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 Volokh reported that the policy had been rescinded. Well, mostly rescinded.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
Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

The House Judiciary Committee passed Senate Bill 1657 by a 7-6 vote.

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Monday, May 22, 2017

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Last week, attorneys on behalf of the NRA filed an amicus brief in Kitsap County v. Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club (Kitsap II), the case which challenges Kitsap County’s firearm discharge ban and range licensing scheme.  Kitsap Rifle and ...

Maryland: Governor Hogan Signs Apprentice Hunting Legislation into Law

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Maryland: Governor Hogan Signs Apprentice Hunting Legislation into Law

Today, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed House Bill 1427 into law.

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Today, May 22, Governor Brian Sandoval signed important pro-gun legislation, Assembly Bill 118, into law.  AB 118, sponsored by Assemblyman Skip Daly, will allow members of the military and those who have received an honorable ...

Kansas: Senate Committee Passes Gun Free Zone Legislation, Again

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kansas: Senate Committee Passes Gun Free Zone Legislation, Again

Last week, the Senate Committee of the Whole referred an amended version of House Bill 2278 back to the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

California: AB 424 Passes Assembly - Appropriations Committees to Consider Suspense Items

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

California: AB 424 Passes Assembly - Appropriations Committees to Consider Suspense Items

Friday, May 26th is the deadline for the fiscal committees to pass bills to the floor from the chamber of origin.  On Thursday, May 25, the Senate AppropriationsCommittee is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 464 and Senate Bill 497. ...

From My Cold Wet Hands: Humorless Scold Targets Squirt Guns

News  

Friday, May 19, 2017

From My Cold Wet Hands: Humorless Scold Targets Squirt Guns

We have yet to reach Memorial Day, but the fun police have already set their sights on at least one cherished summer childhood activity. In an article for Pupsugar.com, titled, “Why Kids Should Never Play ...

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

The Supreme Court of North Dakota confirmed this week that simply possessing a handgun while on one’s own private property cannot support a finding of "disorderly conduct" under the state’s disorderly conduct restraining order law. ...

California: Draft "Assault Weapon" Regulation Language Now Available

Thursday, May 18, 2017

California: Draft "Assault Weapon" Regulation Language Now Available

Today, May 18, a draft copy of the "Assault Weapon" regulations has been made available

California: Don’t Miss our May 25th Webinar to Discuss the Newest DOJ Draft “Assault Weapons” Regulations

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

California: Don’t Miss our May 25th Webinar to Discuss the Newest DOJ Draft “Assault Weapons” Regulations

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 25, at 12:00 pm (PT), NRA’s legal team will be hosting a free webinar to discuss the recently submitted “assault weapon” regulations.   

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
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.