Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Fine Hand Of Bloomberg And Bill Drafting

The New York Post reported yesterday that sources within Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration are blaming the Brady Campaign and Bloomberg's people for all the problems with the new NY SAFE Act. That is, of course, beyond the fact that the bill was rammed through both houses of the New York State legislature with very no discussion.
A Cuomo administration source is flatly denying the governor’s claim that his new anti-gun SAFE Act was carefully drafted, saying the governor himself wasn’t even aware of some provisions when it was hastily enacted into law.

“The governor thought the limit on the size of [gun] magazines would only apply to assault-style rifles, not to handguns,’’ said the source.

“That’s why there’s the big problem now with handguns, among other things in the statute.’’

The legal sale of virtually all semiautomatic handguns will soon be impossible because Cuomo’s law limits the size of bullet-holding magazines to seven shots, virtually none of which are manufactured for sale.

“Much of what’s in the law was drafted by people connected to Mayor Bloomberg and the Brady Center, not by the governor’s staff,” the source said. “That’s why there are so many problems with it.’’
As Michael Bane has reported many times, the new gun control bills in Colorado were drafted by Bloomberg and his people and have definitions that are peculiar to New York law and not Colorado law. This especially relates to the definition of transfer of a firearm.

Meanwhile back in February, in Minnesota, Rep. Alice Hausman, the prime sponsor and ostensible author of HF 241 - the Minnesota "assault weapons" (sic) ban - left the hearings on her own bill and let Heather Martens, a lobbyist from the gun control group Protect Minnesota, explain the bill. Hausman told a reporter later that she really didn't understand her own bill. That bill also had a different definition of "transfer" as well.
As used in this section, "transfer" means a sale, gift, loan, assignment, or other delivery to another, whether or not for consideration, of an assault weapon.
When the BATFE speaks of transfer of a firearm, they mean the transfer of ownership or title. Under normal commercial law, a sales transaction or transfer of title requires an offer, an acceptance of that offer, and the offering of consideration. Consideration is the cash or other remuneration paid for the item. Without those three actions, the transaction or transfer is void and didn't occur. Notice that the Minnesota law explicitly removes the third element from their definition of transfer.

I'm sure a close examination of any of the other gun control bills involving semi-automatic firearms, magazines, and background checks that have been introduced in many state legislatures would show these same similarities. What Michael Bloomberg and his billions can't achieve on a national level might be achieved on the state level if we aren't on guard. As Michael Bane said to Tom Gresham on Sunday during his interview on Gun Talk, they were blindsided in Colorado.

UPDATE: It seems like Mayor Bloomberg isn't pleased with the reports that Cuomo is blaming the drafting of NY SAFE on him.
Asked about that criticism today, Bloomberg erupted in anger.

"What did we do, put a gun to their head, if you pardon the pun, and force them to write legislation?" he said, during a press conference in Brooklyn about helping the unemployed get jobs. "Is that the allegation? That we were up there with automatic weapons with expanded capacity magazines forcing them to write a bill?"

"That's the kind of journalism that I find troublesome," he continued. "You've got a source that isn't willing to put their name on the bill and the reporting of it wasn't in the context of, is that credible? But they were forced by guns, or a knife at their throat, to take our ideas. If they took our ideas, I'm flattered. I hope they did. And I don't know whether they did or didn't, and I don't know whether they got it accurate or not."
In a latter statement from one of Bloomberg's press spokesman, they said they wanted micro-stamping in NY SAFE but never said anything about magazines. Hmmm.

Jacob at GunpoliticsNY.com has more on this along with some analysis. Sebastian discusses this buck-passing and the reliance on polling by some politicians in a post this afternoon. I suggest reading both.


  1. Not to burst your idealistic bubble, but this is typical of how all legislation (not just gun controls) is advanced. Interest groups write model ordinances and statutes and work directly with legislative staff to draft final text. Elected officials rarely get their “hands dirty” with the specific language of their bills.

    The only think unusual about gun control legislation is the incompetence of the interest groups. But before anyone starts to believe that this is a feature to be exploited, take a look at how well this tactic has worked in California...

    1. True but if Cuomo had the right stuff, he'd take responsiblity since he signed. He gets heat and starts back-filling. Utterly contemptible (PC for a douche bag).

  2. This is why it pays to be on guard. I'm using the NC General Assembly's RSS feed to allow me to track firearm bills in North Carolina. Since reading bill texts is easy, it's basically impossible to sneak something in without me seeing it.

    Not that we're really worried about gun control laws being passed in this NCGA.

    1. As an aside, appreciate the updates you post. Very informative!

  3. "When the BATFE speaks of transfer of a firearm, they mean the transfer of ownership or title."

    From my experience, that's not the case at all. The ATF only cares about possession. That's why guns that are being worked on by a gunsmith and guns being sold on consignment are all logged into an FFL's books. The ownership hasn't changed, at least not immediately in the case of a consignment, but the possession has. From what I've seen, the ATF doesn't give a damn about title.

    (I work for an FFL in Oklahoma.)

  4. Cuomo has no one to blame but himself for signing legislation he obviously has not even bothered to READ for himself. If a bill is so onerous that a politician/lawyer finds it too burdensome to read himself, then it's NOT good law.

    More legislators need to keep that in mind.

  5. Of course Bloomberg et al wrote it. They also wrote the laws for Colorado (and, I'm pretty sure, drafted the boilerplate response letter for the Democrats that supported them - the letters from the various legislators to their constituents are virtually identical).
    Bloomey missed the whole Magpul thing, and subsequent efforts to correct the issue didn't work... Hey, Colorado doesn't really need those hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars.

  6. LOL, nothing like a little infighting amongst the elites!