Judge rules state's gun laws prevail

This is a discussion on Judge rules state's gun laws prevail within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; The recent historic handgun ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court should have no impact on gun control and licensing provisions in New York state, a ...

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Thread: Judge rules state's gun laws prevail

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mrreynolds's Avatar
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    Exclamation Judge rules state's gun laws prevail

    The recent historic handgun ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court should have no impact on gun control and licensing provisions in New York state, a local judge has concluded.

    Onondaga County Judge William Walsh ruled the June 26 Supreme Court ruling striking down the District of Columbia's strict handgun ban has no effect on the rights of individual states to establish their own firearm laws.

    Walsh made that finding in a written decision in which he reinstated a local man's pistol permit with limitations.

    The Supreme Court may have recognized the right of individuals to possess lawful firearms in their homes, but it did not overrule the established precedent that the Second Amendment applies only to Congress and not to the states, Walsh wrote.

    The Supreme Court's ruling would have an impact in the nation's capital because the District of Columbia is not a state and is under the jurisdiction of Congress, the judge decided. But it would not have an impact on states' rights to establish firearms laws, he concluded.

    In the matter before Walsh, Daniel M. Groff, of Bridgeport, had had a pistol permit since 1991 that allowed him the unrestricted right to carry a concealed weapon. The judge noted the permit had been revoked in May based on the filing of DWI and reckless driving charges against Groff in Sullivan, Madison County.

    With proof that Groff pleaded guilty to reckless driving and paid a $300 fine, Walsh last week ordered his pistol permit reinstated. But the judge concluded the original decision allowing Groff to carry a concealed weapon had been a mistake.

    An "unrestricted carry concealed permit" can be issued based on a showing a person has "a special need for self-protection distinguishable from that of the general community or of persons engaged in the same profession," Walsh noted.

    Groff's original application indicated he needed the permit for "target shooting, personal protection, hunting" with no elaboration, the judge noted. He concluded target shooting and hunting did not warrant the issuance of a permit allowing Groff to carry a concealed weapon.

    The judge further concluded the "unsubstantiated claim of the need for personal protection" was not sufficient to allow Groff to carry a concealed weapon.

    Based on that and Groff's prior unblemished record, the judge agreed to reinstate his pistol permit but restricted it to possession on premises or for the purposes of hunting and target shooting.

    Groff said recently he was unaware of the judge's decision about his pistol permit. He said he would await a copy of the ruling before deciding if he wanted to challenge the limitations.

    Walsh wrote that the ability of New York residents to keep and bear arms is a privilege granted by statute. The state's constitution contains no such guarantee, he added.

    "Thus, the issuance of a pistol license remains but a privilege subject to reasonable regulation under New York State law and the licensing officer is conferred with broad discretion in determining whether to issue, revoke, cancel or restrict such a license," Walsh wrote.

    Tom King, president of the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, said Walsh is "probably right" in his interpretation of the Supreme Court ruling and its impact.

    "That's the way it is," he said.

    King said he had never expected the Supreme Court ruling in the District of Columbia case to end up striking down licensing laws and restrictions in states and communities across the country. It will require other court challenges around the country in the wake of that recent ruling to determine what impact it may ultimately have, he said.

    King said there were no known challenges at this point to the laws in New York based on the Supreme Court ruling.
    ARTICLE

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    I'm not surprised. Good find, thanks for sharing this article.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Good example of how it's going to be legal wrangling well into the future, to tear down the vast wall of gun laws that limit use by upstanding citizens. Ain't gonna happen overnight. And with precedent and such rulings as this, it's going to be longer than that.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    I don't know about the drunk getting a CCW License, but only applying to congress and not the states?
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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Idiot! People like that are HORRIBLE for our cause. Don't put up weak cases and allow left-leaning judges to make broad decisions. This was a horrible call for him and it may have far-reaching effects if this case is cited as precedent.

    Heller was right in narrowly tailoring his case, and got good results. Groff, selfishly, went forward with a poor case and allowed a judge to put into writing a decision that we would have been better off without.

