Caution–New York is the only state that prohibits the transportation of handguns without a license. Travelers should therefore be particularly careful since they face severe consequences should they inadvertently violate the state’s highly restrictive statutes.
On June 26 , the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment”A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” protects a purely individual right, as do the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments. “Nowhere else in the Constitution does a ‘right’ attributed to ‘the people’ refer to anything other than an individual right,” the court said. “The term [‘the people’] unambiguously refers to all members of the political community.”
On Sept. 8th, while traveling home from a building seminar in NY state, I got a first hand look at how law enforcement in a “gun unfriendly” location interprets my right (see above) to individually carry a weapon as a means of protecting myself and my wife. Although I was not actually arrested, I was effectively taken prisoner at the Greater Binghamton Airport by a security guard. I was then humiliated, expected to grovel in order to avoid being thrown in jail and my personal property (a pistol & ammo) were confiscated. The guard disparaged me multiple times in my hearing to his superiors, acted in a very intimidating manner and assured me that if I did not give the right answers he and the “very liberal” local judge would see that I spent a year in jail, just like the jerk from Calif. he recently arrested was already doing. As my wife prayed fervently out in the lobby, I did everything I needed to, right up to (but not including) falling on my knees and begging for my freedom. My crime? I did not read far enough on the CarryConcealed.net website to notice that NY is just about the only state in which it is virtually impossible to legally carry a firearm if you are a non-resident. So much for the 2nd Amendment…
Let me be clear; I did technically violate NY law. I had a valid KY concealed carry permit, which NY does not recognize (they don’t recognize any CCL except their own). Also, when the guard first approached me, I had the unloaded, locked pistol on the counter, expecting the same thing to happen which had happened many times before in other airports, and the guard caught me “off guard” by saying, “What is that gun for?” in a threatening tone of voice. My answer was not acceptable to him, so he got more threatening, asked me another question and then, without waiting for an answer (that I recall) ordered me to follow him to his office. Later I was lectured about my mistake; I should have simply answered “self-defense”. After further brow-beating and threats, he calmed down enough to decide (after consulting with someone on the phone) to keep the gun but let me go with a warning. At that point, I was too tramatized to even ask for his name; all I know is that it starts with “S”.
On the way home I called an NRA helpline, and got a Ms. Misiora, who was very helpful. She put me in touch with an NRA affiliated lawyer in White Plains, NY, who later assured me that, since the guard had let me go without charges, they wouldn’t later decide to charge and extradite me back to NY. Although the guard assured me that they would ship my gun back to an FFL gun dealer in KY, the person who has it in NY has not yet returned my call. I may be able to get it back with the NRA’s help, but maybe not. In all this, Beth was very supportive, and we prayed together several times. Praise the Lord! He delivered me from a potentially traumatic mistake, and I learned a lesson I will not forget… stay away from New York if at all possible, or at least until their legislature “gets the message” on the 2nd Amendment.
BTW, I am now a committed member of the NRA 😉
After 2 months, 3 days, about $120.00 in fees and many hours on the phone, I have my pistol back, unharmed. I did not get back the ammunition which was with it when it was taken from me– about $25 worth, I estimate. I call that petty larceny; no doubt there is some NY law somewhere which justifies it’s confiscation. My thanks go to Ben at Gander Mountain in Binghampton, NY for all the time he put into tracking everything down.
If any terrorists are reading this, I suggest avoiding the Greater Binghamton Airport when SO Sheridan #359 is on duty. Based on the way he treated me, he will rip your arms and legs off, hang your guts on a railing and feed what’s left to his dog. Regrettably, I won’t be around to watch, since I have decided to permanently avoid this same airport.
Bonus question- which city has a higher murder rate per 100K population: Louisville (KY), Lexington (KY) or Rochester (NY)?