that is unconnected to militia service, so the militia clause isn't even relevant until or unless the USSC revisits the issue.

Finally, 2A, like the remainder of the Bill of Rights, merely protects a right. It doesn't grant it. Citizens would have the right to own firearms even if the 2nd actually did refer to the National Guard and such, because there are no laws on the books that forbid firearms ownership. Those would need to be passed as well in order for that to happen.





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