Can I Carry A Gun In New York?
Now that everyone else seems to be shooting their mouths off about the upcoming 2nd-Amendment case that will be heard before the Supreme Court, maybe it’s time for Mike the Gun Guy™ to add his nickel aa well.
The issue in question is whether or not the definition of the 2nd Amendment should be extended to include Constitutional protection for carrying a concealed weapon outside of the home. Since 2008, the 2nd Amendment protects the existence of a privately-owned handgun (but not a long gun) in the home. But what if I want to protect myself with a gun while I’m walking around?
The law in question is what happens in New York State, where getting the cops to allow you to carry a concealed weapon in the street is tantamount to getting the cops to let you jaywalk because you just don’t want to stand there waiting for the light to change.
In other words, it doesn’t happen too often and in some pats o the state, like th five counties which comprise New York City, it doesn’t happen at all.
Actually, you can carry a concealed weapon in New York City but only if you go through a rigorous and time-consuming background investigation in which you prove that you need to carry a gun given your line of work.
So, someone who works as an armed security guard can get a concealed-carry license, ditto someone whose job requires them to move around the city carrying lots of cash. On the other hand, if you tell the NYOD Licensing Division that you want to carry a gun concealed gun because it will make you feel more safe, you’ll get the same answer that you’d get from Grandpa, ‘gai macht,’ (read: stick it up your you-know-what.)
Interestingly, this case has brought into conflict two groups who usually find themselves on the same side. A brief from the ACLU argues that carrying a concealed weapon in the street is a threat to public safety and should be restricted or altogether thrown out. However, a brief from a coalition of public defender groups which represents minority individuals charged with illegal possession of guns says that the current law discriminates against poor and non-White residents and should be dumped.
I lived in New York City and held a concealed-carry license issued by the NYPD because I was an employee of an agency that supplied armed guards and sometimes had to travel to locations to make sure that our guards showed up and were doing what they were hired to do. If our armed security guy for some reason didn’t show up, I had to provide the armed protection myself.
In order to be given a concealed-carry license in New York City, I had to appear at the NYPD Licensing Division for interviews no less than three, separate times. The first time I had to bring all the necessary documentation and answer a bunch of questions thrown at me by some half-asleep cop who was even more bored by he whole process than me.
The second time I went back for another interview and also gave the Licensing Division the type of gun I planned to carry around, along with the name of the gun dealer where I was going to buy the gun.
The third time I had to show up and let another half-asleep cop inspect the gun to make sure it was the weapon that the NYPD was allowing me to carry around.
Between six back-and-forth subway trips to the Licensing Division, which of course was delayed at least twice, two trips to and from the gun dealer first to choose and then to buy the gun, and the time spent sitting around at NYPD headquarters waiting to be interviewed, processed, printed and everything else, I probably spent at least 24 hours getting my license to carry a gun. But at least I got the license. According to the brief filed in this case by the various public defender groups, most minority concealed-carry applicants are turned down.
What I find most interesting in all the media stories about this upcoming case, however is nowhere does anyone on either side of the issue seem the slightest bit concerned about whether the applicant for a concealed-carry license actually has the slightest bit of experience or ability to use or even pick up a gun.
At no time during my seemingly endless hegira to the NYPD Licensing Division did anyone ask me if I had ever shot a gun. For that matter, when I came down with the gun I had purchased to have it inspected by the NYPD, I had to hand the gun over to the officer while it was locked up in a small, steel box. I then gave the cop the key to the box and he, not me, reached in and pulled out the gun.
Now you would think that if New York puts so much emphasis on making sure that people who walk around with a gun in their pocket aren’t a threat to public safety that the licensing procedure would include at least some demonstration to show that the prospective licensee knows how to hold, or God forbid, actually shoot a gun.
Like so much else in the debate about guns, there just doesn’t seem to be even the slightest bit of reality understood or mentioned by either side.