    I hope Mr. Groff is happy.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    Question for our Constitutional Scholars

    Isn't there a later Amendment that states the U.S. Constitution overrules any state law? I was under the impression that state law can support the Constitution or go beyond it, but not be more restrictive. Any input?
    Tim
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    Member Array FHBrumb's Avatar
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    I can't help but wonder about the unrestricted carry.

    I wasn't aware anyone but a Federal Marshall really had that. Does that mean that he could have carried in any of the usual "no-no" places, like bars, guv-mint buildings, and such?

    I want that...

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    VIP Member Array Kerbouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper58 View Post
    Isn't there a later Amendment that states the U.S. Constitution overrules any state law? I was under the impression that state law can support the Constitution or go beyond it, but not be more restrictive. Any input?
    14th amendment, but not all rights are incorporated into it. As I understand it, a test-case will have to be made deciding if the 2nd amendment will be incorporated, or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by FHBrumb View Post
    I can't help but wonder about the unrestricted carry.

    I wasn't aware anyone but a Federal Marshall really had that. Does that mean that he could have carried in any of the usual "no-no" places, like bars, guv-mint buildings, and such?

    I want that...
    In New York you have to have a license just to possess a pistol. There is a restricted and an unrestricted license. The restricted allows for target practice, sporting events and hunting. The un-restricted license allows possesion for self-defense, but not carry in restricted or unauthorized areas.
    There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil.

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    You get a DUI in Texas and kiss your license goodbye for at least 5 years from date of conviction
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    Member Array Randy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sniper58 View Post
    Isn't there a later Amendment that states the U.S. Constitution overrules any state law? I was under the impression that state law can support the Constitution or go beyond it, but not be more restrictive. Any input?
    Article VI, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, which reads:

    This constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, any thing in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding.

    Randy

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerbouchard View Post
    14th amendment, but not all rights are incorporated into it. As I understand it, a test-case will have to be made deciding if the 2nd amendment will be incorporated, or not.
    +1

    This is my take on this (although I haven't read the decision yet): The Judge in this case does not interpret the Heller decision to address incorporation. Personally I agree with that assessment. As a result, the heller decision does not affect the states. While I don't like it, this is logical to me.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    As expected, it will take more challenges, laws, etc. to secure our rights everywhere. The great thing about Heller is that it defined the right to keep and bear arms as an individual right. It will serve as a precedent for future cases.
    Cheers,
    Rod
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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    Thanks for the insight!
    Tim
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    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    "Walsh wrote that the ability of New York residents to keep and bear arms is a privilege granted by statute. The state's constitution contains no such guarantee, he added."

    Herein lies the problem. If the New York Constitution granted a right to bear arms, the judge would have been in error.

    Constitutions grant rights, statutes grant privileges. As such residents of New York only have a privilege to keep and bear arms, not a right, insofar as the New York Constititution goes.

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    Incomprehensibly illogical

    Quote Originally Posted by digitalexplr View Post
    "Walsh wrote that the ability of New York residents to keep and bear arms is a privilege granted by statute. The state's constitution contains no such guarantee, he added."

    Herein lies the problem. If the New York Constitution granted a right to bear arms, the judge would have been in error.

    Constitutions grant rights, statutes grant privileges. As such residents of New York only have a privilege to keep and bear arms, not a right, insofar as the New York Constititution goes.
    It is my understanding that the logic above is indeed what most observers expected following Heller. Nonetheless, I find it incomprehensible and beyond weird.

    What the judge is really saying is the The Bill of Rights does not apply to citizens of NY on this issue. Funny, it applies on speach and religion. It applies on search and seizure. It applies on Miranda rights.

    It can only be a perverse interpretation of the Constitution, and one which I think many judges will use in order to keep the status quo on gun possession laws, to hold the position this judge and so many others take.

    It is as if words don't have meaning---and the legal world is Alice in Wonderland.

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