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gun rationing

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This is what happens when you pass every insane partisan two bit control idea that comes across your plate, eventually you start running out of ideas.  New York City is now trying to pressure Virginia into passing more gun control laws. It’s already much more difficult to buy a pistol anywhere in New York State than it is in many European countries. Start with a six month wait time just to get a permit, add in over a hundred of dollars in fees and maybe, just maybe, you can can a permit in rural parts of upstate New York. Want a pistol permit in NYC? Fuhgeddaboudit! Unless you’re buddies with the police chief or your last name is Bloomberg, it’s probably not going to happen.

The problem for leftists, isn’t that their ineffective laws don’t work, no, the problem is that people hundreds of miles away refuse to adopt their genius laws. New York politicians have been turning up the heat in their demand for more gun control in other states like Virginia, even the NYPD is getting in the act.

Now the NYC liberal who governs the state of Virginia is joining the chorus:

Unfortunately for Virginians, one of the New Yorkers blaming the Old Dominion for the Empire State’s problems occupies the commonwealth’s Executive Mansion. This week, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe – a native of Syracuse, N.Y. and staunch ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton – called for the enactment of a new one-handgun-a-month law. In doing so, McAuliffe stated in a press release “Five years ago, the General Assembly took the ill-advised step of repealing this common-sense limitation. As a result, Virginia is once again becoming the go-to state for criminals to purchase weapons in bulk.” Moreover, McAuliffe proposed an amendment that would resurrect the handgun rationing law to Senate Bill 1023, a bill intended to protect the privacy of Right-to-Carry permit holders.

As reported in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, SB 1023’s sponsor, Sen. Richard H. Stuart did not appreciate the governor’s attempt to pervert his legislation. Stuart noted, “I also find it unfortunate that the governor chooses to place his priorities with New York City instead of the citizens of Virginia.”

McAuliffe’s contention that “Virginia is once again becoming the go-to state” for gun traffickers, is not supported by the available data. 

Each year the ATF’s Office of Strategic Intelligence and Information releases information on firearm trace data for each state. This includes a breakdown of the number of firearms recovered in a state that are traced to individual “source” states. The most recent data available is from 2015.

It is important to note that there are significant limitations to the usefulness of ATF firearms trace data. The data carries an important disclaimer explaining these limitations. Two points to remember in this context are that “Not all firearms used in crime are traced and not all firearms traced are used in crime,” and that, “Firearms are normally traced to the first retail seller, and sources reported for firearms traced do not necessarily represent the sources or methods by which firearms in general are acquired for use in crime.” However, the use of this data is popular with gun control supporters, and is often used to blame the gun laws of another state for crime problems in a state with restrictive gun controls.

If McAuliffe’s contention were correct, or if Virginia’s handgun rationing law was an effective deterrent to interstate gun trafficking, it might be expected that the number of firearms recovered in New York and traced to Virginia would have dramatically increased following the repeal of the one-handgun-a-month law.

This is not the case.

Virginia’s handgun rationing law was repealed in 2012. That year, 458 firearms recovered in New York were traced to Virginia. Each of the three following years saw trace numbers lower than the 2012 total. Excluding 2012, as the law was removed during the year, in the three years prior to repeal (2009-11), a total of 1265 firearms recovered in New York were traced to Virginia. In the three years following repeal (2013-15), a total of 1259 New York recovered firearms were traced to Virginia.

When firearms recovered in New York and traced to Virginia are measured as a percentage of all traced firearms recovered in New York where the source state could be identified, there was not a dramatic increase in Virginia sourced firearms following the repeal of handgun rationing. From 2009 to 2015 the percentage of firearms recovered in New York and traced to Virginia hovered around 8-9 percent of the total. Further, the far and away most popular source for traced firearms recovered in New York has been and continues to be the Empire State itself. 

Such handgun rationing measures also appear to have little public safety benefit. A recent paper by scholar Clayton E. Cramer examined murder rates in relation to the enactment and repeal of gun rationing statutes. Cramer concludes, “The evidence that one gun a month laws are effective at reducing murder rates is less than overwhelming,” adding, “Virginia’s experience after passage suggests that such laws do not reduce murder rates.”

In the minds of progressives it’s not their fault. Nothing is ever their fault.

It’s not the fault of New York State’s anti-competitive business policies that the entire upstate New York economy was destroyed. No, no, it’s the fault of those stupid southerners who refused to follow suit by destroying their own business climate with progressivism. Those darn red states with their low taxes and free markets. The population of virtually all upstate New York cities plummeted, former residents fled to the south as economic refugees after the Cuomo crime family smashed the upstate economy with highest in the nation taxes, onerous regulations, and corrupt unions.  Brutal gun crime ravages the cities of Buffalo and Rochester with endless waves of violence, but the failure of progressive policies must never be at fault; some redneck in Virginia is surely to blame. Progressive policy always work, even when they don’t.

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