It’s a story that has played out before: someone thinks if their marriage license and their driver’s license are recognized by the State of New York, their license to carry a gun must be, too. A female medical student at the 9/11 memorial discovered otherwise, here:
The plot thickened. Searching her purse after she tried to do the right thing and declare her little Kel-Tec P32, police found a glassine bag filled with white powder and, not surprisingly, sent it for analysis. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has made anti-gun campaigns his cause célèbre, publicly accused her of being in illegal possession of cocaine, here:
The medical student explained that the substance was powdered aspirin. Noo Yawkers don’t know what Southern folks know: powdered aspirin, notably Goody’s and BC Powders, are popular headache remedies south of the Mason-Dixon line, and the defendant and her pistol permit both hail from Tennessee.
For a hundred years, New York’s Sullivan Act has inflicted draconian felony punishment on those who carry or even merely possess handguns, even if they are licensed elsewhere. New York City won’t even recognize a permit issued in Albany or Buffalo. Google Plaxico Burress: even the rich and famous are not immune.
It is common for people innocently and honestly checking firearms at airports in New York to be arrested for felony illegal possession. A victimless crime, classic malum prohibitum, this has a ruinous effect on the lives of dozens of good American citizens every year, not to mention the waste in New Yorkers’ tax dollars. The Tennessee medical student has drawn much sympathy from the general public, and even anti-gun politicians are urging authorities to go easy on the lady, for fear of creating a backlash in favor of House Resolution 822, which would require national reciprocity in recognition of other states’ handgun permits, as noted here: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/hold_your_fire_4dW6vKJHy3GFawLPw5riDM.
And of course, some of my large-bore and Magnum-loving friends would say that since she only had a .32, it ought to at the very least be reduced to a misdemeanor.
My hope for the New Year is that HR 822 passes the Senate and becomes national law…that the med student gets a finding from the crime lab of “Yep, it’s powdered aspirin” and gets enough from her libel suit against Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York to pay her legal fees and compensate her for her suffering… and that some common sense gets restored to the gun law situation in the United States.
I wish you all a happy, healthy, productive and safe New Year.