Rip Van Winkle’s Gun Might be Illegal

Portrayal of Rip Van WinkleYou will remember the story of Rip Van Winkle? Somewhere not too far from present day Albany, NY, this Dutchman fell asleep while taking a hunting break and awakened 20 years later to a markedly different culture. Oh, and his “fowling piece” didn’t work anymore. The full story may be found here at Bartleby.

The New York State Assembly is at present engaged in a series of actions which would so curtail the citizen’s rights to posses and use firearms that it boggles the mind–all in the interests, of course, of protecting everyone. I would mention that until the assembly figures out how to change the human heart, no restrictions of the these objects will tend to prevent criminal activities.

Here’s the list of current Second Amendment related issues which are being pushed by the Democrat majority in the New York State Assembly:

One bill requires the re-licensing and recertification of firearms permits after five years (A.801A/Paulin). This will help ensure that licensing authorities have the oversight they need to protect the public while balancing the legitimate constitutional rights of gun owners. Another bill creates the Children’s Weapon Accident Protection Act which requires that there be a weapons-safety program for schoolchildren and creates crimes of failing to safely store firearms (A.5844/Weisenberg).

The legislative package also addresses public safety by requiring all firearms sold in the state to be childproof (A.1326/Englebright) and capable of microstamping ammunition (A.6468/Schimel), and by instituting background checks for firearms sold at pawn shops (A.7574/Hoyt). Another bill requires stringent recordkeeping and reporting of gun sales, liability insurance and employee training for gunsmiths to prevent the sale of guns through so-called “straw purchases” (A.1093/Paulin).

Other measures in the Assembly gun package would:

Protect the safety of law enforcement personnel by prohibiting the sale and ownership of ammunition designed to fragment or explode upon impact and pierce body armor (A.2881/Koon);

Require law enforcement authorities to record projectiles, shell casings and guns in their possession which they suspect were used in a gun crime into an electronic databank (A.2882A/Koon);

Ban the sale, use or possession of 50-caliber or larger weapons, and creates a program to recall those currently legally owned (A.3211A/Eddington);

Define a “disguised gun” to include those weapons designed and intended to appear to be a toy gun and ban their production and sale. (A.5078/Lentol);

Encourage responsible gun ownership by establishing a standard firearms safety course for people applying for a gun license (A.3076B/Kavanagh);

Add to the definition of assault weapon to include additional weapons (A.6157/Titone); and

Empower courts to revoke licenses and seize weapons of certain individuals who could present a threat to the public (A.7733/Lupardo).

The bills which would “recall” (ie, confiscate) current legal weapons and  let the courts (impartial as we know they are) “seize weapons” (ie, confiscate them) from people who “could present a threat to the public” are particularly troublesome. I do not know, but I confess to thinking it probable that HR 45 (from Representative Rush of Illinois) has emboldened his fellow-thinkers in New York to believe that they can push these bills through.

In case you are wondering, Rip Van Winkle’s gun was undoubtedly larger than a .50 caliber if it was considered a fowling piece. Of course, that might place it squarely into the shotgun category, but I don’t see the assembly worrying about such a distinction.

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