Gun Restrictions Have Always Bred Defiance, Black Markets

by J.D. Tuccille, Reason.com  |  published on December 24, 2012

Gun Restrictions

I doubt I ever would have gone to the black market to purchase an illegal assault weapon if it wasn’t for New York’s annoyingly restrictive gun control laws. Wait. Let me back up a bit. New York State passed the Sullivan Act back in 1911. The law required people to get a government permit to own or carry any weapon small enough to be concealed—handguns, in particular. Issuing the permit would be a matter of official discretion, which is a policy continued to the present day.

The motivation for passing the law was no secret. During debates leading to the ultimate passage of the gun control law, The New York Times editorialized:

Such a measure would prove corrective and salutary in a city filled with immigrants and evil communications, floating from the shores of Italy and Austria-Hungary. New York police reports frequently testify to the fact that the Italian and other south Continental gentry here are acquainted with the pocket pistol, and while drunk or merrymaking will use it quite as handily as the stiletto, and with more deadly effect. It is hoped that this treacherous and distinctly outlandish mode of settling disputes may not spread to corrupt the native good manners of the community.

Well … guilty as charged. My family (I’m descended from immigrants originating in those suspect regions of Europe) has long had a habit of owning, and often carrying, weapons in and around New York City.

But we got to this country—most of my ancestors, anyway—just about the time the Sullivan Act became law. Which means all that carrying and brandishing of weapons took place despite the law, because nobody in my family bothered to get a pistol permit through several generations of residency in New York City.

Until me.

There are downsides to owning guns illegally. The big one, from my perspective, was that I couldn’t go shooting at a range. The folks at the Westside Rifle and Pistol Range probably had as dim a view of permits and registration as I do, but they weren’t about to risk their own freedom just to let me put a few holes in paper targets.

No comments yet - you can be the first!

Comments are closed.

?>

All Things Gun Related

Whether you’re into AR-15s, AKs, carbines, shotguns, self-defense pistols, or hunting rifles, American Firearms Review will provide you with the most up to date product reviews, news, and everything else you need to know about firearms and accessories. Join over 1,000,000 avid gun owners who trust American Firearm Review for their daily dose of Second Amendment news and reviews.

We know how important your privacy is and your information is SAFE with us. We’ll never sell
your email address and you can unsubscribe at any time directly from your inbox.
View our full privacy policy.