Civil Rights Advocates Call for Suspension of SAFE Act and Pistol Permit Law Enforcement Amid Widespread Rioting
2ANYS argues state gun control statutes unlawfully obstruct citizens’ defense against looting and assaults
June 1, 2020 – BUFFALO, N.Y. – Over the past 72 hours, civil unrest has ravaged the nation and New York State in response to the death of George Floyd. Mr. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody on May 25, 2020 in downtown Minneapolis, Minn., and the officer responsible has been charged with murder and manslaughter.
The protests spurred by Mr. Floyd’s death have devolved from peaceful demonstrations into opportunistic violence. With such violence clearly evading the ability of police and national guard units to adequately protect citizens and maintain peace, some New Yorkers are falling victim to gang-style group beatdowns:
Such vicious attacks are a direct result of state and county government agents stubbornly clinging to an unconstitutional, ‘may issue’ pistol permitting regime that has allowed pistol permitting offices to remain shuttered for months. Combined with the continued existence of the unconstitutional SAFE Act and a months-long shutdown of firearms retailers across the state by executive fiat, hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers have been denied the fundamental right to effective self-defense amid an unprecedented scourge of random lootings and assaults.
Over the past several days, initially peaceful civil rights protests descending into wanton violence have led to real pain and bloodshed for innocent New Yorkers. Why? Because government bureaucrats in Albany have insisted for decades on propping up an unconstitutional system that denies average citizens the right to keep and bear the most effective arms for self-defense against multiple rioters and looters: standard capacity pistols and AR pattern rifles. Therefore, the blood shed by innocent New Yorkers due to ongoing riots is on the hands of the far-left autocrats in state and local government that support gun control statutes.
2ANYS, New York State’s premier civilian rearmament enterprise securing maximal Second Amendment civil rights by, with, and through The People, responded today to the widespread political violence roiling the state and nation with a common sense solution: allow average citizens to access the firearms required to most effectively defend against assaults and looting by multiple assailants.
“Given the extraordinary times in which we find ourselves with these riots progressing, we should simply suspend the ‘may issue’ portions of the pistol permitting system,” 2ANYS Founder Steve Felano said. “We should operate under the D.C. v. Heller 2008 Supreme Court decision, and what does that say? It says that the only way that you can preclude somebody from owning a firearm as a government official is if they’re a convicted felon and/or they’ve been involuntarily committed for mental health reasons. If they don’t check either of those boxes, they should be able to go into a gun store today, anywhere in New York State, and pass that background check. And if they do, buy the pistol or buy the rifle today, and be able to take that home without a permit…I would take things even further and say the SAFE Act, those provisions that stop citizens from accessing these critical weapons that are most effective for self-defense [standard capacity pistols and AR pattern rifles] should be suspended at least for the duration of these periods of civil unrest.”
In addition to the immense harm decades of unconstitutional gun control have imposed on New Yorkers now attempting to defend themselves against multiple rioters and looters, civil rights advocates also spoke out against an anticipated move to force mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations on all New Yorkers. The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) publicized a Health Law Section report on May 28, 2020 calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccination at the state and national levels.
The report outlines a thin legal argument favoring forced COVID-19 vaccination relying on a 1905 U.S. Supreme Court case and New York State’s 2019 repeal of the religious exemption for vaccinating school-attending children. In articulating a weak legal foundation for state and federal governments to compel citizens to accept a yet-to-be-developed COVID-19 vaccine, the NYSBA is ignoring a range of ethical and civil rights implications, as Constitutional Coalition of New York State President Nancie Orticelli explained:
“The Fourth Amendment guarantees the right of people to be secure in their persons, their house, their papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, and it shall not be violated. I cannot think of anything more violating than to be stabbed with a needle and injected with something I do not consent to. The events transpiring in this country and our state are incrementally stripping us of our basic human rights – the right to be secure in your person. To not be forcefully injected with vaccinations not tested, not given at least a year trial to find out any reactions or effects…What’s next? When will be the point that you the people say ‘this is enough’?”
“So let’s get this straight,” Erie County Libertarian Party Chair Duane Whitmer said. “The government is going to pass a law mandating you take a vaccine. If you take Nancie’s approach and do not comply, what is the state going to do? Are they going to send men to your homes to force you to take it? Are they going to send men to your work to force you to take it? What if you resist? Will you be shot as well? As evidenced by recent events, that’s not a far-fetched situation, it’s not a far-fetched scenario. It’s a question worthy of asking.”