New York supports bail... for gun crimes

(AP Photo/Marina Riker, File)

Our colleague Tom Knighton at Bearing Arms points us to some new legislative madness coming out of the Empire State this week. The New York legislature has been following New York City’s lead recently in their efforts to empty the jails. Those efforts included eliminating cash bail for a variety of crimes, turning most courts into revolving doors for criminals. Some of the more serious, violent offenses could not be included, however, and many of them allowed for the possibility of a suspect being held without bail. One group of lawmakers is unhappy with this situation and they’re seeking to expand the list of crimes that are eligible for bail. Which crimes? Why, gun crimes, of course. Because it would be unfair and almost certainly racist to keep someone behind bars for more than a couple of hours after they just stuck a handgun in some convenience store clerk’s face, right? (Observer Today)

Sen. Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, D-New City, has introduced S.7259 in the Senate. It adds to the list of bail-qualifying offense instances where someone is charged with a crime that involves the use of a machine gun, firearm silencer, firearm, rifle, shotgun, disguised gun, ghost gun or assault weapon for felony court.

“The legislature recently enacted a series of changes to the bail reform measures that were enacted in 2019,” Reichlin-Melnick said in his legislative justification. “The changes were reasonable measures designed to maintain the core components of reform while recognizing the need to provide at least some flexibility when certain criminal violations are at issue. This bill builds on those efforts by adding certain firearm offenses to the list of offenses that qualify for bail.”

It also establishes a definition of “ghost gun” to mean any firearm, rifle, or shotgun that is not serialized in accordance with the requirements imposed on licensed importers and licensed manufacturers so that such weapons are recognized under the state Penal Law.

As Tom Knighton pointed out with the appropriate level of snark, this would be a joke if it wasn’t such a serious matter. New York continues to pile on more and more gun control laws that only impact the ability of lawful gun owners to keep and bear arms. Guns are bad, okay? But that’s apparently only the case if you want to follow the rules. If you’re using an illegal gun to commit crimes, you shouldn’t be inconvenienced by being left in jail.

This is an ironic collision between the movement to “empty the jails” and those seeking more gun control laws. Both movements are corrosive to law and order, but the Democrats pushing these measures are apparently unable to grasp the absurdity of complaining about the dangers posed by guns while turning those who actually create that very real danger immediately back out onto the streets.

The list of types of firearms that were included was rather staggering. Right off the bat, they started with… machine guns. I’m one of the bigger cheerleaders for Second Amendment rights you’re likely to meet and even I find that pretty nuts. Except under very restricted circumstances, you’re not supposed to even be able to own an actual, fully automatic machine gun. And if you find someone lugging one around the streets and committing crimes with it, you’re just going to turn him loose on bail?

I see that they also included ghost guns. You’re allowed to own an unserialized weapon that you smithed or assembled yourself, but if you take it out into the world and use it to commit a crime, you’re committing another felony just by having it with you. Anyone breaking the law using an unserialized weapon should automatically be pushed a few slots higher on the “bad guy” list. Why are New York Democrats so upset about the idea of locking them up?

New York State is in the midst of a steady rise in violent crime rates, including gun crimes. This is particularly true of New York City. But for some reason, the legislature wants to make it easier for those committing gun crimes to be flushed right back out into the streets after they are arrested. These are simply suicidal tendencies on the part of the legislature.