They have passed these bills in the Assembly every year for several years. It's always been the Senate that stops them. With a two vote advantage now in the Senate the Democrats have a real chance of passing these on to the Governor. I could be close though. Not all the Democrats represent liberal urban areas. Some of them do indeed have constituents that care the 2A and hunting, etc.
Here are links to MP3 audio of the discussions around the bills passed on Tuesday:
Please note that the three MP3 files I posted are not all of the discussion on all of the bills. The first one is pretty much all of the discussion of the five year renewal bill. The other two include discussions about requiring a safety course, and the .50 cal ban. Much more is missing though.
I tried to convert the real-player formatted files from the NYSRPA into MP3, but it wouldn't convert fully for me. The original files, which are in real player's highly proprietary ".ivr" format, are much longer. The first file is 4 hours instead of one, for example.
I hate real player, and I refuse to infect my machine with it to watch these videos. The original videos are on NYSRPA's website. If anyone can convert these files to a reasonable format, like mpg or even get all of just the audio in MP3, I know a lot of people would be very appreciative. It's a lot to take in, and I for one would much rather do it in the car or something than at the computer, so audio is great for me.
It is interesting to listen to. I listened to the 5 year renewal discussion. I am not completely opposed to this bill. I don't have a problem with renewal unless they make it as cumbersome as the original application. Send me a renewal form to verify my address. Upon return, with small fee (we have a $3.00 amendment fee which gets a NICS check now) run the NICS check and send me my shinny new license. Not a big problem for me.
I have CCW in five States other then NY and they all have to be renewed. No big deal. The handy renewal reminder here on USA Carry helps me with that.
I don't want this to turn into a money grab for collecting licensing fees and do not want it to be a political tool for who can and can not get a license. That's the big fear.
I also thought is curious that many speaker called the carrying of a gun a "right" as opposed to the language in the penal code that it is a privileged. If the State viewed this as a right then the State should be a Shall Issue.
I continue to write my reps on a consistent basis.
I don't necessarily disagree with renewals either. However, if you listen carefully to the discussions, the true reason for this bill comes to light.
A question was asked that was to the effect of "does this process provide an opportunity for a judge to decide, at his discretion, to revoke someone's permit or reissue it as restricted?"
The answer was "Yes. In fact that's why we want this."
So, imagine you're in a county where you managed to get a full carry permit, then a new judge is elected. A new judge who thinks all permits should be target shooting only, unless there is an actual threat against your life already. Or worse, you get a judge who thinks no one should even have a permit. Check out what happened to Orange County California. It's the Sheriff there, but a judge here could just as easily impose their views in a NY county. This is what the anti's in NYS are after with this bill. Ways they can leverage and pressure judges to take away permits, making it unnecessary to ban guns. Let someone else take the heat.
If renewing permits was done in a way that really, and truly, actually did reduce crime, and was not simply designed to further erode the rights bestowed by the second amendment, I would be all for it. I am also in support of requiring people to retake their driving test every so often to prove they can still handle a vehicle. How many times does a car or taxi or bus have to run down people on the sidewalk in NYC before the mayor calls for action against bad drivers? All it takes for guns is a poor bastard to accidentally shoot himself in the leg for the mayor to stand in front of the cameras and say "See? See?!! See why we have to ban all guns everywhere?!?" In the small town where I work, a old lady accidentally drove her car into the side of the local grocery store building. Twice. In one month. She has trouble putting it into reverse instead of drive when backing out of the parking spot. She still has a license to drive.
On the .50 cal ban - show me one case where a .50 cal weapon was used in a crime in NYS! Just one case.
As for requiring safety courses - I do in fact support this one, though not the way it is written in the current bill. I do believe that someone who is obtaining a permit to carry a concealed weapon should be required to take not only a basic handgun safety course, but also a course on article 35, the use of force law in NYS (or a single course that includes both). You would be amazed at how convoluted it is to determine the circumstances in which you would be able to lawfully use your weapon in self defense. If you carry a gun in NYS, and you don't know thoroughly what the framework is for when you can use deadly force - you need to find out!
The process of letting Judges or other elected officials apply their personal views is illegal. In no other instance in NY is an elected official given this power. All matters pertaining the the rights of citizens are by rule of law, not at the discretion of an elected official.
This is easily fixed by making NY a Shall Issue state and then let the law determine if a person is eligible based on background checks and mental health records like most other states in this country.
Oh wait, did I say easy? Sure, when pigs can fly.
Not sure if your familiar with the Florida license. I have a FL license and I think they did something smart. The pamphlet that comes with the license states very clearly that the License permits me to Carry Concealed but does not authorize me to use it. It goes on to state that they have other laws to cover the use of the firearm. They have effectively separated the ownership and the use of firearms in the legal system. I think this simplifies things for the state.