Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Handgun ban? Fuggedaboudit! Nassau County DA Lifts Unconstitutional Restriction

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Handgun ban?  Fuggedaboudit!  Nassau County DA Lifts Unconstitutional Restriction

Last week, law professor and Washington Post blogger Eugene Volokh, exposed how the District Attorney’s Office in Nassau County, New York, was unconstitutionally prohibiting its prosecutors from possessing handguns, even in their homes. We registered our disapproval as well. On Wednesday, mere days after the story broke, Prof. Volokh reported that the policy had been rescinded. Well, mostly rescinded.

Prof. Volokh’s Wednesday post includes a copy of a memo issued by Albert Teichman, Chief Assistant District Attorney for Nassau County. The memo notes the policy was enacted in 2006, and predates the tenure of current Nassau County Acting District Attorney, Madeline Singas. Although the memo doesn’t say so, it would also mean the policy predated the Supreme Court’s pivotal holdings in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago. Of course, those cases should be well-known to any lawyer, especially one working in law enforcement, so that does not excuse the fact that the policy persisted, even when it was clearly at odds with the high court’s statements on the Second Amendment.

The memo claims, unlike the explanation provided to Prof. Volokh when he inquired about the policy, that the restriction was enacted “to prevent friendly fire tragedies like those that have occurred in recent years in Nassau County and neighboring jurisdictions.” It then embarks on a litany of incidents occurring between 2006 and 2011 in which law enforcement officers were killed by other law enforcement officers in the New York City Metropolitan area.  None of the incidents involved prosecutors or other officials who do not routinely carry as part of their law enforcement duties.

The memo concludes, “Upon review, the public safety interests served by the policy can be substantially effectuated though a less-restrictive means that does not preclude ADAs from owning handguns, but strictly prohibits work-related possession and use.” It goes on to recommend that assistant district attorneys be “strictly prohibited from carrying or possessing a weapon any time they are working … without the express written permission of the District Attorney or the District Attorney’s authorized designee.” Violations, it states, should be punishable by termination.

A follow-up memo, also dated Sept. 30, shows the policy being enacted “immediately” and superseding any previous policy. It also states, “Assistant District Attorneys are permitted to own and possess a legally registered handgun in their homes or for legally permitted activity unrelated to their employment and workplace.” Such employees are “encouraged” to take a firearm safety course. They are also required to provide copies of their “licensure and registration documentation to the DA’s office.”

We took Acting District Attorney Singas strongly to task in our original remarks, as she is ultimately responsible for the policies of her office, whether she originally implemented them or not. We now credit her, however, with taking positive and expeditious steps to correct an obviously untenable situation. We certainly agree with her office’s recommendation that DAs who choose to own handguns take a firearm safety course, and NRA’s network of certified trainers – the finest in the nation – stand ready to assist in that regard. While we believe that any prosecutor lawfully able to do so should also have the option of remaining armed while operating their own private automobiles, we are glad to know that they will now be able to own and use handguns on their own time and for their own purposes.

More troubling is the office’s continued insistence that “[m]any neighboring jurisdictions impose handgun restrictions on Assistant District Attorneys.” We checked the hiring websites for the District Attorney’s Offices of Bronx, Kings, New York, Queens, and Richmond Counties.  None of them mentioned any such requirements. Clearly, however, the use of public employment or civil service as a means of depriving individuals of their Second Amendment rights while they are at home or on their own time is a problem in any context. Public employees subjected to any such a blanket policy are encouraged to contact the NRA with their stories.

The original author of the Nassau County policy is former District Attorney and current U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY). Rice told the media through a spokesperson that assistant district attorneys “shouldn’t be walking around armed” when dealing with victims, witnesses, and defendants. Why she believed that necessitated banning prosecutors from owing handguns at home, however, is not explained. It suggests deficiencies not just in her grasp of the U.S. Constitution but in her legal drafting ability. Her NRA-PVF

F-rating, meanwhile, indicates she takes a dim view of firearm ownership in general.

TRENDING NOW
Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

News  

Friday, September 7, 2018

Levi’s Teams with Billionaire Michael Bloomberg to Attack Gun Rights

Levi Strauss & Co. established its brand in the mid-19th century by selling durable clothing to working-class Americans. As Levi’s signature jeans gained popularity amongst a wider set in the middle of the last century, ...

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

House Democrats Outline Gun Control Agenda for 116th Congress

With anti-gun Democrats back in control of the House of Representatives come January, now is the time to prepare for a new onslaught on the Second Amendment. Emboldened by the mere thought of controlling the ...

Toledo Mayor Plays Politics With Officer Safety Via New Firearm Procurement Measures

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Toledo Mayor Plays Politics With Officer Safety Via New Firearm Procurement Measures

Bad ideas have a way of recurring within gun control circles. And when they do, they are usually accompanied by self-congratulatory rhetoric about their supposedly “innovative” and “forward-thinking” nature. That was certainly the case this ...

Indulgences for Hollywood as Movie Studio Buys Gun Offsets

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Indulgences for Hollywood as Movie Studio Buys Gun Offsets

In 2014, Hollywood movie mogul and fierce NRA critic Harvey Weinstein appeared to acknowledge the movie industry might be able to have a positive impact by reducing its glorification of criminal violence. Weinstein explained, I have to ...

NRA Challenges Constitutional Violations in Initiative 1639

News  

Thursday, November 15, 2018

NRA Challenges Constitutional Violations in Initiative 1639

The NRA was joined by the Second Amendment Foundation in filing a lawsuit challenging gun control measures recently passed in Washington ballot initiative I-1639.

Surprise: Physician Group Rehashes Same Tired Gun Control Policies

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Surprise: Physician Group Rehashes Same Tired Gun Control Policies

Everyone has hobbies. Some doctors’ collective hobby is opining on firearms policy. Half of the articles in the “Latest from Annals” email from the Annals of Internal Medicine journal are related to firearms. The most prominent of these ...

Yes, George Soros is a Gun Grabber

News  

Friday, November 16, 2018

Yes, George Soros is a Gun Grabber

In 2015, billionaire gun control financier and potential 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg financed the creation of the anti-gun propaganda outlet The Trace. Ever grateful for their wealthy benefactor’s unfettered largesse, the Bloomberg advocacy group now views less-profligate anti-gun tycoons as ...

Missing the Marx: Gun Control’s Future is … Communism?

News  

Friday, November 2, 2018

Missing the Marx: Gun Control’s Future is … Communism?

After every high profile crime committed with a firearm of any sort, there are always calls for gun control. But one particular proposal this week managed to distinguish itself amid the usual din, if only ...

California: Cities Backpedal on Over-Reaching & Preempted Local Anti-Gun Ordinances

Friday, November 16, 2018

California: Cities Backpedal on Over-Reaching & Preempted Local Anti-Gun Ordinances

The City of Palm Springs decided to repeal the reporting ordinance to avoid litigation and the City of Saratoga also withdrew an ordinance that would have imposed the same type of reporting limitation on victims of firearm ...

Midterm Elections Offer Motivation to Continue the Fight For Our Rights

News  

Friday, November 9, 2018

Midterm Elections Offer Motivation to Continue the Fight For Our Rights

The votes have all been cast in the 2018 midterm elections. And while the counting and recounting is still under way in some places, the overall picture that has emerged soundly refutes the breathless media narrative of ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.