Term Paper: Gun Control in NY State

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¶ … Gun Control in New York State:

The New York State law about gun registration before 1996 required an individual to apply for a handgun permit depending on various factors. This included residence or business permit, hunting and targeting shooting, unrestricted concealed carry, and employment concealed carry. As a result of these requirements, people with any kind of carry permit for gun registration could carry the permit for life until 1997. For several years, there were no reasons to consider changing the laws regarding concealed carry since there were few problems linked with permit holders. However, the need to change these laws and adopt gun control regulations started in earnest during the nineties following the murder of two police officers. This need was characterized by the emergence of various proposals towards gun control laws in New York State. As these proposals became law, gun owners were now required to re-apply for a 5-year permit that made the state to embrace mandatory gun confiscation (Mortellaro par, 11).

Gun Control Laws in America:

One of the major issue attracting huge debates and controversies in America is the relationship between gun legislations and violence or increased crime rates. This controversial issue is complicated by various factors such as urbanization levels, unemployment, alcohol and drug use, demographics, poverty, the extent of gun ownership, and organized crime ("Gun Control in the United States," p.4). The issue is also affected by social and educational policies as well as other criminal justice policies.

The impact of gun laws are usually felt slowly or after several years because these legislations are always phased in gradually. Notably, the gun control laws operate differently in different jurisdictions in the United States because of the variations in enforcement and implementation. The complications in the relationship between gun laws and gun violence may consist of a mutual impact that can be difficult to deconstruct. This is primarily because stricter gun legislations can lessen violence while high levels of gun violence necessitate the tightening of gun laws.

Gun Laws in New York:

While the New York State's Civil Rights Law includes the provision that people's right to keep and bear arms cannot be violated, the state does not have an actual constitutional provision regarding the right to carry arms (Garrett par, 1). Since New York is regarded as a may-issue state, authorities within the state are not obliged by law to provide concealed carry permits to qualified applicants. Therefore, the concealed carry permits are granted based on the discretion of the issuing officer in every county. As arbitrary denials for such permits can be reversed in court, the individual applying for the permit must prove the reason for the wrongful denial of the permit.

In the application for a concealed carry permit, there are several factors that are necessary for the applicant to meet. These factors that determine the qualifications for a permit include a minimum age of 21 years, having a clean criminal record, and being an individual of good moral character. The applicants are also required to show the reason they need to carry the permits such as target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. In addition to conducting a background check, the applicant may be required to successfully complete a handgun safety course in some counties (Garrett par, 3).

There are other differences in gun control laws in New York State including the difference in the cost for a concealed carry permit across counties to approximately $10. Furthermore, the validity of the permits varies across the counties such as New York City where they are valid for three years, five years in other counties, and for life in certain areas in rest of the state. While the New York State's concealed carry permits are honored by other states in America, the state does not honor carry permits from other states except its own.

Provisions of New York State Gun Laws:

Despite of the lack of a real constitutional provision regarding the right to bear arms, there are certain provisions in New York State gun legislation. The first provision is associated with purchase in which there is no requirement for a permit for the purchase of a shotgun or rifle except in New York City. However, a license to bear or own a pistol or revolver is needed to purchase a handgun ("NYS Gun Laws," par, 3). Businesses that sell shotguns, handguns, or rifles are required to sell, deliver, or transfer such guns to another individual with a gun locking device and label on safe storage.

With regards to possession, there is no state license requirement for the ownership of a rifle or shotgun unless the rifle contains barrel(s) exceeding 16 inches in length and the shotgun has barrel(s) beyond 18 inches in length. it's illegal for any individual convicted of felony and other serious crimes to possess a firearm. it's also unlawful for a person deemed as not suitable for a firearm to own a rifle or shotgun. However, a license is required to possess a handgun in a person's home or business place through an application to the county's or city's licensing officer where the individual resides or is employed.

Under the New York State gun laws, the license to own a handgun also acts as a license to carry the handgun unless restricted ("NYS Gun Laws," par, 22). On the contrary, a license to possess or carry a pistol or revolver is effective in the entire state since it's not restricted to the time or place of possession. Notably, an applicant for license to carry outside the residential place must show the actual cause for the provision of the carry license and the requirement for possession. The other important aspect of the New York State gun laws is that the state has few pro-gun provisions except laws that protect gun ranges. Furthermore, open carry of guns is prohibited to an extent that gun owners with carry permits are not allowed to carry loaded shotguns or rifles inside their vehicles (Garrett par, 8).

Stricter Gun Control in New York State:

The New York State has adopted stricter gun control measures through the gun control laws in attempts to lessen gun violence and reduce crime rates. These measures have also been coupled with gun bans since the New York has established a ban on assault weapons. In addition, the state prohibits all magazines with the ability of holding over 10 rounds of ammunition that have been produced since September 1994. This is based on the federal requirement that the manufacturing date be stamped on every large-capacity magazine ended with the 2004 Assault Weapons Ban. However, the ban on large-capacity magazine in New York is difficult to execute because of the difficulty in proving the manufacture of the magazines (Garrett par, 9).

As part of implementing stricter gun control measures and policies, New York is a state that essentially duplicated or copied the 1994 Federal Assault Weapon Ban law. Under the Assault Weapon Ban, the state prohibits possessing, manufacturing, and shipping, transporting, disposing of, and intentionally ruining an assault weapon or a large-capacity ammunition device ("Banning Assault Weapons," p.37). Similar to Massachusetts, the New York State enacted the prohibitions on assault weapon following the adoption of a federal ban on the production and possession of semi-automatic assault weapons. This is unlike other states like California that has fostered its prohibition through the inclusion of extra provisions that are tougher than the federal legislation.

The stricter gun control policies and measures in the New York State have also been evident through particular state cases. For instance, the 2nd United States Court of Appeals in New York discarded a challenge from various residents in Westchester and the Second Amendment Foundation against New York's handgun licensing measures (Baynes, Evans & Eastham, par, 1). The lawsuit was filed because the New York State continues to require residents requiring a concealed handgun in public to apply for a special license.

In this lawsuit, four state court judges, who act as licensing officers were sued by five people who were denied permits on the basis that the handgun licensing scheme in New York violated their right to bear arms based on the Second Amendment of the American Constitution. In their decision, the state licensing officers i.e. The four state court judges denied their applications on the basis that they had failed to prove special need for self-protection (Baynes, Evans & Eastham, par, 7). However, the 2nd Circuit court upheld the decision by the state's licensing law through a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel. They stated that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms for self-protection at home but does not extend to a right for carrying handguns in public.

Through this case, the federal court moved to block efforts by the advocates of the Second Amendment in New York and San Francisco to thwart the state and local government from enforcing restrictive laws on firearms owners (Nimmo par, 1). The feds… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Gun Control in NY State.  (2012, December 20).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-ny-state/8846610

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"Gun Control in NY State."  Essaytown.com.  December 20, 2012.  Accessed May 20, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/gun-control-ny-state/8846610.