As this article in Ricochet.com points out, you don’t need a New York license to drive in New York, so why would you need a concealed license from NY to carry in NY?
Right now, In the state of New York, thousands of people are driving cars and trucks without prior vetting from Albany. Given the diversity of licensing standards around the country, it’s likely that some of these drivers have had less training than the Empire State requires of its own residents. Some of these drivers—sitting at the controls of massive hunks of self-propelling metal—may be dangerous. A few of them will take the lives of New Yorkers.
New York Senator Charles Schumer is presumably fine with this. As in the rest of the country, New York honors driving licenses from other states, though visiting drivers are required to abide by New York law. But substitute “handguns” for “cars”—despite the fact that the former kills about a third as many Americans as the latter—and Schumer changes his tune. Responding to Senator John Cornyn’s bill to institute a similar reciprocity system for concealed carry licenses as for driving licenses, Schumer invoked The Darkest Timeline:
“This bill is a menace to New York and would allow potentially dangerous people from other states to carry concealed weapons in our grocery stores, movie theaters and stadiums, without even notifying the police,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told the Daily News.
It’s difficult to unpack just how much poor thinking is contained in that single sentence. And lest one think that this is a single instance of a bad statement, consider Schumer’s comments on a similar bill last year. But allow me to try:
First—as explicitly stated in the bill—out-of-state CCW holders in New York would be subject to precisely the same restrictions as New Yorkers with the equivalent license. If it’s illegal for a New Yorker with a CCW to carry a handgun into a stadium in New York, it’ll be illegal for someone from Connecticut, Texas, Oregon, or Arizona to do so as well.
Second, Schumer falls wholly into the gun-grabber fallacy that there are only negative effects to respecting citizens’ Second Amendment Rights. It’s not simply that Schumer sees the costs as outweighing the benefits (a reasonable, if incorrect position); he sees no possible benefits at all.
Third, Schumer’s statement implies—as only the worst kind of statism can—that passing laws has magic properties. There are, undoubtedly, hundreds of people currently carrying handguns illegally in New York and there is very little one can do to stop them short of stopping, questioning, and frisking 20 million people a day. Though all of these people are technically criminals, many of them are otherwise peaceable citizens who are either ignorant of the law or have decided to ignore it (for the record, neither behavior should exempt them from legal consequences). Why not allow those already licensed and vetted by neighboring states do so lawfully, freeing up police to concentrate their efforts on the genuinely dangerous and criminal, as you do with motor vehicles?
Every so often, I find myself thinking that gun-grabbers are just well-meaning people with regrettable ideas. Then one of them says something and I remember the truth.