America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 14

N R A

H. Q.

B U L L E T I N

POLITICAL REPORT
by

Chris W. Cox, nra-ila Exec. Director

Anti-Gun Gov. Cuomo Calls for
Banishment of Pro-gun Opposition

P

oliticians seeking to diminish Second Amendment rights often couch their
views in language that hides their true agenda. But, on January 17, pro-gun
advocates were squarely confronted with the contempt in which they are held by
some political elites. Speaking on "The Capitol Pressroom" public radio program,
Governor Andrew Cuomo labeled gun rights supporters who are "pro-assault
weapon" and critical of his so-called safe Act as "extreme conservatives" who
"have no place in the state of New York." Ironically, this statement says more about
Cuomo himself than those he attacks.
Besides being arrogant and dismissive, these comments ignore reality in the
Empire State. The safe Act was passed under cover of night, and bypassed
normal legislative procedures. Its own proponents obviously knew it would be
controversial. Indeed, opposition to the law has been widespread, including
among law enforcement groups such as the New York State Sheriffs' Association.
Further, the constitutionality of the act is still being litigated. As noted elsewhere
in this issue, a case supported by nra and the New York State Rifle and Pistol
Association challenging the law is progressing through the federal courts, and
parts of the law have already been blocked by a federal judge.
One likely reason Cuomo considers those who defend the Second Amendment
to be extreme is that he does not believe the amendment protects an individual
right at all. As attorney general of New York, Cuomo signed onto a brief defending
the District of Columbia's handgun ban in the landmark Supreme Court case
District of Columbia v. Heller. The brief argued the Second Amendment did not
protect an individual right but instead "was intended to protect state sovereignty
by restricting the federal government's ability to regulate gun ownership in ways
that would interfere with state militias." Following the court's affirmation of the
individual right interpretation, a Gallup poll showed that 73 percent of Americans
agreed with the decision, leaving Cuomo in a small minority.
In 1998, as the Secretary of the u.s. Department of Housing and Urban
Development (hud) for the Clinton administration, Cuomo's radical push to have
the federal government support frivolous lawsuits against the gun industry faced
resistance even from within the decidedly anti-gun White House. One White House
insider opined that the scheme "smells like Cuomo" and that the Justice Department

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wouldn't want to pursue the case. "How
can you blame gun manufacturers for
illegal weapons brought into public
housing by tenants and non-tenants," he
asked. "Where is the conspiracy?"
Other gun control supporters
agreed. In a Dec. 17, 1999, editorial, the
Washington Post described the Cuomo
supported lawsuits as "disquieting even
for those who, like us, strongly support
rigorous controls on handguns." The
piece went on to explain it "seems
wrong for an agency of the federal
government to organize other plaintiffs
to put pressure on an industry ... to
achieve policy results the administration
has not been able to achieve through
normal legislation or regulation."
Congress itself implicitly condemned
Cuomo's tactics by passing the Protection
of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act in
2005, which effectively barred these sorts
of suits against gun manufacturers.
Even before Cuomo's latest outburst,
on May 21, 2013, the Albany Times
Union reported that a source told them
Cuomo "threatened to remove sheriffs
from office" if the law enforcement
officials did not keep quiet about their
opposition to the safe Act. This is
consistent with Cuomo's attempt in
2000 to bully gun makers into signing
an agreement supporting several gun
control proposals by threatening to exert
his influence as hud secretary to sway
municipal law enforcement contracts.
Most tellingly, the so-called "assault
weapons" and "large capacity" magazines
banned by Cuomo's "safe" Act are among
the most popular, fastest-selling arms in
the United States. Law-abiding Americans
are expressing their disagreement with
him with their hard-earned dollars.
Based on Cuomo's long history of
thuggish tactics to advance a radical
anti-gun agenda, his recent comments
striking at the core of New York's pluralism
are merely the latest example that he is
the true extremist. This November, we
encourage all nra members and Second
Amendment supporters in the Empire
State to deliver just as strong a message
that he is not welcome as their governor.

Please support NRA-ILA today by going to www.NRAILA.org/donate.
N R A- I L A : ( 8 0 0 ) 3 9 2- 8683 * NR A- I L A web s i te: w w w. nr aila. org
12

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of America's First Freedom - April 2014

America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 1
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 2
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 3
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 4
America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 5
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America's First Freedom - April 2014 - 14
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