New York obviously does not embrace the Second Amendment

Posted By on December 16, 2011

glock27incaseI never realized just how restrictive New York firearm laws were until reading this story. It never occurred to me that transporting a pistol in a locked case could be a class C felony, even in a liberal state like New York? I suppose if someone spends their life living under NY restrictions … as did my wife … its no wonder they have difficulty comprehending the personal liberties that exist in states respecting Second Amendment rights.

It has taken this story to hammer home how different gun laws can be in different states. (note highlighted text below)

Tea Party Patriots co-founder Mark Meckler was arrested at an airport in New York City on Thursday after he attempted to check-in a locked gun box holding his Glock 27 pistol and ammunition to a Delta Airlines ticket agent.

According to authorities and his attorney, Meckler, 49, holds a concealed-carry permit for the Glock 27 pistol at home in California, but not in New York where he was attempting to board the plane. As a result, he was arrested and charged with a felony.

“Before leaving home, passengers should acquaint themselves with the weapon laws of the jurisdiction that they are visiting and comply with any and all legal requirements if they choose to travel with a weapon,” Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said.

“Otherwise, they may find themselves being arrested and charged with a felony – as is what occurred in this case,” he said.

Attorney Brian Stapleton of Goldberg, Segalla, LLP said Meckler was only attempting to follow TSA rules for checking in a firearm when he was arrested.

“While in temporary transit through the state of New York in possession of an unloaded, lawful firearm that was locked in a TSA-approved safe, he legally declared his possession of the firearm in his checked baggage at the ticket counter as required by law and in a manner approved by TSA and the airline, yet was arrested by port authority for said possession,” Stapleton said.

Meckler was arraigned Thursday in Queens Criminal Court and charged with second degree criminal possession of a weapon, a Class C felony.

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  • Depending on the circumstances, even ignoring the constitution, that may have been legal under federal law (due to the firearm being in transit – that’s been explicitly stated to be legal for airport transportation of weapons, even in states that don’t allow possession of the weapon outside of an airport).

    Now, on to my opinion… I take a more literal interpretation of the second amendment, too, and believe that the right to bear arms was designed to arm people against corrupt government and bodies with similar power to government, not just against common criminals and wild animals.

    I understand why NYC feels that firearms should be restricted, but I also feel that they’re misguided in that attempt, and that widespread firearm ownership, with training on how to use them properly (which is more critical in a high population density area, where a missed shot or an overpenetrating shot would be more likely to kill bystanders), wouldn’t be the disaster it’s made out to be. And, even if it did increase violence, with the widespread corruption of NYPD, having an armed populace ready to defend against corrupt NYPD officers could improve liberty overall, even if it is at the expense of decreased safety. (And, that’s a principle that the US was founded on – liberty > safety.)

    • Well there is “hope for our country,” speaking as a father having political discussions with college senior home for Christmas break. 😉

      It is good to hear someone a few years younger than me express “liberty” and our country’s founding documents as components of value when it comes to governing our country. That’s not to say that we don’t have mechanisms in which to change (amendments) but the extremes of “states rights” is seriously beginning to impinge on personal liberties granted to all citizens.

      • I actually think that on some things, “states rights” actually SHOULD be stronger, although on other things, it’s about right.

        States should be required to obey the US constitution, while at the same time, the federal government should be relatively hands-off otherwise, unless the states and the people want the federal government to do more. (Not the federal government itself.)

        (The federal government has used loopholes and misinterpretations of the constitution to extend their power far, far further than they should have. The commerce clause is a classic example of that one. And, interestingly, there are states that have used “states rights” to ensure that their more liberal (as in supporting liberty, as opposed to US left-wing politics) stance on the second amendment is protected – IIRC, Tennessee had a governor that told the ATF to go ahead try to and seize TN-made automatic firearms from TN citizens… with an implication that any ATF personnel that would try, would find themselves staring down the barrels of those firearms.)

        Also, as for the implications of a power structure more similar to, say, the European Union’s (which was the original intent behind the US federal government’s power structure)… I think ultimately, due to the US’s layout quirks, you’d end up with some socialized programs (think the interstate highway system, for instance) spanning the country, even under such a bottom-up system, with the odd state or two opting out. So, the federal government may get some power back from that.

        (FWIW, on a tangent… I’m not sure how you’d handle healthcare in such a system, because there’s so many debates as to how to handle healthcare properly. I am leaning towards a well-designed single-payer system (with careful (that means not overbearing and more expensive than nothing at all, while actually being effective – difficult, but if the system is well-designed, rather than intended to feed money into certain pockets…) management of healthcare costs throughout the entire pipeline, from drug manufacturers all the way down to doctors), although one state implementing it may not be effective. Then again, if it’s a high population density state, it might be able to avoid the drain of neighboring states without it – actually, Canada manages to handle bordering the US, while having single-payer, OK, while having low population density…)

        • Lots of issues to ponder … but think you’re spot on with less intrusive Federal Government, more state and local control so as long as they abide by the U.S. Constitution. Mandates take away personal choice and responsibility and what we’re seeing recently is tip toeing a fine line in many states and is way over the line coming from the Federal Govt IMHO. Let’s focus on what the founding of our country intended … freedom and liberty from an overbearing government. Our country “uniquely” succeeded because we were permitted “life, liberty, and property” without the heavy restraint and taxation from government. Too many forget or do not appreciate what so many have fought and died to protect.

          • On the flip side, then you’ve got overbearing corporations, which are unelected, and you need some mechanism to keep them from being overbearing – which usually requires power.

            Then again, making it easier for SMALL businesses to compete may actually get that done.

            Patent and copyright reform (patent and copyright were intended to help the little guy, but have since been perverted and are now being used against the little guy – and, for that matter, the big guy in the cell phone industry), as well as access to universal social services, maybe? Not sure.

            (Certainly is quite complex to get the balance right.)

  • Update on the story triggering this post:

    “Mark Mecker was fined $250 after pleading guilty to a disorderly conduct charge. His Glock 27 handgun will be destroyed. Mr. Meckler, the high-profile founder of the Tea Party Patriots, declined to comment after a brief appearance in Queens Supreme Court. He smiled
    before he and his lawyer jumped into a waiting car.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.