I hate to be a downer in these pages, but there’s crazy anti-gun stuff going on all over the country. It seems that because gun owners don’t have much to fear federally, gun-restrictive states are going their own way with new regulations, fees, and other infringements on the right to keep and bear arms. Here’s a sampler of a few things that you might devote a couple of brain cells to:
- January 31 marked the official deadline for more than 370,000 handgun owners in the state of New York to register those guns with state police. For what: To build a comprehensive record of gun owners a la California. Anyone who took out a handgun license in New York before 2013 — when the state passed a landmark gun-control law — had to contact state police by Jan. 31 or risk criminal charges. That is just making criminals of the law-abiding citizen. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, won’t face political consequences for penalizing his own constituents.
- In Virginia, the House Militia, Police and Public Safety Subcommittee has considered a number of anti-gun measures. Very worrisome is House Bill 597/House Bill 819, which makes it a crime to knowingly possess a device that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semi-automatic firearm. This could potentially criminalize firearm modifications such as competition triggers and ergonomic changes that make firearms more suitable for self-defense. Another bad one is House Bill 814/House Bill 1019/House Bill 1052, which seeks to allow localities to prohibit law-abiding individuals from being able to carry a firearm for self-defense at lawful demonstrations, protests, parades, rallies, or other similar events.
- And in Washington State, a bill debated in the Senate Law and Justice Committee would require the holder of a concealed pistol license to get permission to bring a gun into another person’s residence. Sen. Sam Hunt, D-Olympia, the bill’s sponsor, called it a way to “protect someone’s castle from unwanted firearms,” according to a story in the Spokesman-Review. Decent manners should largely solve this; if I’m in someone’s home and they don’t want me armed, I’d respect their choice and either leave with my gun or leave my gun locked up in my car. And, I wonder, would this require an exemption for law-enforcement officers who often carry concealed weapons when off duty?