By Budd Schroeder
Once again Paul McQuillen (May 6 Another Voice) is spouting his anti-gun opinions, and expecting the reader to regard them as facts. He gives absolutely no data to back up his statements. He criticizes Rep. Chris Collins for extending Second Amendment rights to include New York State.
The legislation he is co-sponsoring is similar to the law that allows out-of-state drivers to enter the state legally because their home-state driver’s license is good in all states. Those who are caught driving without a license are arrested and face the penalties for doing so. Only those who have proved that they are responsible and legally permitted to drive a car can enter the state as a driver. There is no constitutional right to keep and drive cars.
McQuillen does not approach the issue of people licensed to carry a concealed weapon with statistics of how they are part of the violent gun problem. State by state, there is no data that indicates that CCW holders are people involved in gun violence. Yes, there are some incidences where this has happened, but it is far less than incidences of licensed drivers who break the laws.
Florida was one of the first states to expand the law to allow concealed carry and has found, like the other states that issue permits, those who are granted the license are honest, law-abiding people. As a group, they have one of the lowest violent crime rate records.
McQuillen states that New York has safe, sane, sensible gun laws. The Sullivan Law was originally passed by a crooked politician in New York City to make it possible for “his people” to legally carry guns and deny permits to those who were not connected to him. That has been adjusted over the years, but it still is a difficult process to get a permit.
The investigation and checking of references, plus the processing procedure in Erie County, take about a year for most applicants. Then it goes to a judge for approval. Most other states don’t take that long, but they do involve a background check before issuing a permit. In some states, the national background check is enough to prove they don’t have a criminal record or mental disability.
The federal laws do not allow anyone convicted of even a misdemeanor domestic violence offense to carry a firearm. No state can override that, as he claims. The major issue is that regardless of where the permit is issued, the data showing crime involving pistol permit holders in other states is extremely low.
The law proposed by Collins is sensible. One of the most basic human rights is the right of self-defense. It should not have geographic boundaries. To get accurate data on guns and gun rights, visit SCOPENY.org or NRA/ILA.org to learn the truth.
Budd Schroeder is chairman of the board of the Shooters Committee on Political Education (SCOPE).