Angry New Yorker

Wednesday, January 05, 2005
The New Year Starts With a Bang

But first, Happy New Year! Our feverish NYC City Council is starting the new year off with a bang, with the introduction by Speaker Gifford Miller of Intro. 365, the Gun Industry Responsibility Act, here, sponsored by democrat councilman David Yassky. from Brooklyn -- next door to radical councilman Charles Barron.

Unfortunately, this legislation is sadly par for the course, as the NY City Council frequently confuses itself with a statewide or national legislature. After all, what else could explain why Speaker Miller recently introduce a "resolution that calls on [House] Speaker Hastert to allow the Federal Intelligence Reform Bill to be voted on by Congress and to pass NYC provisions immediately"? Hmmm... silly us. We thought calling for such action was why New Yorkers elect two Senators and numerous House congressmen. Who knew the lowly NY City Council was responsible for such matters of import?

But like so many other NY City Council laws, Intro. 365 is unconstitutional or ultra vires because it attempts to regulate both the national commerce by gun dealers and national marketing by manufacturers of guns from the council's lofty downtown Manhattan ivory tower. According to the press release "[t]he bill creates a code of conduct for the dealers and manufacturers, and makes it possible to hold them financially liable to a victim of gun violence or their family." The bill also provides that:
[a] gun dealer will be liable for any injuries or death if the dealer fails to follow responsible sales practices such as selling only from a storefront location and not from a home, automobile or gun show, selling only one gun per individual within a 30-day period, and maintaining records of all sales. A gun manufacturer will be liable if the manufacturer sold a weapon to a dealer, knowing the dealer had sold twenty or more crime guns during any 12-month period in the preceding five years.
What a crock of crap. Federal courts don't take kindly to such local attempts to regulate to national behavior. Miller surely knows that. Others in the council know it, too. So expect another costly legal defeat for the City Council, paid for, as always of course, by the NYC taxpayer.

But sarcasm aside, Miller doesn't care about you; he doesn't care about the economic health of New York City; he doesn't care about the legal expenses of challenging this odious bit of Potemkin legislation; he doesn't care about actually introducing legislation that might truly have an impact to New Yorkers. He cares about his upcoming bid for mayor. Whatever looks and sounds good for him is what will happen by day's end. End of story.

And we're willing to put our money where our mouths are. Any takers? We'll bet anyone $100 that Intro. 365 is either overturned, pre-empted, or found unconstitutional as violative of the dormant commerce clause. In short, it won't accomplish anything of substance but the garnering of more press time for Mr. Miller. Surprise?

Council To Pass Some Of Nation's Toughest Gun Laws
After an internal battle erupted between Speaker Gifford Miller and his colleagues, the City Council Wednesday is still expected to pass legislation making gunmakers liable if one of their weapons is used to commit a crime in the city.

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