U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- In 2013, New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, and Governor Andrew Cuomo conspired to pass rigid and likely unconstitutional restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms by residents of New York State. The law was passed with a rushed vote under a controversial measure in the New York Constitution which gives the Governor and legislative leaders enormous power. The members of the legislature were forced to vote on it without any time to read it. From syracuse.com:
The NY Safe Act was passed with no hearings, no testimony, no time for opponents to make a case to their legislators.
It’s not the first time a controversial bill was turned into a midnight emergency.
Others include same-sex marriage, pension reforms, requiring annual teacher evaluations, and, in some years, the entire state budget.
There has been massive resistance to the SAFE act. From the dailystar.com:
One of the most controversial components of the New York SAFE Act — mandatory registration of assault weapons — kicks in today. Those who fail to comply could end up facing criminal charges.
But local sheriffs and gun rights advocates said they expect the vast majority of those who own such firearms will defy the requirement. And state police offered no details when asked to outline what, if any, plans the agency has for enforcing the statute, which was pushed through the Legislature in January 2013 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“I don’t know a single person who is even thinking about complying with registration,” said Jim Losie, owner of Losie’s Gun Shop in Oneonta. Losie called the registration requirement a prelude to eventual confiscation of such weapons by state government.
Large parts of the SAFE act have proven to be impractical to implement. Some pieces have been ruled unconstitutional. One part was so idiotic the state legislature, with the agreement of the governor, repealed it very quickly.
There is no evidence the act has had any effect on the New York violent crime rate.
New York has been the poster child for infringing on Second Amendment Rights to protect organized crime since 1911. It is not surprising corrupt politicians want to disarm their constituents, who will often be their victims as well.
All three architects of the SAFE Act have now been driven from office in disgrace. Two have been sentenced and served time in prison. The last and most powerful, Governor Cuomo, has been driven from office with multiple allegations of corruption. Whether he escapes prosecution for the multiple crimes he is accused of remains to be seen. The three politicians were said to be close.
The first to go was State Assembly Speaker (D) Sheldon Silver. He was found guilty by a jury in November of 2015, successfully appealed, and was found guilty again, in a second trial, on 11 May, 2018. From justice.gov:
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that former New York State Assembly Speaker SHELDON SILVER was sentenced this afternoon to seven years in prison after having been found guilty a second time by a federal jury of using his official position to obtain nearly $4 million in bribes in exchange for his official acts and obtaining another $1 million through laundering the proceeds of his crimes. SILVER had previously been found guilty of the same offenses by a jury in November 2015, but the conviction was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States.
The second corrupt politician was State Senate Majority leader (R) Dean Skelos.
On October 24, 2018, Dean Skelos was found guilty and sentenced to 51 months in prison for corruption. From justice.gov:
Robert Khuzami, Attorney for the United States, acting under authority conferred by 28 U.S.C. § 515, announced today that former New York State Senate Majority Leader DEAN SKELOS was sentenced today to 51 months in prison after having been found guilty by a federal jury of using his official position to obtain more than $300,000 in bribes and extortion payments that were paid to his son, ADAM SKELOS, in exchange for DEAN SKELOS’s official acts. ADAM SKELOS, who was convicted by the same jury, was also sentenced to four years in prison. The defendants had previously been found guilty of the same offenses by a jury in December 2015, but their convictions were overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision in McDonnell v. United States. DEAN SKELOS and ADAM SKELOS were sentenced in Manhattan federal court by U.S. District Judge Kimba M. Wood, who also presided over both jury trials.
On August 24, 2021 Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned from the office of governor in disgrace, under threat of impeachment and with multiple criminal allegations. From gothamist.com:
The question now, as Cuomo steps off, is whether the many investigations that counseled Cuomo to resign will follow him, trailing him from Albany, haunting him beyond the office. Or can he expect to glide, free and clear, to a chapter of reinvention?
There are several unresolved matters: The investigation into whether the Cuomo administration deflated the number of deaths that occurred in the New York State nursing homes during COVID; allegations around whether or not the governor misused state resources when writing and publishing his book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons From the Covid-19 Pandemic;” and, of course, the allegations from eleven women that he sexually harassed or assaulted them during his time in office.
Gothamist does not mention the longstanding and credible allegation that Governor Cuomo’s orders during the Covid19 pandemic directly resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly New York residents. From the nypost.com:
New York Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt (R-Niagara) said in a tweet: “Governor Cuomo and his administration must be investigated from top to bottom and he must be stripped of his emergency powers. Justice needs to be brought for the grieving families who have been ignored to protect Governor Cuomo and his Democrat allies in the Legislature.”
In a separate statement, he said: “The news today that Governor Cuomo’s top aide admitted to deliberately withholding information about COVID-19 deaths is the latest in a string of disturbing acts of corruption by his administration.
The Supreme Court has refused to rule on most substantive Second Amendment infringement cases for a decade. A New York case about carry outside the home will finally be heard by the Supreme Court in 2021. A decision should be made in 2022.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.