To the editor:
Having violated the Second Amendment and the New York Civil Rights Law by depriving citizens of their right to keep and bear arms, the New York Legislature is doubling down on tyranny by attempting to make the unconstitutional SAFE Act more palatable to some of those affected by amending the law to exempt a special class of citizens.
Recently the New York Assembly passed bill A.6356A. It exempts retired law-enforcement officers from limitations related to possession of firearms. According to the state Assembly website under the heading, "purpose or general idea of the bill," "This bill would create an exemption to allow qualified retired New York and Federal law enforcement officers to possess large capacity ammunition feeding devices and assault weapons."
Inconveniently, Gov. Cuomo and the Legislature's anti-gun zealots are receiving very heavy pushback from angry citizens for passing their unconstitutional SAFE Act.
To mitigate the resistance, they are now trying to divide and conquer the opposition by creating a special class of exempt citizens. By passing this measure, the Assembly is saying some have more rights than others when it comes to gun possession and raw firepower. Why should a retired law-enforcement officer have a greater right to keep more bullets in his gun or use an assault weapon than would you or I? Is the self-protection of his life and his family more important than yours or mine? If some new social principle of liberty and equality is advanced by this division of the people, based on past profession, it is beyond understanding.
Following the logic expressed in the Assembly vote, retired military personnel, whose professions also were "by the gun," should be exempt, too. Cuomo should go for it; he could certainly get a greater fracturing of the pesky pro-Second-Amendment crowd that way.
Timothy R. Gill