I have had many debates over this issue and it does not get any easier. Recently the New York State legislature passed a horrendous anti-freedom bill entitled the NYSAFE act. This legislation, that was passed in the middle of the night without proper debate, instantaneously made honest, law-abiding citizens criminals. It banned the possession of a myriad of innocuous semi-automatic rifles and magazines (not clips) that can hold more than seven rounds of ammunition along with many other ridiculous “feel good” items. It may well be that Commissar Cuomo and his Republican lackeys overstepped their bounds. You see, in New Yorks Constitution there contains a bill of “Civil Rights” much like the United States Constitutions “Bill of Rights”. New York Civil Rights – Article 2 – § 4 is New York’s Right to Keep and Bear Arms security. It states:
Right to keep and bear arms. A well regulated militia being
necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to
keep and bear arms cannot be infringed.
This is the exactly the same as the Federal Constitutions Second Amendment except the words “cannot be infringed” replaces “shall not be infringed”. Law suits are already in place to overturn this horrible piece of legislation.
If New York courts uphold this freedom denying legislation, which I believe is inevitable, then the People of New York have a couple of choices. Throw out the tyrannical legislators and King, oh I mean Governor, that helped enact it, or submissively acquiesce to it and grovel at the feet of their new Masters.
I will fight tooth and nail to have this overturned, but in the end, the will of New Yorkers will prevail, like it or not. I can either move or submit.
Now, Federal legislation is a completely different story. All of the hullabaloo over what type of “Federal” action should be taken regarding firearm ownership should be for naught. The Constitution gives no authority to the President, the Congress or the Supreme Court to “regulate” firearm ownership. Background checks, Mental capacity, “Assault Weapons”, magazine capacity and all other firearm related topics are no concern for the “Federal Government”. This is an issue left strictly to the States. The Second Amendment was enacted for just such a reason. The Founding Fathers were very afraid that a central government would interfere with the ability of the States to defend themselves against a tyrannical body wishing to limit or take away their freedom, hence the Second Amendment. The Federal Government has no authority in this realm.
The “Bill of Rights” are a check on the powers of the Federal Government not on the States like many will claim. No, the Fourteenth Amendment did not “incorporate” them.
The States had Constitutions long before the Federal Government came into being. They were and still are sovereign entities that delegated certain enumerated powers to the Federal Government. The States are the “creator”, the Federal government the “created”. The created cannot be greater than the creator.
If your State passes UN-constitutional “State” laws, it is your obligation to fight to remedy the situation. If it does not protect your “Right to keep and bear arms” then fix it. However, the Federal Government has no jurisdiction in this matter and any law passed is UN-Constitutional and void. It is only when we begin to understand the true nature of our government will we be able to defend it. Wake up people, time is running out.
He holds a B.A. in Legal Studies, graduating Magna Cum Laude from the State University of New York, College at Purchase and holds his M.A. in History at Western Connecticut State University, Danbury Connecticut. Rick is also the author of "the United States as a Confederation and the Relevance of the Tenth Amendment".