Cuomo declares a gun violence disaster emergency
When last we looked at New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, he was facing a possible impeachment inquiry – which, according to reports out of Albany, in still grinding ahead over allegations of abuse of power.
But that’s not stopping Cuomo from indulging his long-standing antipathy toward the Second Amendment. Recently, Cuomo signed a gun violence disaster declaration:
The governor called gun violence a civil rights injustice that overwhelmingly affects poor, Black and Latino communities, whose youth are three to 10 times as likely as whites to be victims of gun violence, he said. But the governor said the issue is urgent for all New Yorkers because the state cannot rebound from the pandemic without addressing it.
Would that it ended there. But as Reason’s Jacob Sullum reports, the declaration is just part of a wider push to curb gun rights in a state which already imposes some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation:
Undeterred by the manifest failure of New York’s existing gun controls, legislators last month passed a bill that aims to expand the civil liability of firearm suppliers. Under the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, gun manufacturers and dealers generally cannot be held liable for crimes committed with their products. That 2005 statute specifies several exceptions, including cases in which a gun supplier “knowingly” violates state or federal law if “the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought.” S.B. 7196, which Cuomo signed into law yesterday, seeks to exploit that exception by authorizing lawsuits against gun suppliers who fail to “utilize reasonable controls and procedures” aimed at preventing unlawful use of the firearms they sell. It defines such a failure as a “public nuisance” and says the state, local governments, or injured private parties can sue violators for damages.
More gun control only serves to deter the law abiding and infringe on their rights – not criminals. But that seems irrelevant to Cuomo & Co., who prefer the theater of gun control, especially when confronting an impeachment inquiry.