With the announcement that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will resign amidst multiple scandals comes the end of an administration that was clearly dedicated to diminishing your constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
The governor of America’s most-populous city spent more than a decade in that capacity, along with a stint as attorney general of the Empire State. In this time, several anti-gun policies were enacted, and it’s worth looking back at just how much this administration worked to continuously restrict your rights.
Perhaps the most notable anti-freedom legislation to receive his signature as governor is the New York SAFE Act of 2013.
“This legislation lowers New York’s arbitrary magazine capacity limit from ten rounds to seven. It also greatly expands the state’s existing ban on commonly owned semi-automatic firearms, and will require New York gun owners to undergo background checks on ammunition purchases,” wrote the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) at the time of the bill’s passage. “These gun-control schemes have failed in the past and will have no impact on public safety and crime. Sadly, the New York Legislature gave no consideration to that reality.”
This law is egregious in its very nature, but it’s even worse that Cuomo, as governor, effectively forced it through during the final hours of the legislative session.
“Cuomo utilized a rarely-used executive trick, a ‘message of necessity’ to circumvent the normal legislative procedures that are strictly followed on hundreds of bills each legislative session. This scheme allowed this bill to be considered for a vote on the floor of each legislative chamber without the normal committee hearings and public input,” reported NRA-ILA.
The NRA joined a federal lawsuit shortly afterwards, arguing that Cuomo “usurped the legislative and democratic process” in passing the SAFE Act.
Following the increasingly strict pieces of gun-control legislation, manufacturers began a steady flow away from New York, taking with them jobs, Second Amendment-supporting citizens, and sources of revenue for the state.
Notably, Remington moved two production lines from Ilion, N.Y., where the company was founded in 1816, to a new facility in Huntsville, Ala., in 2014. Additionally, Companies like Kimber, Kahr Arms, and others have also left New York. (Be on the lookout for a story about companies like these moving to states that embrace the right to keep and bear arms in a future issue of America’s 1st Freedom.)
In the years following, Cuomo used his power to warn banks not to do business with the NRA or similar organizations. This attempt to blacklist America’s oldest civil rights organization, and those like it, is a blatant attempt to subvert the rule of law in order to further his anti-gun agenda. He openly vowed to “put the NRA out of business.”
Of course, he didn’t stop there. When the COVID-19 pandemic descended upon the nation, Cuomo took this as an opportunity to close businesses that he didn’t deem as “essential,” which included gun dealers.
And recently, Cuomo declared a state “disaster emergency” to combat “gun violence” in New York. In doing so, he secured nearly $140 million in funding to pursue his gun-control dreams. Since this was done via executive action, he also gained the ability to “temporarily suspend” laws and regulations “if compliance with such provisions would prevent, hinder, or delay action necessary to cope with the disaster.”
And lastly, his coup de grace, Cuomo signed into law a bill that seeks to circumvent the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), which would allow firearms manufacturers and dealers—which Cuomo called a “public nuisance”—to be sued into insolvency. It’s no wonder that so many manufacturers have left the state, and more are in the process of doing so.
While this is not every single anti-gun action he took, it is still welcome news that Cuomo is finally leaving office. However, there remains much work to do in the Empire State with a plethora of anti-Second Amendment politicians still in office there.
We will also keep you updated here at A1F.com of any measures Cuomo’s successor, Lieutenant Gov. Kathy Hochul, might take in the future against your constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms.