Poloncarz claims threat to life, immediately receives taxpayer-funded personal protection. Average citizen claims same, is forced to beg a judge for permission to exercise fundamental right to self-defense.

April 3, 2019 | BUFFALO, N.Y. –The Buffalo News reported Tuesday that Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz is traveling to scheduled events with a personal security detail composed of Erie County sheriff’s deputies. Apparently, midway through last month, Poloncarz received a suspicious package at his office and experienced an alarming incident at his home for which he called police. Responding to these events, Poloncarz authorized his own taxpayer-funded personal protection detail, a game-changing self-defense benefit reserved exclusively for privileged progressive NY bureaucrats like himself.

“The personal imperial guard activated by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz clearly demonstrates the cavernous divide between elitist politicians and taxpaying citizens when it comes to resources granted by the state to exercise the fundamental right to self-defense,” 2AWNY.COM Civil Rights Advocate Steve Felano said. “When the average Erie County resident is faced with threats to life and property, he isn’t afforded the luxury of a taxpayer-funded armed security detail, like the one assigned to Poloncarz. He’s ordered to write an essay in the form of a pistol permit application detailing why he should be granted permission, by a sole government bureaucrat, to exercise his constitutional Second Amendment civil right. From there, he must wait anywhere from six months to a year or more to find out if his written ‘mother may I’ letter has swayed the sensibilities of a county judge to such a degree that a pistol permit is granted. The bottom line is, if Poloncarz can claim a threat to his life and immediately receive state-appointed bodyguards, then an Erie County resident – who can’t conjure up a taxpayer-funded personal protection detail – should be able to immediately secure a pistol for self-defense without jumping through the onerous and unconstitutional obstacle course that is the New York State pistol permit regime.”

The process of requesting a New York State pistol permit takes place in the context of a single county official’s sole discretion, which is applied arbitrarily and inconsistently, resulting in entire classes of New Yorkers being denied their fundamental right to self-defense. This week’s revelation that, when progressive NY politician Mark Poloncarz feels threatened he’s granted a taxpayer-funded personal security detail, but when the average Erie County resident feels threatened he has to kneel before a judge and request permission for self-defense, demonstrates the unacceptable danger and unconstitutional overreach that New York State’s ‘may issue’ pistol permitting system imposes on Western New Yorkers, and the state in total. Therefore, the pistol permit regime must be overturned, and 2AWNY.COM is working diligently with Attorney Jim Ostrowski to achieve this end in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Oral arguments for Libertarian Party of Erie County v. Cuomo were delivered before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on February 20, 2019. The case seeks to nullify New York State’s pistol permit requirement based on the following grounds:

  • Unconstitutional – Second and Fourteenth Amendment rights of New Yorkers violated.
  • Overly subjective nature of “good moral character,” “good cause,” and “proper cause” requirements in New York State’s pistol permit scheme.
  • Application of “intermediate scrutiny” to Second Amendment restrictions when “strict scrutiny” is most appropriate for the fundamental and constitutionally enumerated right to individual self-defense.

A decision on this case is still pending, though the court hinted during oral argument that it will likely await guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court on the appropriate level of judicial scrutiny to apply to Second Amendment cases before issuing a ruling. This guidance is expected to come via NYSRPA v. NYC, a case pending U.S. Supreme Court review that is likely to be heard in October 2019.

To learn more about any of the above, please contact Steve Felano at (518) 852-1863 or [email protected].

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2AWNY is a force multiplier for the numerous Second Amendment civil rights advocacy enterprises forming the backbone of Western New York’s vibrant gun culture. We act as a 2A news and information distribution, policy analysis, and organizational driver for the many interest groups seeking to defend and expand Second Amendment civil rights throughout the region. 2AWNY is dedicated to assisting in the organization, promotion, and funding of legal challenges to the unconstitutional New York State gun control regime. We seek to make Western New York the epicenter of New York State’s Second Amendment civil rights renaissance. Learn more at WWW.2AWNY.COM.