Orthodox Jewish, Army Veteran, and 2nd Amendment Advocate Communities Stand Together Against Unconstitutional Concealed Carry Permit Denials
February 18, 2020 – PEARL RIVER, N.Y. – Members of the Orthodox Jewish, Rockland County, U.S. Army Veteran, and New York State Second Amendment civil rights advocacy communities united today at Rockland Indoor Shooting Education for one common purpose. They called upon county judges to halt their conspiratorial practice of denying the concealed carry pistol permit applications of virtually all Rockland residents for unconstitutional and frivolous reasons and, sometimes, for no stated reason whatsoever. Members of this diverse coalition announced their intent to file a lawsuit compelling Rockland County judges and, eventually, county judges throughout New York State, to respect the Second Amendment civil rights of citizens by halting their unlawful concealed carry permit denial scheme.
“The Second Amendment is regularly under attack, unfortunately,” 2ANYS Rockland County Chapter Founder Erik Melanson said. “And the regime in the county where the judges can arbitrarily just decide what privileges you can and cannot have, which is against some Supreme Court cases in the last couple of decades. So, we will be staunchly fighting that and trying to change that for the good of the people, the right to bear arms, and the right to self-defense and self-preservation in the county, and hopefully throughout all of New York.”
“I think, for far too long, Rockland County has been under the shadow of New York City politics,” 2ANYS Rockland County Chapter Founder Tzvi Waldman said. “And a lot of people who are pro-Second Amendment are kind of scared to speak out, scared to voice their opinion. Hopefully, with this [2ANYS Rockland County] Chapter, we’ll show people that it’s okay to voice our opinion. And, hopefully, with a large voice, we’ll be able to accomplish a lot.”
“All across New York State, not just in Rockland County, but in Westchester, in Dutchess, in Saratoga, even in Erie County, but to a lesser extent, we have this unconstitutional, ‘may issue’ permitting system that requires residents and citizens to treat county officials like overbearing parents, and write this ‘mother may I’ letter to county judges to try and explain why they should be permitted to exercise a fundamental right under the Second Amendment that’s also been supported by Heller and the other McDonald decision that I mentioned earlier,” 2ANYS Founder Steve Felano said. “So, all we are simply asking Rockland County and counties all across the state to do is comply with that decision and transition over to a ‘shall issue’ permitting regime that allows anybody who’s not convicted of a felony and has not been committed, civilly, under mental health law, to be able to own a firearm and carry that firearm.”
“I came down here today from Buffalo because I heard a rumor that some folks down here, including some judges, have never heard of the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms,” Attorney James Ostrowski, who reversed New York State’s first ever SAFE Act conviction, said. “Down here, you have to ask for permission from judges, who are really acting as licensing officers, by the way. The fact that they’re judges is an accident. These are licensing officers that I’m talking about. Now they’re protected by a small army when they’re in court, heavily armed police. But you have to ask them for the privilege of arming yourself to protect your families and places of worship from hordes of violent and hate filled criminals roaming around loose in America today.”
“It is my intention, working closely with Erik in Rockland, and Steve in Erie, to launch a chapter of 2ANYS in Westchester,” 2ANYS Westchester County Chapter Founder Brian Dors said. “Alongside them in this matter, it will also be my personal goal to listen to anyone that wants to be heard, and to speak to anyone that wants to listen. From publicly elected officials and judges, to attorneys and law enforcement at every level. Whether that be the state police, sheriffs and deputies, commissioners, or police unions. Teachers, nurses, and electricians. Those that agree or disagree. Together, and in our respected communities, we can begin to educate and unravel this madness and fear that has been propagated on the people of this state for too long.”
“We’ve fallen victim. We’re in pain. We don’t want this anymore,” Internationally known Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Aron Lankry said. “The constitutional rights of the Second Amendment allows us to bear arms. And there are individuals that are saying ‘No. Just be tied to a tree and get hit in the face.’ It’s unacceptable. Unacceptable! For those that want such a way of life, go right ahead. Go ahead. I don’t mind. But for those of you that want to protect your children, there’s not one animal in God’s creation that doesn’t have a system of defense. Even if you’re a porcupine, if you’re a snake, you have some way to protect yourself.”
For more than a decade, Rockland County’s pistol permitting judges have ignored the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic District of Columbia v. Heller decision. This decision held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms disconnected from service in a militia. It also articulated two restrictions, and two restrictions only, on firearms possession and carriage. These include felony conviction and/or civil commitment under mental health law.
Through a calculated conspiracy against citizens’ Second Amendment civil rights, Rockland County judges have forced an imaginary ‘may issue’ concealed carry permitting scheme on the residents they’re supposed the serve. This scheme mandates that citizens treat the county like an overbearing parent, writing a ‘mother may I’ letter to county judges, asking for permission to exercise a civil right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution to all who don’t fall into the restricted classes articulated by the District of Columbia v. Heller decision.
In the current era of significantly rising anti-Semitic violence and New York State’s fumbled bail reform rollout, Rockland County’s pistol permitting scheme places all residents at risk of severe bodily harm and death. A new, politically motivated state domestic terrorism law and stepped up police patrols contrived for media consumption will not keep Rockland County residents safe. The Second Amendment will, and it’s time for county and state government agents to accept this obvious fact of life.
In Rockland County, judges ignore federal law and simply hold that ALL citizens should be denied the right to keep and bear arms outside the home for any reason, or for no reason at all. This permitting scheme, devoid of constitutional justification and completely conjured out of thin air by rogue county judges, is clearly unconstitutional and must be reversed. The 2ANYS Rockland County Chapter will be suing government agents to reverse their unlawful pistol permitting scheme and free county residents’ Second Amendment civil rights from an artificial prison built by authoritarian bureaucrats.
– 30 –
We are the 2ANYS Rockland County Chapter. 2ANYS is New York State’s premier civilian rearmament enterprise securing maximal Second Amendment civil rights by, with, and through The People. At the tip of the spear in the fight against progressive gun control, our innovative strategies expand non-compliance with, and non-enforcement and repeal of, Albany’s imperial disarmament edicts. 2ANYS promotes a strong martial culture across New York State through firearms proficiency development, combat tactics training, and firearms industry events. We actively educate the public on the immense successes delivered by America’s Second Amendment, and the deplorable suffering imposed by governments that forcefully disarm their citizens. By, with, and through The People, 2ANYS will defeat Albany’s unconstitutional civilian disarmament industrial complex, and pass that victory on to the next generation to defend as their own. Learn more at 2ANYS.COM/ROCKLAND.