Angry New Yorker

Sunday, February 06, 2005
Mayor Bloomberg's Overreaching...

We've commented previously on the City Council passing and the Mayor then signing new anti-gun legislation (here and here), which we view is completely unconstitutional as violative of existing dormant commerce clause jurisprudence. Today, Walter Olson weighs in with an op-ed in the New York Times, The Wrong Target, available here, noting the law could backfire on the panders here because:

This new law is too clever by half and it's also shortsighted. It insults the right to democratic self-governance of the 273 million Americans who don't live in New York City. Moreover, it may have a consequence that Mayor Bloomberg and other gun-control advocates have not foreseen: it could be further impetus for a bill in Congress, nearly enacted last year, which would pre-empt local efforts at gun-control through litigation.
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Yet under the new ordinance, distant gun manufacturers and dealers could be made to pay damages for a shooting in New York City even if the presence of the gun here did not result from any bad acts of theirs. For example, under the new law, if a gun had been stolen in a burglary from a lawful Florida owner, the manufacturer and dealer could be legally responsible for death or injury to a person in Queens. Their only defense would be to show that they had adopted the city's stringent new guidelines, which go well beyond current federal law.
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The mayor and City Council of New York seem to think they can make laws that bind the rest of the country. That's an arrogant stance - and when the rest of the country is heard from, it's apt to be a losing stance as well.

Unfortunately, the mayor and the City Council seem to think they're not only a statewise legislature, but a national one as well all too often.

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