According to David Kopel writing in the Wall Street Journal, the answer is both. While admitting that Plaxico Burress displayed an astonishing lack of common sense in drinking alcohol while carrying a loaded handgun in his sweatpants waistband, Mr. Kopel notes that NYC’s handgun laws are most likely unconstitutional.
As an Upstater, ‘Puter can speak with some authority on the meaningless and byzantine requirements of New York State’s handgun laws, and NYC’s are even more restrictive. ‘Puter’s had his concealed carry permit application on his desk for five years now. It’s an absolute mess of a process. One cannot legally possess a handgun in New York without a concealed carry permit, even if one has no intention of using the handgun for other than home defense purposes.
First, one has to pay $5.00 to the county clerk to get the application. You can’t get the application any place else. You have to be fingerprinted. But only by the county sheriff, and only on certain days during work hours, in one inconvenient downtown location (the county jail). And you get to pay for the privilege, about $10. You may not get fingerprinted even by New York accredited local police departments. You must pay a fee by money order only, approximately $100. You must have four county residents who have known you for years attest to your good character and sign your application. You must state the reason(s) you wish to own a handgun. The permit is then filed, again with only the county clerk. The state runs a criminal background check, and a mental health check. The state calls your spouse to make certain she knows you’re getting a gun. Assuming all goes well and the state bureaucracy signs off on your application, it still must be signed by a county judge, who may refuse to do so for any reason that may strike her fancy. The process is mandated by law to take no more than six months. It routinely takes 12-18 months to get approved or rejected.
In NYC, it is effectively impossible for an average citizen to secure a concealed carry permit. This means only ex-cops and current criminals have handguns.
‘Puter thinks that neither New York State’s laws nor NYC’s laws pass constitutional muster. They are uniquely calculated to prevent citizens from exercising their Second Amendment rights by placing unreasonable and onerous burdens on our rights to keep and bear arms.
‘Puter does not have a conceptual problem with concealed carry permitting, so long as it the law is drafted as “shall issue,” not “may issue.” But ‘Puter cannot now legally purchase or possess an handgun in New York for home defense or hunting without going through the concealed carry permitting process. This is wrong, and hopefully the laws will be successfully challenged.
None of this takes away from Mr. Burress’ stupidity. Or the pretty picture of Mr. Burress’ .40 caliber Glock.
Always right, unless he isn’t, the infallible Ghettoputer F. X. Gormogons claims to be an in-law of the Volgi, although no one really believes this.
’Puter carefully follows economic and financial trends, legal affairs, and serves as the Gormogons’ financial and legal advisor. He successfully defended us against a lawsuit from a liquor distributor worth hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid deliveries of bootleg shandies.
The Geep has an IQ so high it is untestable and attempts to measure it have resulted in dangerously unstable results as well as injuries to researchers. Coincidentally, he publishes intelligence tests as a side gig.
His sarcasm is so highly developed it borders on the psychic, and he is often able to insult a person even before meeting them. ’Puter enjoys hunting small game with 000 slugs and punt guns, correcting homilies in real time at Mass, and undermining unions. ’Puter likes to wear a hockey mask and carry an axe into public campgrounds, where he bursts into people’s tents and screams. As you might expect, he has been shot several times but remains completely undeterred.
He assures us that his obsessive fawning over news stories involving women teachers sleeping with young students is not Freudian in any way, although he admits something similar once happened to him. Uniquely, ’Puter is unable to speak, read, or write Russian, but he is able to sing it fluently.
Geep joined the order in the mid-1980s. He arrived at the Castle door with dozens of steamer trunks and an inarticulate hissing creature of astonishingly low intelligence he calls “Sleestak.” Ghettoputer appears to make his wishes known to Sleestak, although no one is sure whether this is the result of complex sign language, expert body posture reading, or simply beating Sleestak with a rubber mallet.
‘Puter suggests the Czar suck it.