4th Amendment No Longer Recognized in New York

Apparently, when Gov. Cuomo broke the rules and rammed the SAFE Act down the throats of his constituents in the dead of night before anyone read it, it held some disturbing sub parts that are now just being brought to light.

Namely, the 4th Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized

will no longer be recognized as an absolute right and will be wantonly ignored whenever the authority desires it.

A SWAT team raided co-owner Joe Palumbo’s Albion Gun Shop without a warrant. They were acting on orders from the Narcotics Enforcement Unit, who asked the shop to hand over a customer list so they could determine how many people had purchased New York SAFE Act compliant rifles. The gun owner was forced to present approximately 170 sales records. Under the state’s anti-gun law, this intrusion was completely legal.

Ever since the SAFE Act was passed, the New York State Troopers Narcotics Enforcement Unit has been delegated to enforce the act with carte blanche to ignore the Constitutional rights and freedoms that are supposed to reign in tyranny.  

And Joe Palumbo wasn’t selling weapons on the sly or in some shady way that would warrant such an intrusion.  In fact, Palumbo went so far as to check with the State Police AND his local police to verify that these weapons indeed were legal to sell under the SAFE Act.

“The New York State Police told me that my guns were NY S.A.F.E. compliant. The chief of the Medina police told me my rifles were NY S.A.F.E. compliant and in fact purchased one of the guns from my shop.

Meanwhile, a confidential informant working with the State Police released an email from New York State Police Division Counsel Kevin Bruen, in response to a troopers question of whether modified AR-15’s comply with the SAFE Act, stating that Police themselves cannot understand the SAFE Act and that “a court would have to rule on the legality of these rifles.”

Hmmm…perhaps if Cuomo wasn’t so concerned with jamming this law through in the dead of night before anyone read it maybe someone could understand it.  But as it so happens, Cuomo’s hast may be the SAFE Act’s undoing.  You see, when it comes to Constitutional Law, a statute cannot be vague.  It must be clear, concise and understandable to the average citizen.  If it is not, then the statute must be tossed out and void for vagueness.

Reasons a statute is void for vagueness:

  • when an average citizen cannot generally determine what persons are regulated, what conduct is prohibited, or what punishment may be imposed.
  •  laws which do not state explicitly and definitely what conduct is punishable
  • if a legislature’s delegation of authority to judges and/or administrators is so extensive that it would lead to arbitrary prosecutions

The SAFE Act pretty much hits on a trifecta of these three reasons.  When even the authorities do not understand the act and what is prohibited and what conduct is punishable, how is the average citizen supposed to?  And with the legislature delegating the enforcement of the SAFE Act to the equivalent of the Pinkerton’s who apparently are ignoring Constitutional liberties, arbitrary prosecutions are just the beginning.

For confirmation sake, legal counsel for Albion Gun Shop,  James Tresmond agrees with my conclusion stating:

The New York S.A.F.E. Act is being enforced arbitrarily on a case by case basis. That amounts to unconstitutional vagueness under the Supreme Court’s Morales standard, and the law should be enjoined for that reason alone.”

Oh, there are TONS of reasons why the SAFE Act must go, ranging from its utter failure to prevent crime, its criminalization of the law abiding, the bastardization of the US Constitution et al.  But if it’s sloppy writing and vagueness is what gets it done, that’s just as well.

Until that happens though, if you are a gun owner, own a gun shop, or have anything to do with the gun industry, do not expect a warrant when armed militarized SWAT teams bust into your home in the middle of the night and shoot your dog.

Because apparently the 4th Amendment (among others) no longer exists within the borders of Cuomo’s Empire State.


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